Monday, March 14, 2005

American Sign Language Literature: ASL Quest

ASL Quest web address:

I found the above site while searching through, which provides subject-based resources for deaf and hard of hearing students.

Although this website does not actually discuss the use of technology in literacy development I feel its use with deaf and hard of hearing students has possible benefits in this area (with a little creativity). This website provides video of ASL literature in the form of poems and narratives. What is ASL literature you ask? Well, according to the site:

"ASL has a literature of its own that has passed down from one generation to the next by culturally Deaf people. Its is conveyed
in a visual spatial dimension. It shares similar elements and functions of any literature in any language. For Deaf childeren, it
is an important building block that presents them opportunities to learn language, knowledge, values, morals and experiences of
the world around them. It also provides them the bridge to English and other literature. ASL literature exists in two forms;
1)through the air and 2) on the videotapes. (Heather Gibson. May 2000)

My personal opinion of this site's influence on the literacy of deaf and hard of hearing students stems from the value of the motivation and ownership students can develop through this site. Often these students have little access to adult deaf and hard of hearing role models, and this site allows these students to view a piece of their culture in their native language. I feel as though this is an extremely important aspect of literacy development for deaf and hard of hearing students--the ability to take ownership of literacy that exists within their culture, not the "hearing" culture. An innovative teacher could use the presentation of the stories and poems on this site as the prompt to several writing and reading activities. Students could view a story or poem online and write a summary of the story they viewed in English, or the teacher could use the viewing of one of the stories or poems as a prompt to a writing/ASL literacy assignment in which the students have to develop their own piece of ASL literacy to be filmed. Furthermore, if one wanted to connect it's use with other posts made in this blog, the viewing of stories or poems on this site could be discussed using ENFI, which could lead to students' authentic writing in English about literature of their own culture. I veiw this site as a form of technology that would benefit the literacy development of deaf and hard of hearing students through increased motivation, ownership, and understanding of language.


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