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American Sign Language Classes in NYC - A Comprehensive Guide

Updated on January 1, 2016

Below you'll find a comprehensive listing of schools offering coursework in American Sign Language in the New York City area. If you know of any classes or other resources not listed, please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

Colleges Offering Special Programs or Two Years or More of ASL

These programs are ideal for students committed to becoming fluent in ASL.

Columbia University, Teachers College, New York City

CUNY LaGuardia Community College, Long Island City

  • Offers an AA degree in Deaf Studies
  • The Intensive Study in ASL Program offers a 6-course series during days, evenings, and weekends. Students who complete the two years of coursework can earn a Certificate in Conversational American Sign Language.
  • The ASL-English Interpretation Program is a 2-year program with classes held weekday evenings, 2-3 times per week. The program also includes service learning and interpreting field work experiences.

Hofstra University, Continuing Education Program, Hempstead

  • Hofstra’s American Sign Language (ASL)/Deaf Studies Certificate Program is a 200-hour program composed of a sequence of noncredit courses in ASL and other topics related to Deaf culture.
  • The program also allows students to take courses on an individual basis without participating in the certificate program.

SUNY Nassau Community College, Garden City

  • Offers an AA Degree in American Sign Language

SUNY Suffolk County Community College, Long Island

  • 2-year sequence of coursework in ASL Studies
  • 3-year sequence of coursework in ASL/English Interpretation. Interpretation program is geared toward preparing graduates to sit for the National Interpreter Certification examination.

SUNY Rockland Community College, Suffern

  • 2 years of ASL coursework

New York University, New York

  • Offers a four-semester language sequence, plus a minor in ASL

Classes Offered at Schools for the Deaf

Schools for the Deaf sometimes offer ASL courses as a way to help parents of Deaf students improve their signing. Courses offered at the following schools are open to the general public as well.

Lexington School & Center for the Deaf, Jackson Heights, Queens

  • The Lexington School is the largest school for deaf students in the state of New York. Lexington offers 9-week courses in ASL in the fall, winter, and spring. Visit their web site for fee and enrollment information.

New York School for the Deaf, White Plains

  • The New York School for the Deaf offers courses in American Sign Language for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Classes are offered Wednesday evenings in ten week sessions.

Saint Joseph's School for the Deaf, Bronx

  • Offers instructional classes in American Sign Language for the general public. Classes are offered during Fall and Spring semesters on Tuesday evenings for a duration of 10 weeks.

Schools Offering One Year or Less of ASL

City University of New York, Hunter College
New York City
2 ASL Courses; School of Education offers program for working with Deaf children
City University of New York, School of Professional Studies
New York City
Offers 2 ASL courses
Kingsborough Community College
Offers several beginner courses
Long Island University (LIU) Post
College of Education, Information, and Technology offers 2 ASL courses
SUNY Westchester Community College
Continuing Education program offers 2 ASL courses
The New School
New York City
Continuing Education program offers an introductory ASL course
SUNY Nassau Community College
Garden City
Continuing Education program offers two 8-week ASL courses
One of these schools might be a good option if you just want to try out ASL before continuing to a longer-term program.

Other ASL Options

American Sign Language NYC, Brooklyn

  • ASL NYC offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes, as well as private tutoring and corporate classes.

Mill Neck Family of Organizations, Hicksville

  • The Mill Neck Family of Organizations works to improve the lives of people who are Deaf through various programs and services.
  • The organization offers adult sign language classes; visit their web site for more details.

The Sign Language Center, Manhattan

  • The Sign Language Center offers private tutoring and six week courses in ASL. Classes are offered days, evenings, and weekends.
  • The Center is deaf-owned and operated.

  • There are several meetup groups in the New York area for people interested in practicing signing. Most are free, but one group charges a small fee because they offer the assistance of an ASL teacher at the group.
  • Meetups are a great way to get practice with other people learning to sign. Sometimes Deaf people will attend as well.

The letter "A" in American Sign Language.
The letter "A" in American Sign Language. | Source

A Few Tips for Learning ASL

  • ASL is increasing in popularity, and classes often fill up quickly. So, if you plan to take a class, especially at a community college, be sure to sign up early.
  • A great way to improve your signing is by practicing in front of a mirror. You'll get a better sense of how your signs look to someone else, and it will help you identify which aspects of your signing you need to work on.
  • Practice signing ASL vocabulary at least a little bit each day. Using flashcards is an effective way to incorporate practice into your daily routine, such as while waiting in line at the grocery store or riding the bus. You can get a great set of ASL flashcards from Amazon (see the link earlier on this page).
  • Be patient--learning a new language takes time.

Good luck, and have fun!


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