Following on the heels of our successful “Sign &Sing” program,
we are launching this summer, a reading program using sign language as a vehicle to support reading skills.
Class details to follow.
Below is an article supporting the research on Dr Laura Felzer’s innovative reading program.
RESEARCH ON HOW SIGNING HELPS HEARING CHILDREN LEARN TO READ
SUMMARIZED BY LAURA FELZER
| MBR READING PROGRAM INTRODUCTION AND TABLE OF CONTENTS |
Although signs were originally developed to help the hearing-impaired communicate, it turns out they can also help hearing children learn to read. This report will summarize various research findings that have demonstrated how hearing children successfully learned to read or improve their reading skills with the use of signing and fingerspelling. The term “signing” also known as “sign language” refers to hand positions that represent entire words or phrases. The term “fingerspelling” refers to separate hand positions for each letter of the alphabet. Sign language is usually used to help teach sight words whereas fingerspelling is usually used to teach spelling and phonics.
The use of signs to help hearing children learn dates back to the 19′th century when Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, who pioneered education for the deaf in the United States, advocated using sign language and fingerspelling to help increase vocabulary and language development in hearing children (Daniels, 1996 Child Study Journal). In 1852 David Bartlett taught deaf children and their hearing siblings in a family school. He discovered that signing and fingerspelling not only helped the deaf children learn but it also helped their hearing siblings as well (Blackburn et. al. 1984). Other educators of the hearing impaired during the 19′th century made similar observations and also recommended that signing be used to help teach reading, spelling and writing to hearing children (Hafer and Wilson, 1989). However, during the early part of the 20th century signing fell in disfavor and was not encouraged for use with the hearing impaired or, as it turns out, with hearing children. Not until the late 20′th century was signing once again fully accepted and recognized as an independent language (Daniels, 1996 Child Study Journal).
Vodpod videos no longer available.