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VL2 10/24/12 Crume Teachers' Perceptions of the Use of ASL Phonological Instruction to Develop ASL and English Literacy in an ASL/English Bilingual Preschool

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Peter Crume, PhD
Georgia State University
Teachers' Perceptions of the Use of
ASL Phonological Instruction to
Develop ASL and English Literacy in
an ASL/English Bilingual Preschool

Abstract: This study seeks to understand how teachers who work in an ASL/English bilingual educational program for preschool children conceptualize and utilize phonological instruction of American Sign Language (ASL). While instruction that promotes phonological awareness of spoken English is thought to provide educational benefits to young children in terms of language proficiency and reading development, there is limited understanding of how deaf children may similarly benefit from the phonological instruction of ASL. Part of the resistance in promoting ASL may be related to how signs native to ASL do not directly map onto written English in the same way that spoken English does. However, ASL does incorporate the use of the manual alphabet, which is a manual representation of the English alphabet, and many signs in ASL do have partial or full overlap to words in the orthography of English. ASL also has the added benefit of being considered the natural language for deaf people, which allows teachers with the means to promote ASL phonological instruction in ways that allow students to access and utilize a language in ways that can maximize their ability to process information.

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