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ASL Virtual Classes

Courtesy of Visually Speaking.

Courtesy of Visually Speaking.

Samantha Faul, Staff Writer

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The Ector County Independent School District has begun the process of preparing for new virtual classes for American Sign Language, or ASL. The ECISD board voted in September 5-2 for the virtual classes to be approved. ASL is the third most requested of the five foreign languages offered by the district. Two virtual classes will be at Permian High and two others will be offered at Odessa High. The estimated cost for the teachers of the virtual classes is at roughly $60,000.

“I personally would find it difficult to learn because I wouldn’t have the opportunity to speak and connect with a teacher, like physically converse,” sophomore Justice Chapin said. “I’d assume it would be hard assignment wise because I feel like kids would have to submit videos and I would have difficulty with that.”

Some students don’t seem happy about the new class offered. They feel that the money should be going to other subjects, perhaps English and math, that are short staffed.

“The money should be spent staffing departments that are short staffed because there’s just some subjects that are better learned face to face,” junior Travis Trollope said.

The class was only made available for those students that had already received one credit of foreign languages in ASL and required a second.

ASL II student Carlee Marker said, “If I hadn’t already taken ASL I, this would be something that would’ve pushed me to switch languages.”

The class will be taught from an instructor from Austin, with a facilitator in the class to monitor and assist if needed.

“I guess we won’t know how successful it could be unless we try,” Marker said. “It has to be worth something to be able to have a teacher who knows what’s going on or at least has an idea of what their doing,” 

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ASL Virtual Classes