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NECC Partners with North Andover High School

Submitted by on July 8, 2011 – 10:29 am

Students Earn College Credits for American Sign Language Course

No one talks in Larry Stephen’s Classroom, not even him.

Born deaf, Stephen is an NECC adjunct faculty member who teaches American Sign Language (ASL) at North Andover High School (NAHS). These students can receive both high school and college credits. The program is part of NECC’s larger dual enrollment effort, providing opportunities for high school students to take college-level courses.

“We wanted to offer our students a nontraditional foreign language option,” Carla A. Scuzzarella, Ed.D, NAHS principal. ASL fulfills the two-year foreign language requirement which is part of the Massachusetts Recommended Core Curriculum, adopted by NAHS two years ago. “We also felt sign language would be a great skill for students to learn.”

Taught almost entirely in sign language, Elementary ASL covers basic grammatical rules, including vocabulary, finger spelling, numbers, and facial grammar.

Talking is not permitted. Stephen and students communicate by signing.

“The Deaf community is everywhere,” Stephen offers through an interpreter. “Whatever they learn in here, I just want them to be able to communicate and be involved in the Deaf Community.”