American Sign Language, or ASL, classes teach students to communicate with the deaf using a standardized system of hand motions and facial expressions. ASL is the most common form of communication for deaf people in North America and differs from sign language in other countries.
In ASL classes, students learn the hand positions used to sign the individual letters of the alphabet. Since sign language is entirely visual, ASL speakers must use distinct facial expressions and body movements, such as leaning forward or raising their eyebrows, to convey the tone of a sentence and let others know when a question is being asked. Children who are born deaf are often taught ASL from an early age, but people who develop hearing loss or have deaf relatives may take classes to receive formal instruction.