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Empowerment Handbook

Published on Nov 18, 2015

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Empowerment Handbook

ASL/English Bilingual Education for families with young Deaf/Hard of Hearing children in the State of Oregon.


  • History of Bilingualism
  • Policies/Standards of Schools
  • Current Research Practices
  • Bilingualism Benefits
  • Family/Children Rights
  • Resources

History of Bilingualism

  • In 1839 the first US state to pass a law was Ohio, allowing bilingual education in German-English.
  • Shortly after, in 1847, Louisiana passed a law allowing bilingual education in French-English.
Photo by VinothChandar

History of Bilingualism

In 1839 Ohio was the first state to pass a bilingual education law, enabling the state to instruct teaching in schools in German and Egnlish.

In 1906 Congress passed a law requiring all immigrants seeking to reside in the US to speak English.

By 1923 thirty-four US states had passed laws mandating bilingual education.

In 1958 the National Defense Education Law was passed, enabling English as a second language programs to be funded.

In 1965 The Elementary and Second Education Act (ESEA) outlined and provided funds for educational programs that were considered essential for children and public education. Bilingual Education was a program that received funding.

In 1968 the Bilingual Education Act was passed, mandating that schools provide bilingual education.

In 1982 occurred the Amendment to the Bilingual Education Act of 1968,enabling some schools to use English-only instruction.

In 2001 the No Child Left Behind Act was passed. The act mandates that each state must measure every public school student’s progress in reading and math from the third grade through the eighth grade. The act requires that all teachers teaching in Bilingual Education programs be fluent in English and any other language used in the classroom.

Policies of Schools

  • Most school policies are based off of the Bilingual Education Act.
  • Because of this act, state schools for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing have adopted bilingual education policies.
Photo by hdes.copeland

A few policy examples of schools for the Deaf

  • "Deaf people are primarily visual beings, whose eyes are their portal to the world of information and knowledge. Thus, sign language and visual strategies must be made available to Deaf people as a birthright."

Untitled Slide

  • "ASL, when fully developed as a primary language, can facilitate the acquisition of a second language, English, which is used by the linguistic majority in the United States. While the majorities of people in the United States speak, read, and write the majority language English, this majority comprises diverse cultural backgrounds."

Untitled Slide

  • Culture is expressed through language. The two cannot be separated. Linguistic competence in both ASL and English offers deaf students two opportunities: (1) to develop their self-identity as members of the deaf community, and (2) to develop their understanding of how to function effectively in a culturally diverse hearing community.

Current Research Practices

Bilingual Standards of Teaching
Photo by kevincrumbs

Current Research Practices

Bilingual Standards of Teaching
Photo by kevincrumbs

Although there are many standards for teaching English Language Learners (ELLs), the following are 10 standards that were formulated by a research team from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) through Standford University. These standards were created to be used by bilingual teachers. It is important to note that these standards were developed to promote English language proficiency for students whose first language is not English, and have been adapted to fit Deaf and Hard of Hearing students.

Standard #1

  • Construct meaning from sign presentations and literary and informational text through grade appropriate focus, reading, and viewing.
Photo by Michelle Brea

Standard #2

  • Participate in grade appropriate sign and written exchanges of information, ideas, and analyses, responding to peer, audience, or reader comments and questions.
Photo by ninniane

Standard #3

  • Sign and write about grade appropriate complex literary and informational texts and topics.

Standard #4

  • Construct grade appropriate sign and written claims and support them with reasoning and evidence.
Photo by LollyKnit

Standard #5

  • Conduct research and evaluate and communicate findings to answer questions or solve problems.
Photo by gail m tang

Standard #6

  • Analyze and critique the arguments of others through sign and writing.
Photo by д§mд

Standard #7

  • Adapt language choices to purpose, task, and audience when signing and writing.
Photo by Darwin Bell

Standard #8

  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases in sign presentations and literary and informational text.

Standard #9

  • Create clear and coherent grade appropriate signs and text.
Photo by Will Montague

Standard #10

  • Make accurate use of standard English to communicate in grade appropriate sign and writing.
Photo by Ladymaggic

Benefits of Bilingualism

How Deaf and Hard of Hearing can succeed