Fingerspelling Our Way to Reading

Center on Literacy and Deafness developed three interventions that are available to teachers. Below is a brief description of a curriculum that improves literacy through fingerspelling. Please follow the links to learn more about the program.

Fingerspelling Our Way to Reading is specifically designed for DHH children in kindergarten through second grade attending bilingual ASL-English programs. CLAD has evidence that DHH children who do not access spoken English may learn to read through an alternative pathway—namely through fingerspelling and explicit bilingual instruction. That is why CLAD team members have developed Fingerspelling Our Way to Reading. Targeted learning objectives include fingerspelling phonological awareness, word reading, reading comprehension, reading fluency, and vocabulary. Weekly lessons are organized around fingerspelling word families. Children are given extensive practice fingerspelling and reading words. Vocabulary, conceptual understanding, and reading comprehension are built through the use of ASL stories and reading original storybooks. Fingerspelling Our Way to Reading has been widely disseminated to schools and teachers across the U.S. since 2018. To learn about the program and how to bring it to your school go to the Fingerspelling Our Way to Reading website.