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)

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Vision and Goals of the American Sign Language as a Second Language Curriculum


Students of ASL as a second language will develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to interact in ASL using various forms of ASL conversational discourse and to comprehend and construct ASL literary works and ASL texts. They will acquire knowledge of the historical and current contexts of the ASL community’s perspectives and contributions. Reflecting on the language, culture, identity, and history of the ASL community, students will develop skills, strategies, and understanding that will enable them to value equity, effect change, and participate as responsible and socially conscious citizens in local and global communities.


Through the ASL as a second language curriculum, students will realize the vision for the program as they strive to:

  • use ASL effectively in a variety of forms in different contexts that demonstrate the rich, complete, evolving, and relevant nature of the language;
  • develop ASL literacy to support and enhance their ASL language skills and ASL cultural knowledge;
  • engage with the language, culture, history, perspectives, and contributions of the ASL community through interaction with a variety of ASL people, ASL literary works, and ASL texts, to create meaningful connections between themselves and the world around them;
  • use metalinguistic knowledge and metacognitive skills to develop their knowledge of, and skills related to, ASL grammatical structures as they deepen their understanding of ASL discourse;
  • use critical literacy skills to build respectful and reciprocal relationships with the ASL community;
  • examine inequity and social justice through the lens of ASL literary works and ASL texts, and come to understand how discrimination against individuals and members of the ASL community has led to social and political action, and legislative change.