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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Picture this : developing deaf students' ASL and written English through picture journals

  • Author(s): Jabali, Jessica Ann
  • et al.

In the field of deaf education, deaf and hard-of-hearing students often struggle with written English. Additionally, due to budget cuts and lack of funding, the Arts are being taught less frequently in the classroom, which can affect students' performance in many academic areas. Using Visual Arts and English Language Arts together, the curriculum promoted deaf students' written English and American Sign Language (ASL) skill development through picture journals in a bilingual education classroom. Students had opportunities to learn about visual arts while experiencing drawing, photography and digital images as they created ideas for their stories in a cooperative learning environment. They created stories in ASL and English and received peer feedback about them. Data collection for this study consisted of field notes, teacher generated rubrics, and student work samples. An evaluation of the picture journal curriculum showed the students improved both their written English and ASL skills during the implementation. The students chose a picture based on their interest and used their motivation of the topic to create short story. They worked collaboratively with partners during different the curriculum and changed their attitude towards the writing process. During ASL presentations of the students' stories, observations showed improvements in their presentation skills and ASL development

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