This is the Ontario curriculum policy for American Sign Language as a Second Language in secondary schools. Beginning in September 2021, American Sign Language as a Second Language programs in secondary schools will be based on the expectations outlined in this curriculum policy.


American Sign Language as a Second Language (2021)


Strands in the American Sign Language as a Second Language Curriculum

The course American Sign Language as a Second Language, Level 1, Open (LASBO) is organized into four distinct but interrelated strands:

  • A. ASL Conversational Discourse
  • B. Comprehending ASL Construction and Content
  • C. Constructing ASL Content and Usage of ASL Grammatical Structures
  • D. Understanding the Connections Between ASL Language, Culture, Identity, and Community

This framework includes overall and specific expectations in which learning related to ASL as a language is interwoven with learning related to ASL culture.

The curriculum is designed to develop a range of essential skills in the four interrelated areas. It has a culture-based foundation that encompasses knowledge of ASL cultural protocols and perspectives. The development of analytical, critical, and metacognitive thinking skills is also emphasized. Students learn best when they are encouraged to consciously monitor their thinking as they learn, and each strand includes expectations that encourage such reflection. The knowledge and skills that students develop in the course will enable them to engage in conversations in ASL; comprehend, reflect upon, respond to, and construct a range of ASL literary works and ASL texts, including ASL media works; and enhance their understanding of ASL culture.

When teachers plan an ASL program, they focus on the ASL as a second language curriculum expectations and ensure that resources and program approaches directly support the achievement of the Ontario curriculum expectations and reflect the assessment, evaluation, and reporting policy. Teachers may provide ASL dictionaries and other ASL educational resources. These ASL-specific resources support comprehension and construction of various ASL discourse structures and help build students’ ASL vocabulary and classifier usage.

ASL teachers plan activities that integrate expectations from the four strands in order to provide students with experiences that promote meaningful learning and help them recognize how ASL cultural and literacy skills, in the four areas, reinforce and strengthen one another.