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LCCC Offers American Sign Language Classes

Writer| Hannah Wanko

Facial expressions are meaningful in deaf culture. There is so much to be said without speaking. To help those who wish to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing community, Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) offers American Sign Language (ASL) courses.

The ASL 101 course teaches basic expressive and receptive skills and gives students the knowledge of deaf culture and the deaf community. It is offered by Julia Hobart, who taught deaf and hard-of-hearing elementary students for 28 years.

“I’ve always wanted to teach at a more adult level and to spread knowledge about deaf culture and sign," said Holbert, who recently retired and now teaches at LCCC part-time.

Her approach to ASL 101 is very vocabulary-focused and "all class, no voice.” This approach is to help students with their conversational skills actively.

"We do review times where I sign a story with no voice and the students have to receptively understand what I am signing,” Holbert said.

Former student Olivia Dages still practices ASL after taking the class.

"I loved the atmosphere of the class,” she said. “All [of] my classmates were super cool. I also loved that there was a focus on deaf culture and it was more than just vocabulary."

The benefits of ASL 101 are not only for communication between Deaf individuals, but also to understand the deaf community and culture. Anyone is able to take this course. If students enjoyed the class, LCCC offers ASL 105 and 106, which are a continuation of ASL 101.

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