American Sign Language/ English as a Second Language
(ASL/ESL) (Bilingual-Bicultural)


A manual language that is distinct from spoken English (ASL is not based on English grammar / syntax). Extensively used within and among the deaf community. English is taught as a second language, necessary to teach reading. The primary goal of ASL is to be the deaf child's primary language and allow him / her to communicate before learning to speak or even if the child never learns to speak effectively. Since ASL is commonly referred to as the language of the deaf, it prepares the child for social access to the deaf community.

PRIMARY GOALS
To be the deaf child’s primary language and allow him/her to communicate before learning to speak or even if the child never learns to speak effectively. Since ASL is commonly referred to as "the language of the deaf", it prepares the child for social access to the deaf community.

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT (receptive)
Language is developed through the use of ASL. English is taught as a second language after the child has mastered ASL.

EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE
ASL is child’s primary expressive language in addition to written English.

HEARING
Use of amplification is not a requirement for success with ASL.

FAMILY RESPONSIBILTY
Child must have access to deaf and/or hearing adults who are fluent in ASL in order to develop this as a primary language. If the parents choose this method they will need to become fluent to communicate with their child fully.

PARENT TRAINING
If parents are not deaf, intensive ASL training and education about deaf culture is desired in order for the family to become proficient in the language.

Click here for a complete Communication Options Chart.

more info | related links
 

The American Society for Deaf Children

The National Association for the Deaf

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

 

 

Communication Options
Reference Chart