Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


School of Teacher Education

Document Type



While being a language with which to communicate, American Sign Language (ASL) has also been used in some elementary school settings to supplement curriculum for different students. There has been little research, however, on how sign language can be used to teach the specific population of English Language Learners. This is an important student group on which to focus because the number of EL students has consistently increased over the last ten years. With this in mind, teaching professionals need to find the most effective strategies to support their diverse students. Many primary EL students struggle particularly with sight words, which are high frequency words that oftentimes break traditional English rules. The purpose of this research project was to see if American Sign Language can be added to the instruction of sight words to increase student success with the words compared to the typical drill-and-practice. Results indicated that American Sign Language could be used to help students experience mastery of sight words and engage other students in the process of learning them.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Susan Keesey, Dr. Christina Noel, Dr. Julia Mittelberg


Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Language and Literacy Education