Bluefield College students and members of the community, now have the opportunity to learn the basics of a recognized foreign language, American Sign Language. Bluefield College is believed to be the only college in the area offering a two year curriculum of college ASL classes.
The Chair of the Department of Communications, Dr. Cindy Bascom, says students will gain an appreciation for their own language during the ASL classes.
"They’re learning about another way of life and it helps them to appreciate their own culture," Bascom said.
ASL is recognized in Virginia and thirty-nine other states as a foreign language, allowing Bluefield College students to fulfill their foreign language requirement.
"Students and community people can get continuing education credit," said Dr. Bascom. "They can learn a language that can help them in the workplace and with their very own children. Sometimes it’s helpful for children to sign before they can speak verbally."
ASL is the third most widely used language in the United States, behind English and Spanish. The classes at Bluefield College will begin on August 22nd, on Wednesdays, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.