Language Lesson: Fingerspelling

Deaf teachers use visual strategies for incorporating fingerspelling into classroom instruction. Studies on these visual strategies show that they are a natural part of classroom interaction and are used to promote greater understanding and retention of academic material.

 

Three such instructional strategies for using fingerspelling are as follows:

 

(1) Chaining, (2) Sandwiching, and (3) Lexicalized Fingerspelling.

 

Chaining

 

Chaining is used for introducing new concepts or new vocabulary terms. Chaining creates associations by connecting signs, fingerspelling, and the printed/written word in a sequence, with one format reinforcing the previous one. Through chaining, the teacher provides multiple ways for the students to learn the word and concept. In addition, teachers may use objects, pictures, or multimedia to reinforce the concepts. For example, when teaching the word, tornado, a teacher might choose one of the following sequences:

 

1) Point to the word tornado written on the board;

2) fingerspell T-O-R-N-A-D-O; and

3) sign TORNADO.

 

Or:

 

1) Fingerspell T-O-R-N-A-D-O;

2) sign TORNADO; and

3) write tornado on the board.

 

Sandwiching

The sandwiching technique alternates between fingerspelling and signing. This method also reinforces the equivalency of ASL and English.

 

1) Fingerspell T-O-R-N-A-D-O;

2) sign TORNADO; and

3) fingerspell T-O-R-N-A-D-O again.

 

Or:

 

1) Sign TORNADO;

2) fingerspell T-O-R-N-A-D-O; and

3) sign TORNADO again.

 

Lexicalized Fingerspelling

New signs are created through a process where fingerspelled words are altered or lexicalized to become more sign-like. Commonly referred to as loan signs, these signs sometimes omit letters (#JOB) while others blend the handshapes seamlessly (#BUS). Through this process, a loan sign is formed. Lexicalized fingerspelled signs include nouns, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, interjections and wh-words. Lexicalized fingerspelling transforms the fingerspelled word into a sign-like visual image. Deaf teachers often use this technique; first, they produce a neutral version of a fingerspelled word, and then follow that with a lexicalized version. This process supports visual memory and facilitates retention.

 

Common Fingerspelled Loan Signs

#BANK #BACK #OFF #ON #IF

#SALE #EARLY #BUT #BUS #CAR

#WHAT #DO #SO #OK #JOB

#YES #NO #DOG #TOY #FIX

 

 

What does lexicalized fingerspelling look like?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8soqLZgPek


 

Reference:

Visual Language and Visual Learning Science of Learning Center. (2010, July). The Importance of Fingerspelling for Reading. (Research Brief No. 1). Washington, DC: Sharon Baker.

 


 

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A Day in the Life: Meet Franklin

Meet Franklin who is 5 years old. He is profoundly deaf and was identified at 1 year old. His parents, who are hearing, have chosen ASL as his modality. He is in kindergarten in a mainstream classroom.

4:03 PM

Franklin is just arriving home after a long 7 hour school day. He is hot and sweaty after his 45 minute bus commute from school to his house. He has homework to do – read a book and draw a picture of his favorite scene in the book. He can’t read yet, so he has to wait until his parents are able to read to him and help him with his homework.

Franklin is preparing for his homework activity by setting up on the kitchen table his paper, colored pencils, and the book he’s chosen. Mom works from home but doesn’t finish work until 5 PM. Dad won’t be home until much later, usually after 9 PM. Mom is a hearing parent whose ASL has improved greatly over the past several years, but she doesn’t feel confident in her ability communicating with Franklin.

Classroom Strategies to Build and Strengthen Literacy Skills

I stumbled upon a fantastic, informative website.

Reading Rockets.

But it’s more than just a website. It’s a movement.

This is what they say about themselves:
“We bring the best research-based strategies to teachers, parents, administrators, librarians, childcare providers, and anyone else involved in helping a young child become a strong, confident reader. Our goal is to bring the reading research to life — to spread the word about reading instruction and to present ‘what works’ in a way that parents and educators can understand and use.”

I just had to share the classroom strategies that I found there. Here’s a peek…

Reading Rockets 1

Further down, they list the different categories of strategies with guidance.

Reading Rockets 2

Here’s an example of one of their strategies — word maps.

Reading Rockets 3

You can find them here. Or by using this link: http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/.

This is a gift to all teachers, professionals, parents, and families who actively play a role in a child’s language and literacy development. Many thanks to Reading Rockets for providing educators with this wonderful resource.

Did you find this helpful? Let us know at gapathway@gmail.com.

Deaf Education: Writing Strategies for Literacy

In classrooms for children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH), written language instruction is part of a rich literacy-learning environment. Written language instruction is not handwriting. It is an expressive version of language just like speaking. Instruction on how to form letters is handwriting. Written language starts with the idea that words have meaning and can be written down.

In Mayer’s (2007) article, “What Really Matters in the Early Literacy Development of Deaf Children,” the author highlights the importance of creating a rich literacy-learning environment and describes a classroom that: includes practices that are relevant, purposeful, and functional for the learner . . . [and] provide daily opportunities to experiment with reading and writing, linking literacy experiences and the active use of language (p. 424).

Here are two activities that teachers can try with students in the classroom or parents can try at home.

Writing Activities Restaurant and Jigsaw

Let us know what you think about these activities, whether you found them helpful or if you need help in another area of language/literacy development. You can write to us at gapathway@gmail.com.

What Words Should I Teach My Child?

Once you’ve determined whether your child is a language learner or language developer, you can target different vocabulary words each week. Here’s a guide to choosing vocab words.

Choosing Words page 8

 

What words will you target this week?

 

For Teachers and Parents: Targeting Vocabulary

Enriching your child’s language is the foundation for literacy.

But how?

Here’s an introduction to get you started…

 

 

Picture7

Target 5 to 7

What words will you target this week in your classroom or at home?

Next, we will share with you what it means to target vocabulary in a meaningful context

Hope to see you back here soon!

 

Link

A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Rachel Kolb sees effective communication as essential to ideas, creativity and progress.  She received a BA with honors in English from Stanford and graduated in June 2013 with a coterminal master’s degree in English. While at Stanford, Kolb has been active in the Stanford Equestrian Team, Leland Quarterly, Stanford Daily and Stanford Power to ACT. She aspires to be a writer, scholar and public disability advocate. Kolb was named an American Rhodes scholar in November 2012 and will pursue an MSc in contemporary literature at Oxford beginning in October 2013.

She is also a deaf adult.

FREE Education Workshop: Visual Phonics Training

Visual Phonics WorkshopCommon Core Standards for English/Language Arts, Foundational Reading Skills require children to “grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words” http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RF/K

What is Visual Phonics?

Visual Phonics is an evidence-based strategy to teach sound-letter associations and phonics to children who have no access to sound or low levels of speech perception. It’s been effective as a supplement to general education reading programs. It is not a sign system; it’s a supplemental tool to help children see the sound and give clues about how it’s articulated.

The Center on Literacy and Deafness (CLAD) will offer free training for GA teachers (limited availability). See flyer for more information.

To learn more about Georgia Pathway to Language & Literacy, please visit our website at www.georgialiteracy.org or email us at gapathway@gmail.com.

Research Presentation: Language & Literacy

GSU Flyer

Don’t miss this presentation by Dr. Kim Wolbers of University of Tennessee!

It’s here in Atlanta.

It’s FREE.

There will be ASL interpretation.

There’s no reason you should miss this, right?

Right.

See you there on MAY 13th, Pathfinders!

To learn more about Georgia Pathway to Language & Literacy, please visit our website at www.georgialiteracy.org or email us at gapathway@gmail.com.