Current estimates have more than one million people using American Sign Language (ASL) in the United States, including approximately 450,000 deaf people. As growing numbers of deaf students are integrated into standard schools, the need for ASL interpreters continues to increase. Today, many public education systems offer an ASL course as a language elective in their curriculum, and this book--which can be used to teach both interpreters and the deaf--is an ideal text for such courses. Following a general introduction to American Sign Language and Deaf Culture, the author explains the use of "facial grammar" as a preliminary step to learning and understanding manual signing. Two succeeding chapters present the first eleven key grammatical rules of ASL. The 36 lessons that follow are divided into four groups that put these rules into practice and introduce additional rules. All lessons conclude with a practice session that reviews the lesson's material and progressively develops the student's proficiency in communicating in ASL. Following each of the four groups of nine lessons is a brief chapter dealing with Deaf Culture. The book's many line drawings illustrate approximately 720 ASL signs and their multiple meanings. The author has focused the text to make learning American Sign Language as easy as it is useful, both for instructors and students.