SASL is used thorough South Africa, and is the national language of Deaf South Africans. According to the 2011 Census, South African Sign Language is the first language of approximately 235 000 people in South Africa. Since 2018, it is offered as Home Language subject at South African schools.

By acquiring this unique South African language, you gain access to the Deaf world, thus enriching yourself, but also placing yourself in a position to help advance the position of the Deaf community.

The course is offered over three years, but students can exit after their first, second, or third year. There is no prerequisite for enrolment for SASL on first-year level except for motivation, passion, and eagerness to learn. To enroll as a second-year SASL student, successful completion of the SASL first-year modules is a prerequisite. For enrolment as a third-year SASL student, successful completion of the second-year SASL modules is a prerequisite.

SASL as a subject is divided into four separate modules, all of which are compulsory:

  • Linguistics: this offers the student a basis for understanding the grammatical aspects of signed languages.
  • Deaf studies: the focus of this module is to provide students with information about the Deaf culture, organisations for the Deaf as well as to establish an understanding of the struggle Deaf people have in having their language recognised.
  • SASL Acquisition and Conversational: During this hour, students are taught vocabulary (signs) related to specific topics, e.g. family, school, food, animals, etc. Students also have the opportunity to practice what they have learned.

Module codes


SASL1514 and 1524


SASL2614 and 2624


SASL 3718 and 3728

Other undergraduate modules offered by the Department of South African Sign Language and Deaf studies:

  • SICL3512
    Linguistic, History and Acquisition
  • SICL4522
    Linguistic, History and Acquisition

For further information, please refer to the 2021 Rule Book.


T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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