Center Papers

Enns & Herman (2011)

Enns, C. J. & Herman, R. C. (2011). Adapting Assessing British Sign Language Development: Receptive Skills Test for use in American Sign Language. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, doi: 10.1093/deafed/enr004. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Signed languages continue to be a key element of deaf education programs that incorporate a bilingual approach to teaching and learning. In order to monitor the success of bilingual deaf education programs, and in particular to monitor the progress of children acquiring signed language, it is essential to develop an assessment tool of signed language skills. Although researchers have developed some checklists and experimental tests related to American Sign Language (ASL) assessment, at this time a standardized measure of ASL does not exist. There have been tests developed in other signed languages, for example, British Sign Language, that can serve as models in this area. The purpose of this study was to adapt the Assessing British Sign Language Development: Receptive Skills Test for use in ASL in order to begin the process of developing a standardized measure of ASL skills. The results suggest that collaboration between researchers in different signed languages can provide a valuable contribution toward filling the gap in the area of signed language assessment.

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