Teachers’ Responsibilities

ASL teachers and other educators who teach deaf and hard of hearing children share the responsibility of ASL instruction, curriculum, and assessment. For meaningful ASL learning to occur, students must be expected to demonstrate proficiency and use ASL as a tool of analysis within all content areas (see National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP] Reading Framework, 2009). Therefore, teachers of all subject areas should:

  • Provide consistent and rich exposure to academic registers of ASL
  • Create learning activities that not only build content-area concepts but also build ASL vocabulary, language, literacy, and cognitive skills
  • Actualize students’ ability to use both literary and informational texts in ASL
  • Align assessment questions to cognitive targets, mental processes, and kinds of thinking that underlie comprehension of text; students should be able to locate and recall appropriate ASL text, integrate and interpret ASL text, and critique and evaluate information in ASL
  • Provide ASL-based access to the unique vocabularies and discourses of academic disciplines and subject areas (e.g., students should be provided with access to the vocabulary of physicists or mathematicians who discuss theories, principles, facts, and methods connected with their respective disciplines)

(Adapted from NAEP Reading Framework, 2009)

Responsibilities of ASL teachers, specialists, and others who teach ASL to deaf and hard of hearing students vary from one school or program to another. Some teachers teach ASL as an academic subject for specific grades; others teach ASL to deaf and hard of hearing students throughout programs (e.g., elementary, middle school, high school), and others teach ASL to students in all grades (K-12). The Standards are intended to be used by ASL teachers for their instruction regardless of the grade(s) they teach.