This study focuses on factors that motivate and demotivate professionals to learn American Sign Language (ASL). Using a qualitative approach known as the Critical Incident Technique (CIT), faculty and staff were asked to reflect on their sign language learning expericences, and their responses were examined for motivational patterns. Principal motivating factors were intrinsic in nature, including a desire to perform well in one's position, personal goals, and an interest in sign language per se. Integrative factors were also important, especially an interest in social interactions with deaf people. Principal factors that demotivated the respondents were more extrinsic in nature, dealing with workload, scheduling issues associated with the sign language curriculum, instruction, and the attitudes of self and others. We draw implications from the findings for the enhancement of sign language instruction programs.

Publication Date



ISSN:1081-4159 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

American Sign Language and Interpreting Education (NTID)


RIT – Main Campus