Becoming Bilingual: Facilitating English Literacy Development Using ASL in Preschool

Lynn Erting, Judy Pfau

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Summary:

This paper discusses the emerging literacy of children with deafness within the framework of the additive bilingual perspective, and how teachers can facilitate the development of American Sign Language (ASL) and English literacy in preschool children with deafness. It addresses meta-linguistic awareness in terms of becoming aware of the two languages, shared storybook experiences, and writing development. Other factors such as the importance of fingerspelling, social interaction, and the use of environmental print are included within these three areas of focus. Strategies for effective storybook sharing are provided and include creating a positive and risk-free environment, competence in ASL on the part of the adult, providing background information and context when necessary, asking questions which require active participation and thinking on the part of the children, providing scaffolded support to guide children in their comprehension of the story, and relating the book to the children's lives.(Contains 58 references.) 

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Bibliographic Information:

Lynn Erting, Judy Pfau. Becoming Bilingual: Facilitating English Literacy Development Using ASL in Preschool (1997). Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center: Washington, DC. (15 pages).

Sponsoring Agency: U.S. Department of Education

Language: English

Reading Level: Easy

Formats Available: Printed Material

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Availability:

(Contact producer regarding price, also available online, click on full text button )

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center
800 Florida Avenue, NE
KDES Room 3400
Gallaudet University
Washington, DC
20002

URL: http://www.gallaudet.edu/clerc_center.html

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Producer Information:

Intended User Audience:

This material was developed for teachers of preschool-aged deaf children. It is written specifically for parents and practitioners to understand their roles as facilitators in students' development of ASL (American Sign Language) and English. It is part of the Pre-College National Mission Programs' Sharing Ideas series. The papers and videos in this series are directed to improving the quality of education for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The material is not written for a specific cultural group or geographic region. 

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Product evaluation information was not obtained by CLAS. 

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Product dissemintion figures for the print version were not obtained, the material is also available online. 

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