Thesis Title

American Sign Language as an Aid in Teaching Kindergarten Language Arts Content Standards to Speaking English Language Learners and Speech and Hearing Impaired

Graduation Date

Spring 2007

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD

Abstract

Deaf student using American Sign Language (ASL) have shown higher vocabulary test results compared to their speaking counterparts. The purpose of this study is to investigate if ASL can aid in teaching kindergarten language art content standards to English language learners and speech and hearing impaired students.

Research indicates that the visual spatial modality involved in ASL is a reception format for these students. The kinesthetic component in ASL aids in connecting an abstract word to an iconic visual hand signal that students can categorize and retain. The use of fingerspelling facilitates in building a vocabulary prior to introduction reading and writing. Research has shown increased test results when ASL is used in classrooms of speaking students.

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