Starting this September, students in Ontario’s secondary schools will be able to take sign language courses.
Lessons in both American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes quebecoise (LSQ) will be offered as second-language courses at Ontario high schools, making the province the first jurisdiction in Canada to offer these courses. Both ASL and LSQ are distinct languages unto themselves, with unique histories, cultural references, and distinct grammar. Lessons in these languages promise to provide students with opportunities to develop a new language, gain cultural understanding, and learn about ASL or LSQ literary works.
“By expanding second-language course options for students, our Government is cementing its role as a leader in providing innovative learning opportunities,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “By offering students the chance to learn ASL or LSQ, they can expand their language skills while developing greater understanding of Ontario’s ASL and LSQ culture.”
“By giving high school students the opportunity to learn ASL and/or LSQ, we are increasing language and cultural skills,” added Raymond Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility.
All school boards will be offered the ability to provide these courses, including those that serve Simcoe County and Muskoka.