In fall 2013, a number of students formed a friendship over their mutual appreciation and interest in American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf culture. As a result of their desire to bring increased exposure to ASL on the Princeton campus, academically and socially, they formed the Princeton University American Sign Language Club (PUASL) which advocated for credit and non credit American Sign Language (ASL) instruction on campus. In spring 2014 the first not-for-credit evening courses were taught through “Campus Rec” in Dillon Gym.
Noah Buchholz, artist, translator, and inspirational Deaf Instructor, who had previously taught ASL at Bethel College, Indiana, attracted more than a dozen students from all corners of the campus. In Spring 2017, the Program in Linguistics and Program in Translation jointly sponsored the first credit-bearing course LIN 205/TRA 205: “Beginning American Sign Language.” Far exceeding expectations, fifty-seven students enrolled, places being filled within minutes of open registration.
This fall, Buchholz returns to teach Beginner and Intermediate ASL courses. Students participate in energetic and engaging instruction influenced by Buchholz’s parallel career as a stand-up comedian; expect classrooms completely silent, punctuated with frequent bursts of laughter at the jokes told by hands, face and body.
For a glimpse of the ASL class, see this video created by the Office of Communications where students describe their experiences in the course and how the communication skills they learn will carry forward into their future.
See here for fall 2018 course information and enrollment.