ASL Standards

Between 2005 and 2010, ASLTA and the NCIEC collaborated on the development of standards for use by teachers and administrators in ASL instruction for K-16 settings. Aligned with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) framework, the standards focus on Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons and Communities – the “5 C’s” of language instruction. Like ACTFL Standards for other languages, the ASL standards are not a curriculum guide and do not prescribe specific sequencing of coursework. However, they are important in their application to curriculum development and revision at all levels of instruction and for diverse learners.

To learn more about the value and use of the standards for ASL instruction, please review the resources provided below.


Ashton, G., et. al. (2013). Standards for learning American Sign Language. ACTFL Publication forthcoming.

Peterson, R. (2006). sine qua non: language standards in interpreting education. PowerPoint presentation. Conference of Interpreter Trainers Conference, October 2006.

Peterson, R. (2009) NCIEC ASL standards workteam. In VIEWS. Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., Winter, 2009.

Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Executive Summary (PDF). American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.