Internet Explorer 6 is no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.

Internet Explorer 7 is no longer supported. Please use a newer browser.

Concourse works best with JavaScript enabled.

North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • English & Humanities • Foreign Language

Elementary American Sign Language I ASL-101

  • Fall 2013
  • Sections 01, 02
  • 5 Credits
  • 08/26/2013 to 12/20/2013
  • Modified 08/22/2013

Contact Information

 photo 102sp13letterhead_zpsc7b90bf9.jpg

Instructor: Jacalyn Whiteman Marosi

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Office: LKH 204i
  • Phone: (208) 769-7715
  • Website:


Elementary American Sign Language I is designed for students with no previous language study. It creates a visual-gestural environment to introduce to ASL grammar and vocabulary without presenting English equivalents. This course includes interactive activities, cultural awareness education, and individual feedback. Emphasis is on appropriate language use in common communication settings. ASL 101 will prepare students for ASL 102. Lecture: 5 hours per week


For ASL 101 and 102, there is one required text, and one optional homework booklet.

Signing Naturally Units 1-6 Student DVDs & Workbook

  • Author: Cheri Smith, Ella Mae Lentz, and Ken Mikos
  • Publisher: Dawn Sign Press
  • Edition: 2nd
  • ISBN: 978-1-58121-210-5

ASL 101-102 Homework Booklet (optional)

  • Author: Jacalyn Marosi
  • Publisher: NIC Copy Center
  • Edition: 3rd
  • Optional
  • Availability: Mica Peak Exchange (NIC Bookstore) ONLY

This is an optional booklet that accompanies the required text and course activities.

 photo HWBookletcoverpic.jpg

Printed Handouts

You are also required to print handouts and/or materials that are posted on my class website (Blackboard). I will indicate which handouts are required and which are optional to be printed. If you do not have a printed handout in class when it is due, plan to share with another student as I will rarely have extra copies. If you foresee this as being a continual problem for you, please see me.

If you purchase the optional Homework Booklet, you will rarely need to print handouts.


  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication

After completing ASL 101, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate cognitive understanding of ASL.
  • Use ASL to communicate expressively & receptively in common situations.
  • Demonstrate cultural understanding of the Deaf community .


Grading and Assessments Videotaped dialogues are the main assessment tool used in this course. Each videotaping is worth at least 100 points. When assessing videos, my grade scale begins at an 90%. So, if a student demonstrates the dialogue as expected with no major errors, s/he will earn a 90%. With each mistake the percentage moves down, and when students go above-and-beyond the percentage moves up. A 100% on a videotaping would mean no mistakes as well as incorporating unscripted vocabulary and concepts accurately and appropriately.

*If you have earned a 94% or better by the semester’s end, you do not have to take the final exam.


 photo gradescale_zpse9969727.jpg

Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Extra Credit 50pts Max

Extra-Credit Points Students will be allowed to earn a maximum of 50 Extra Credit points during the semester. Extra Credit points can be earned in any combination of the following ways:

  • Language Lab time: every 100 minutes = 10 points
  • Turning in selected work early
  • More than 10 Participation Cards. Each card after 10 = 10 points.
  • Other specified Extra-Credit opportunities

Even if more Extra Credit points are accumulated, only 50 points will be counted. These points are in addition to the overall points totaled in the course, hence “extra credit”. These points will not count against students who do not accumulate these extra points.


Participation Cards 100pts

Participation Cards: For active participation, you may be rewarded with Participation Cards (worth 10 points each). KEEP THESE IN A SAFE PLACE because you will be responsible to turn them in to me at the end of the semester to receive participation points.

At the end of the semester, you turn in your cards and I then will add "observed participation points" if I see that the number of cards does not accurately reflect your participation in class. Otherwise, Participation Cards on one way to make your participation score objective rather then my subjective perception and memory.

Course Policies

No Talking Rule

Method of Course Delivery  NO TALKING RULE: I expect that you will not use spoken English during class, unless I allow that option. ASL, like any language, can be challenging to learn. It is particularly difficult not 'think in English'. I expect that you will respect yourself and your classmates by not interrupting the language acquisition process with spoken English in the classroom. If you wish to share ideas, gossip, make comments, or remarks with your neighbors- feel free to do so using ASL, gestures, or pantomime. Just remember that it is a custom to share information in the Deaf-World, so I will most likely ask what you’re talking about. :)

Please feel encouraged to raise your hand if you don't understand what is happening in class. We are all learning to communicate together in a new way. Your classmates will benefit not only from your question but also from watching you sign that question.

Especially for beginning ASL students, this will help you gain a better perspective of how Deaf people communicate with non-signers in general.

 NOTE: At my discretion, you will be allowed to use your native English language, vocally to ask questions, and discuss the more complex concepts brought into the classroom periodically throughout the semester.

Attendance Policy

Absence Policy & Make-Up Work. You may miss the equivalent of one week of classes, that’s 4 absences with no penalty. Each absence after the 4 allowed will result in a 20% attendance grade drop. Once 8 class periods are missed, the student will receive a zero for attendance. Each tardy after the 4th tardy will be counted as an absence. If a student is more than 10 minutes late for class, the tardy is counted as an absence. The attendance grade is weighted heavily in relation to your other grading categories in this class.      

