This primer takes a bilingual, fun approach to help beginning readers, deaf and hearing, improve their comprehension of both English and American Sign Language (ASL).
Handy Stories to Read and Sign takes a bilingual, fun approach to help beginning readers, deaf and hearing, improve their comprehension of both English and American Sign Language (ASL). Charmingly illustrated, the five stories presented here increase in complexity as the children’s vocabulary and reading skills increase during the school year. Introductions to each story explain to parents and teachers the elements emphasized, such as providing helpful information on how the formation of certain signs creates ASL rhymes.
The first story, “School Signs,” is told entirely in single-word sentences. New readers use the story’s rhymes and rhythm to memorize it until they can match the words they hear or the signs they see with the words printed on the page. The second story, “Haunted House,” highlights rhymes in ASL but not in English, and also ASL classifiers. “Thanksgiving Soon” adds refrains that divide the story into different sections, and shows the differences between the structures of the two languages.
The final two stories, “Winter Solstice” and “Class Pet,” introduce young readers to English articles, while also positioning the ASL sign illustrations apart from the English sentences to encourage the children to rely on their new skills. Handy Stories is the perfect bilingual book for teaching children to read and sign.
Donna Jo Napoli is Professor of Linguistics at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA.
Doreen DeLuca is an RID Certified Interpreter who works in the Philadelphia, PA, and Washington, DC, areas.