Creating a Language-Rich
Environment with ASL #3
Jenning Prevatte, M. Ed.
All children learn to gesture, it is natural. However, there is a way to make that gesturing meaningful… learn American Sign Language. In our previous Creating a Language Rich Environment with ASL blog, we shared a strategy around labeling the classroom to promote visual literacy and vocabulary development.
In this blog, we would like to deepen our understanding of using ASL to support language and literacy development. ASL supports receptive and expressive language development in hearing children as well as children with exceptionalities. ASL incorporates multiple modalities and makes the language more tangible. Children can experience language through movement, making language come alive. Using ASL with young children is a fantastic way to bring language alive and help create strong brain pathways! Research shows that ASL enhances pre-literacy skills and helps build the bridge of communication with pre-verbal children.
Children that learn ASL have increased early literacy skills
Children that learn ASL have increased early literacy skills. Therefore, it is an effective intervention model for developing pre-literacy skills and ASL is easily incorporated into all aspects of language development. Using ASL as a strategy to support vocabulary development, phonemic awareness, letter-sound relationships, and spelling ability makes it an engaging way for children to develop language and literacy skills.