(In-person classes)
(Live Zoom classes and learn at your own pace videos)

was established in April, 2008.  Our first class as ASL Academy was in Boston – an on-site class for a company.  Our first class held in our area was in the spring of 2009, at the former Gibbs College.  The space was donated to help us get established and we held classes there for the spring and summer semesters.  By that time, we had rented our office and Student Center space in Pawtucket with two classrooms.  In January, we added two more classrooms in an adjacent building.

On July 1, 2013, we moved to a new location at 255 Main St in Pawtucket, R.I. This new space allowed us to be together in one building and have our classrooms, lending library, language lab, office and ASL Cafe accessible to all of our students and staff.

In the fall of 2015, we established our Providence program, working with RI School for the Deaf.

In the spring of 2016, we opened classes in Warwick at 2845 Post Road.

In June of 2018, we moved from Pawtucket to Cranston, RI while keeping our Warwick space.

In 2020, we moved our Warwick location across the hall, into a larger class space.

In the spring of 2020, in response to Covid 19, we converted our classrooms into studios, conducting classes on Zoom.  This allowed us to expand to a national audience. As of June 2022, we have students attending from 22 states.

In 2022, we moved again to accommodate our new circumstances.  We have Zoom studios and expanded classroom space. We can now conduct hybrid classes, in person classes and Zoom classes comfortably.  We have carrels for individual study.  This is the educational center we had always hoped for.

I am Manuel Martin, the founder and program director. The ideas behind our school were developed over a period of many years.  The curriculum had its beginnings in 1994, when I started to teach elementary grade classes in Worcester, MA. and there were no effective teaching materials I could find.  I eventually was teaching 15 to 20 classes a week, from kindergarten to adults.  In 2001, I started teaching college classes.  By 2006, I was teaching preschool to University levels, from beginner to full fluency.

From this experience, along with studying second language acquisition, brain function in processing language, exploring visual-spatial perception by left and right-handed persons, analysis of signs in their tiniest components, and other related areas, the present curriculum was developed. It has been used for a number of years with great success. I continue to make improvements as I edit and update it.

Our program consists of five phases:

Phase 1)  Levels 1 – 4  The focus here is on clear, smooth sign production and an understanding of syntax and grammar.

Phase 2)  Levels 5 – 9  The emphasis is on using ASL in three dimensions – building a knowledge of how to represent multiple characters or objects in space.

Phase 3)  Levels 10 to 18:  Advanced vocabulary building and grammar.  Students work producing sentences using new vocabulary and receive grammatical instruction.  They produce presentations of varying types to practice and gain confidence.

Phase 4)  Levels 19 – 24 are conducted with voice for receptive skills building. All four of these levels are a contrastive analysis of ASL and English.  Our video library is utilized to help students with expressive and receptive skills. Students establish individual goals in collaboration with the teacher. They receive specific feedback on their work.

Phase 5)  Two courses – Deaf Studies and Language Lab. Students can take these courses at any time during their enrollment. Here, they learn about the cultural and historical influences on the language.  Assignments are given using our library materials as students are guided in their study.

Additionally, we have Immersions:

     * One-day ASL Immersions
Feb, April, July, Aug, Sept and Oct.

     * Half-day Mini-Mersions
April, May, June Aug and Sept.

We have new classes offered throughout the year.  Level 1 classes evening classes are offered 4 times a year and Saturday level 1 classes are offered twice a year. In the summer, we  also offer  Summer Institutes.

Away from our school, we conduct classes in public and private schools, Early Learning Centers and kindergartens, and for families, companies and agencies.

ASL for toddlers through Elementary Age students:
The ASLA curriculum for these young students is called “See it, Say it, Sign it, Spell it, Write it.” Students gradually develop their skills until they can master all of these five areas. This not only teaches ASL effectively, but reinforces classroom concepts as students use their bodies and space to become fully involved in the language learning process. Fingerspelling and numbers practice help develop letter recognition and a kinesthetic experience with numbers.

ASL Institutes are courses that are 5 days in length and cover one full level of our curriculum. These Institutes are intensive and very productive for students who want to accelerate their learning.

ASL Immersions are all-day sessions where students take a field trip to experience learning in a more natural environment. Our field trips to date have been to:

MA – Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, Sandwich, Sturbridge and Plymouth.
CT – Old Mystic Seaport.
RI – Providence and Newport.

Professional Development workshops can be done on professional days at schools, after school, evenings, weekends, or whatever will fit your needs. See the link “Professional Development Workshops” for more detailed information.

Manuel Martin
ASL Institute and Academy
400 Reservoir Ave
Providence, RI 02907
401 722-1022

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