College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Jonathan Penny

  • Program coordinator, instructor

  • Office Hours

    By appointment

Jonathan Penny

M.A., American Sign Language (ASL) education, Gallaudet University, 
B.A., psychology with a minor in English, Gallaudet University




Jonathan is the ASL Program Coordinator at the University of Minnesota. He provides leadership and participates in the development of curriculum and instructional strategies related to language and professional development in ASL and Deaf Culture. Jonathan received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Gallaudet University in psychology and ASL Education, respectively.

Jonathan is an active member in the ASL community and holds Certification with the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA). He has been in the field of ASL pedagogy since 2010 and brings a wealth of teaching experience in various settings (universities, community colleges, community programs). As a multi-generational Deaf and a native ASL signer, his background spans the field of language immersion instruction, methodology, assessment, curriculum development, digital pedagogy, development of ASL courses in online and onsite formats. His work includes evaluating and advancing the curriculum through racial lens to create a learning culture that promotes inclusion, equity, and diversity for all. Through continued research and training in the field of concentration within the ASL and Deaf community, he is interested in gathering and advancing his knowledge in a broad array of subjects not limited to: linguistics, power of languages and accessibility for deaf children, language deprivation, first and second language acquisition and pedagogy, deaf education, curriculum development, use of technology within ASL classrooms.

On a personal level, Jonathan enjoys being involved in the ASL/Deaf community, reading, playing sports, traveling, and can usually be found outside running and exercising or spending time with his friends and family.

Professional memberships/affiliations:

  • ASLTA Certification
  • American Sign Language Teachers Association
  • MinnLoon American Sign Language Teachers Association
  • National Association for the Deaf
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages


  • Linguistics
  • Language and ideology
  • Language phonology: semantics
  • Deaf culture
  • Second language acquisition
  • Second language pedagogy
  • Deaf education
  • Methodology
  • Digital pedagogy
  • Online instruction
  • Assessment
  • Literature
  • Content-based language instruction
  • Language immersion instruction