Introduction to Sign Language

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  • Instructor: Stephanie Walburn
  • Grades 4+
  • This is an all-inclusive semester-long course.

Course Overview

In this class, students will cover the basics of sign language (alphabet, numbers, basic word groups) and move into learning the hymn, Yes, Jesus Loves Me. The goal will be to teach kids how to better relate and share the love of Christ with those who use sign language to communicate.

Please Note: Sign language, like every other world language, is an ever-changing entity. While care has been taken to use the most commonly accepted versions, any given region will have their own variations for a given sign. Please always defer to your local community's preferred signs. 


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Frequently asked questions

Can there be different signs for the same word? 

Yes, there can be multiple signs used for varying reasons. 

While there is a commonly recognized standard known as American Sign Language (ASL), there is no such thing as a universal sign language. Different countries or regions can use different signs for similar words.

Language is an ever-changing method of communication. Consider how much it has changed since the introduction of technology. Words that we use today were not common before home computers, laptops, and multiple devices. I have encountered this as I have worked with deaf and hard of hearing people in different parts of the United States. I always defer to their sign preference for a word or concept. Working in a variety of regions has allowed me to expand my signing vocabulary and adapt my skillset.  

What is covered in this course?

Introduction to Sign Language is a vocabulary-based course taught to begin building a topical vocabulary. Grammar and sentence structure are not included in this level.  

How does sign language differ from spoken language?

American Sign Language (ASL) contains the fundamental features of language but is also separate from the spoken English language. For example, a hearing person can use their voice inflection to ask a question or give a command that the deaf person would not hear. The deaf person would use facial gestures such as raised eyebrows, etc., so this course also covers the importance of including those elements as part of the communication process.
Meet the instructor

Stephanie Walburn

Stephanie felt led into sign language ministry as a young adult so she began working with her local church to create an outreach to the Deaf community. She has continued this work in various churches and has also worked as a collegiate contract interpreter for the state of Alabama. She enjoys spending time with her husband of more than forty years, her two grown children and their spouses, and being "Gia" to five beautiful grandchildren. 
Patrick Jones - Course author