Lyra Ehlers


ASL Studies Instructor, Deaf Studies & Professional Studies

503-838-8322 |
RWEC 139

At WOU since


Course schedule

Fall 2022
10973 ASL315 AMERICAN DEAF CULTURE MW 1400-1520 RWEC 201
10660 ASL310 ASL FINGERSPELLING TR 1400-1520 RWEC 105


Areas of responsibility

ASL Studies Program Coordinator
ASL Placement Evaluation Coordinator
Student Advising for ASL Studies and Interpreting Studies
ASL Studies Program Faculty/Instructor


M.A. in Linguistics, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.
B.A. in American Sign Language Studies, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR.

Professional experience

Lyra Behnke has taught at WOU since fall of 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Western Oregon University in ASL Studies with a minor in Business and a Master’s degree in Linguistics from Gallaudet University, with a focus in Sign Language Linguistics. She previously worked in the K-12 setting as a ASL Specialist at the Washington School for the Deaf where she worked with students and taught ASL as a first language. Her background as an immersed member of the Deaf community and drawing from her experiences as a Deaf individual contributes to her passion for language learning, especially with ASL.

Lyra is a native of the Pacific Northwest (Ashland, Oregon) and has lived in many locations including the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, DC, the state of Washington, Portland and finally in the Willamette Valley. In her free time, she enjoys camping, traveling, crocheting and knitting, spending time with her adorable nieces and nephews.

Graduate courses taught

ASL 556: First and Second Language Acquisition
DHHE 625: Structure of ASL and English in the Classroom
DHHE 629: Advocacy in Deaf Education


Undergraduate courses taught

ASL 101: American Sign Language I (ASL 1)
ASL 102: American Sign Language II (ASL 2)
ASL 201: American Sign Language IV (ASL 4)
ASL 301: American Sign Language VII (ASL 7)
ASL 302: American Sign Language VIII (ASL 8)
ASL 303: American Sign Language IX (ASL 9)
ASL 353: Introduction to ASL Linguistics
ASL 413: ASL Chereology/Phonology
ASL 414: ASL Morphology
ASL 415: ASL Syntax and Semantics
ASL 420: Sociolinguistics of Deaf Communities
ASL 456: First and Second Language Acquisition
ASL 205: Introduction to ASL Studies
ASL 310: ASL Fingerspelling
ASL 315: American Deaf Culture
ASL 320: Deaf Women Studies

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