ASL-135: Fingerspelling and Numbering

Liberal Arts
Language Studies
American Sign Language
Academic Level
Course Subject
American Sign Language
Course Number
Course Title
Fingerspelling and Numbering
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
32.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
32.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
ENG-094/ENG-095E eligible or instructor permission
Catalog Course Description

Provides an overview of American Sign Language (ASL) fingerspelling techniques and numbering skills, focusing on improving students’ receptive and expressive skills so that students will be able to communicate with speed, dexterity and clarity.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

ASL-135 is designed to enable students to improve their fluency and clarity in receptive and expressive fingerspelling and numbering skills.

Core Course Topics
  1. Uses of fingerspelling and numbering
  2. Terminology
  3. Warm-up exercises
  4. Hand, arm, and wrist positions
  5. American manual alphabet
  6. Multiple-letter words and syllable groups
  7. Letter position
  8. Commonly-used fingerspelled words, acronyms, abbreviations, and loan signs
  9. Clarity, accuracy, and fluidity
  10. Numbering systems
  11. Facial focus
  12. Receptive techniques
  13. Contextual clues
  14. Mouthing fingerspelled words
  15. Differences between Deaf and hearing communities
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. Identify the various uses of fingerspelling and numbering conventions in American Sign Language (ASL)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of appropriate terminology associated with fingerspelling and numbering
  3. Perform warm-up exercises to relax muscles and prevent stress to the hands, wrists, and arms
  4. Demonstrate the appropriate hand, arm, and wrist position for clear fingerspelling
  5. Recognize and articulate all the letters of the American manual alphabet clearly and accurately with regard to letter formation, palm orientation and hand position
  6. Recognize and read words of three to four letters (rather than individual letters)
  7. Recognize words or word groups by their configuration, context, or visible letters in initial, middle and/or final position
  8. Recognize and articulate commonly-used fingerspelled words, acronyms, abbreviations, and loan signs
  9. Fingerspell words, numbers and loan signs clearly and accurately in regard to articulation, rate of transition from letter to letter, word configuration and distinction between words, moving from one letter to the next in a rhythmic fashion without extraneous movements
  10. Recognize common ASL number systems, and identify what types of numbers are represented by different locations, palm orientations, and movements
  11. Recognize fingerspelled words, word groups or numbers while eyes are focused on the signer’s face, utilizing peripheral vision to allow for input from non-manual markers, speech-reading techniques, and speaker affect as well as from fingerspelling
  12. Employ various receptive fingerspelling techniques, such as prediction skills, word patterns, rhythm and phrasing
  13. Demonstrate the ability to incorporate contextual clues to aid in closure when letters or words are missed or not clearly fingerspelled
  14. Demonstrate the ability to simultaneously, without voice, mouth fingerspelled words
  15. Analyze differences between the Deaf culture/community and the hearing culture/community
General Information

Note: A grade of C- is not transferrable and is not accepted by some programs at HFC.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Assessment of academic achievement will be identified and implemented by the class instructor. Methods will include, but not be limited to:

  • Participation
  • Weekly/regular quizzes
  • Homework assignments
  • Chapter/unit tests
  • Oral/receptive-expressive exam(s)
  • Midterm/final exam

All sections of this level will use a textbook (and any accompanying materials) selected by the course coordinator and approved by the World Languages Committee.


General Education Categories
  • Humanities and Fine Arts
Institutional Outcomes
  • Humanities
MTA Categories
  • Category 5: Humanities and Fine Arts
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Winter 2024
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Winter 2024