UManitoba: Researchers Develop Standards for American Sign Language Classes

Feb 9, 2011 | Corporate Member News

The University of Manitoba is the only Canadian institute involved in a novel project that will develop American Sign Language (ASL) content standards for students in Grades K-12. 

These content standards will outline the ASL skills that students should have at each grade level and allow teachers to plan instruction by comparing student skills against the standards. The project is headed by The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University (Clerc Center). 

Erin Wilkinson

The University of Manitoba’s innovative linguistics department — which is home to Erin Wilkinson, a deaf linguist who is leading a unique research program aimed at understanding the commonalities between signed languages and spoken languages so that she may better illuminate the universal characteristics of language – was chosen to participate because of its expertise in deaf education, language and literacy development, and ASL assessment. 

Other team members include researchers from Boston University; University of California, San Diego; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; California School for the Deaf-Riverside; Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis, Indiana; and The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, Massachusetts. 

Dissemination of the final ASL content standards is slated to happen in early 2013. For more information about this contract, the award recipients, and a video of this announcement in ASL, visit 

For more information contact Sean Moore, public affairs, University of Manitoba, 204-474-7963 ([email protected]).

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