The teachers at Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD) find a challenge: their ability to translate fluently between two languages grammatically, American Sign Language (ASL) and English providing the instructions related to the literacy. Almost all of the teachers have been rated at the Advanced level of Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI), an assessment measurement. The indication is that they do not demonstrate complete bilingual competence. For the literacy skills, it is important for the teachers to be able to switch fluidly between the two langues of instruction - ASL and English - while teaching deaf and hard of hearing students in the classroom. This is where the attention shifts to the needs of teachers. To satisfy the teacher's particular needs, they need to attend professional development training to improve their language skills, enhance their metacognitive skills and be able to apply the bilingual strategy to their instruction. The one-year professional development training was designed to provide the resources for the teachers and teacher assistants to work in this area. After one year of training, they would have more knowledge in grammar translation between ASL and English and be able to apply bilingual strategies in the classroom. Consequently, teachers hope that children will acquire more literacy skills in both ASL amd English. This proposal outlines a professional development training program, which focuses on teachers' amd teacher assistants' development of metacognitive awareness of targeted language concepts. After a one-year training period, the participants' skills will increase in grammar translation between ASL and English in order to apply bilingual strategies in the classroom. This will positively impact the literacy development of their deaf and hard of hearing students.
Department, Program, or Center
Master of Science of Secondary Education of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (NTID)
Staehle, Sharon, "A professional development curriculum for educators of deaf students: comparative linguistics" (2005). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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