15 Principles for Reading to Deaf Children

"The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children." 

National Academy of Education Commission on Reading, 1985

I agree wholeheartedly with this quote above. My experience in teaching has shown me that signing aloud to children does increase their enthusiasm for reading. For instance, about a year ago, a 7th grade student from a mainstream program was transferred to the school where I taught and assigned to my Reading Lab. He was a struggling reader, and he showed no interest in picking up a book whatsoever. However, when he picked up a Berenstain Bears book (way above his independent reading level), he was struggling to comprehend what was going on in the story. I picked it up, started signing aloud and followed the 15 principles for Reading to Deaf Children. He started to smile, followed the signed part with ease, and connected it with the English text. He asked questions about each character, and he could even understand the implicit part of the story. The rest of the semester, he could not stop reading the Berenstain Bears book series.

This experience has inspired me to create an e-book including videos of a narrator signing in American Sign Language and English text so children like him could benefit from it (if there are no fluent adult signers in presence).