SASL Journal Vol. 1, No. 1 - Page 16

ASL : Access , Benefits , and Quality
Rosen
by Mayberry , del Giudice , and Lieberman ( 2011 ) found 57 studies that experimentally tested phonological coding and awareness ( PCA ) skills in thousands of deaf participants . Half of the studies found statistically significant evidence for PCA skills in deaf students . However , only 11 % of the variance in reading proficiency of deaf participants was predicted by PCA skills . Instead , language ability affected 35 % of the variance in reading proficiency . Thus , based on the study , reading achievement in deaf individuals was not based on PCA skills . Language ability had a greater influence on reading ability .
Additionally , Williams ( 1999 ) found that deaf children use sign language as they read and write in order to engage in representational , directive , interactional , personal , and heuristic use of language to support their writing endeavors with English . This is not surprising as ASL is deaf children ’ s native and accessible language . Wilbur ( 2000 ) implored that learning ASL will not affect or interfere with the development of English literacy skills ; instead , it can contribute to higher literacy and cognitive skills . It is at the cognitive-semantic level , rather than the linguistic level , that deaf child users of ASL bridge into English as their second language .
Other studies point to significant positive correlations between ASL usage and English language skills . Prinz and Strong ( 1998 ; 2000 ), and Ausbrooks ( 2007 ) studied language interdependence between ASL and English within the context of reading comprehension skills . They found a statistically significant relationship between ASL morphology and semantics and English reading comprehension , reading vocabulary , and overall English language skills . Hoffmeister ( 2000 ) found that students with intensive ASL exposure scored significantly higher on all ASL measures , the SAT Reading Comprehension subtest , and on the Rhode Island Test of Language Structure than those with more limited exposure . Kuntze ( 2004 ) investigated the ASL and English skills of deaf students , and found that the skill levels of ASL in their rendition of reading passages in printed English significantly predicted their comprehension of the passages . Smith ( 2007 ) found that students with higher English reading comprehension scores also scored statistically significantly better on ASL phonology , morphology , syntax , semantic , and pragmatic tasks on the Test of American Sign Language Abilities — Receptive . These studies show that the language ability of the students in using and comprehending ASL has the potential to carry over as language ability in comprehending English-printed reading .
Padden and Ramsey ( 1998 ), De Garcia ( 2003 ), and Padden ( 2006 ) pointed out that merely knowing a sign language does not support the development of English literacy , but that tying specific elements of it to English print supports reading and writing in deaf signing individuals . Hoffmeister , Philip , Costello , and Grass ( 1997 ) found that students ’ manipulation of certain linguistic elements of ASL ( e . g . classifiers , plurals , and verbs of motion and location ) were directly transferred to understanding of specific syntactical elements of English . The researchers argued that continued development of both languages generated cognitive and linguistic benefits , and that linguistic proficiencies in one language can be transferred to another language . For this to occur , proficiency in one language , say ASL , is needed to facilitate second language learning , such as in English . For the researchers , it was important that deaf children possess metalinguistic knowledge of the languages so that they can transfer literacy skills across the languages .