Exceptions: Some specific circumstances will be counted as an “excused” absence and will not be counted again you in your attendance grade.  Note: Students may still be penalized for missing “in class” points.

  • If you are absent due to an NIC-related function (sports, field trips, etc): Please inform me prior to your absence. Usually the advisor or instructor in charge will offer a letter for you to give to your instructors.
  • Death in the family: Please show me the obituary or something that indicates time and place of the funeral.
  • Jury Duty / Court: Please provide me a copy of the subpoena or summons. This exception does not include arrests and/or jail time.
  • Hospitalization: Please provide me with a note from your medical professional which includes dates of hospitalization(s).
  • Military duties: Please provide me with the appropriate documentation with dates that show when you must be absent.

 photo examplegrades-1.jpg


 Otherwise, it is not necessary to explain why you are absent. When you miss, please check the agenda on Blackboard first. Then contact a peer in class to ask if we followed the schedule and if there was anything else you needed to make up. Then contact me if you need clarification. I will not accept your being absent or tardy as an excuse to not have something done, so please act responsibly.

 If you know that you will be absent in advance, talk with me a few class periods prior to your absence so that any arrangements can be made if necessary.

 As attendance and participation are vital to your language acquisition, I will give in-class assignments, quizzes, and/or "participation points" at random times that can NOT be made up, even for students who have excused absences. The same rule applies for tardiness. These assignments and/or quizzes will be simple and most usually based on completion, not accuracy. The point is to offer these points as incentive to encourage regular attendance and timeliness.

Skills Outside of Class

You are encouraged to use your ASL skills outside of class with each other as well as the Deaf Community. However, it is important that you understand that this class does not provide you adequate training to offer any sort of professional interpreting services. If you do provide professional interpreting services outside of class, I may drop you from the class. I will also notify the local Deaf Community and Deaf Service Agencies to disclaim your behavior as unaffiliated and unendorsed by NIC.


 photo JacsFa13_zpsf0b297ea.jpg

Additional Items

Here are a few other things to know about this class.

Language Lab

Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday, 8am-6pm; Fridays 8am- 2pm.  Phone: 769-3385

Students are encouraged to practice/enhance their skills outside of class. The NIC Language Lab is a great place to complete ASL homework. The lab is technically called the Lee Hall Annex Building and is located in the small mustard-colored building between the Children's Center and LKH-Gym.

 The Lab has a reliable, high-speed connection that assures that you will complete your assignments trouble-free. There is a copy of your text including the corresponding DVD that works in the lab. Also, many DVDs have been installed on the computer’s hardware, so there will be no DVD skipping issues. Most materials in the lab are available for use in the lab only- they cannot be taken home. Remember that every 100 minutes = 10 extra credit points. The use of the lab is a great way to earn extra credit to help balance any abundant absences that count against you.

Cell Phones & Texting

Please refrain from using your cell phones and texting during class. If you must answer a call or text, please leave the room.


Guests are almost always welcome to join class and will likely do so frequently. Any guest that you bring much also follow the no talking rule. It is rude for guests to disregard the rule, as it is also rude for you to try and communicate in English with them during class. Please check with me before planning on bringing any guests to make sure there isn’t a last minute assessment of some kind scheduled.  The majority of the time, guests are welcome to join us.

Division Policies

The English/Modern Languages Division has agreed upon a recommendation that students not miss more than the equivalent of two weeks in a single course, which means six absences in a three-day-per-week class, four absences in two-day-per-week class, two absences in a one-evening-per-week class, or two weeks of online participation.

Plagiarism Policy
NIC English/Modern Languages Division

NIC's English Department believes strongly in the ability of its students to:

write works in which they use their own ideas and words
correctly borrow the words and ideas of others

The department's definition of plagiarism comes from the Council of Writing Programs Administrators':  In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else's language, ideas, or other original (no common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source.

Using someone else's exact words without using direct quotes.
Paraphrasing or summarizing someone's words or ideas without giving credit to the source's author.
Submitting another's work as the student's own. This includes a purchased paper, a borrowed paper, or portions of another person's work. NIC now subscribes to a plagiarism-prevention service, called, which is integrated with our Angel course software. When you turn in your assignments to this site, whether during the drafting process or on a final due date, the software compares your work to many resources on the world wide web, coming up with an "authenticity" report. You will receive more information on this process in class. To avoid plagiarism, cite sources carefully.

Behavior not considered plagiarism but of concern is sloppy documentation of words and ideas borrowed from another source and/or submitting an old paper as new work without the instructor's permission.

In addition to helping students with their current individual writing needs, the Writing Center upholds a student-centered environment that stresses the relationship between strong written and oral communication skills and success both in and beyond college. This environment not only helps students become more critical readers and more competent writers, but also promotes their success across the curriculum and encourages life-long learning.
Click on the link below for additional information.

Institutional Policies

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes for the fall term: November 12, 2012. 

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, ESU, 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

DROP FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  You must attend and participate in the first week of this class. Failure to do so will result in your being dropped from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. For Internet classes, attendance is based on participation in an instructional activity; you must complete the first week’s assignment(s) by the assignment due date. Drop for non-attendance occurs at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on the second Tuesday of the semester.