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Strategies for Deaf Students’ Academic ASL Development: Lessons from Research on ASL Literacy Practices

Achieving literacy, specifically for DHH students has been an ongoing main focus of deaf education. With the advent of evolving video technology, there is a growing trend toward the use of ASL videotexts as a medium for Deaf ASL/English bilingual students’ sign language learning and literacy development. In this presentation, Dr. Zernovoj (a) summarizes key findings of his groundbreaking dissertation research on the impact of ASL videotexts on Deaf bilingual students’ literacy development, (b) provides research-based strategies and tools for utilizing ASL videotexts during literacy activities, and (c) offers recommendations for DHH teachers (and ASL teachers) about incorporating ASL literature and informational videotexts in the classroom. It is these findings that will clearly show why ASL classes for Deaf bilingual students matter.


Alex Zernovoj

Alex Zernovoj

Dr. Zernovoj is a District ASL Specialist & DHH Itinerant Teacher in SDUSD. Before SDUSD, Dr. Zernovoj worked as the ASL/Bilingual Curriculum Specialist at CSDR, where he was responsible for uniting current ASL research into classroom practice as well as corpus and curriculum design. While at CSDR, Dr. Zernovoj developed a high school standards-based ASL literature studies curriculum. He also was one of the key researchers responsible for the research foundation as well as the initial content standards for the national K-12 ASL Standards. Dr. Zernovoj began his career as an ASL/English bilingual teacher, primarily teaching English and ASL language arts to middle and high school students at the Clerc Center. Dr. Zernovoj holds a doctorate in Education at UCSD. He has two master’s degrees in ASL-English Bilingual Education from UCSD and Deaf Studies from Gallaudet University.