When ASL is used in classrooms with deaf students , it serves as an intervention agent in the cognitive and language performance of the students ( Saif , 1985 ). ASL intervention refers to the processes by which an intervention agent such as a teacher , specialist or parent uses the sign language in interactions with deaf students to facilitate their communication and comprehension skills . It requires that the students attend to and analyze a set of syntactic structures that is different from English . However , it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss studies on deaf children ’ s
SASLJ , Vol . 1 , No . 1 – Fall / Winter 2017 16
ASL: Access, Benefits, and Quality Rosen by Mayberry, del Giudice, and Lieberman (2011) found 57 studies that experimentally tested phonological coding and awareness (PCA) skills in thousands of deaf participants. Half of the studies found statistically significant evidence for PCA skills in deaf students. However, only 11% of the variance in reading proficiency of deaf participants was predicted by PCA skills. Instead, language ability affected 35% of the variance in reading proficiency. Thus, based on the study, reading achievement in deaf individuals was not based on PCA skills. Language ability had a greater influence on reading ability. Additionally, Williams (1999) found that deaf children use sign language as they read and write in order to engage in representational, directive, interactional, personal, and heuristic use of language to support their writing endeavors with English. This is not surprising as ASL is deaf children’s native and accessible language. Wilbur (2000) implored that learning ASL will not affect or interfere with the development of English literacy skills; instead, it can contribute to higher literacy and cognitive skills. It is at the cognitive-semantic level, rather than the linguistic level, that deaf child users of ASL bridge into English as their second language. Other studies point to significant positive correlations between ASL usage and English language skills. Prinz and Strong (1998; 2000), and Ausbrooks (2007) studied language interdependence between ASL and English within the context of reading comprehension skills. They found a statisticall 6vf6B&VF6&WGvVV4'wB6VF72@VvƗ6&VFr6&VV6&VFrf6'V'BfW&VvƗ6wVvR62आffV7FW"#fVBFB7GVFVG2vFFV6fR4W7W&R66&VB6vf6FǒvW 4V7W&W2FR4B&VFr6&VV67V'FW7BBFR&FR6BFW7B`wVvR7G'V7GW&RFF6RvF&RƖ֗FVBW7W&RVGR#BfW7FvFVBFR4BVvƗ662bFVb7GVFVG2BfVBFBFR6WfV2b4FV"&VFF`&VFr76vW2&FVBVvƗ66vf6Fǒ&VF7FVBFV"6&VV6bFR76vW26֗F#rfVBFB7GVFVG2vFvW"VvƗ6&VFr6&VV666&W2666&V@7FF7F6ǒ6vf6Fǒ&WGFW"4w'w7F6VF2B&vF0F62FRFW7BbW&66vwVvR&ƗFW>( E&V6WFfRFW6R7GVFW26rFBFPwVvR&ƗGbFR7GVFVG2W6rB6&VVFr42FRFVFF6''fW 2wVvR&ƗG6&VVFrVvƗ6&FVB&VFrFFVB&6WFRv&6#2BFFV#bFVBWBFBW&Vǐvr6vwVvRFW2B7W'BFRFWfVVBbVvƗ6ƗFW&7'WBFBGp7V6f2VVVG2bBFVvƗ6&B7W'G2&VFrBw&FrFVb6vrFfGV2आffV7FW"Ɨ67FVBw&72rfVBFB7GVFVG>( VFb6W'FƖwV7F2VVVG2b4Rr676fW'2W&2BfW&'2bFB6FvW&RF&V7FǐG&6fW'&VBFVFW'7FFrb7V6f27F7F6VVVG2bVvƗ6FR&W6V&6W'2&wVV@FB6FVVBFWfVVBb&FwVvW2vVW&FVB6vFfRBƖwV7F2&VVfG2BF@ƖwV7F2&f6V6W2RwVvR6&RG&6fW'&VBFFW"wVvRf"F2F67W"&f6V7RwVvR642VVFVBFf6ƗFFR6V6BwVvRV&r7V62VvƗ6f"FR&W6V&6W'2Bv2'FBFBFVb6G&V76W72WFƖwV7F2vVFvPbFRwVvW26FBFW6G&6fW"ƗFW&7627&72FRwVvW2vV42W6VB677&2vFFVb7GVFVG2B6W'fW22FW'fVFvVBFR6vFfRBwVvRW&f&6RbFR7GVFVG26bR4FW'fVF&VfW'2FFR&6W76W2'v6FW'fVFvVB7V62FV6W"7V6Ɨ7B"&VBW6W2FR6vwVvRFW&7F2vFFVb7GVFVG2Ff6ƗFFRFV"6V6FB6&VV662B&WV&W2FBFR7GVFVG2GFVBFBǗR6WBb7F7F27G'V7GW&W2FB2FffW&V@g&VvƗ6vWfW"B2&WBFR66RbF2'F6RFF67W727GVFW2FVb6G&V( 044Ģf( 2fvFW"#p`