ERIC Number: ED284179
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Using Fingerspelling/Manual Signs to Facilitate Reading and Spelling.
Koehler, Linda J. S.; Lloyd, Lyle L.
Research indicates that using the manual alphabet in classes of non-deaf students is effective both for spelling and vocabulary instruction. Teachers appreciate the way signing physically involves the students, acts as a self-cueing system, is inexpensive, and helps with writing problems like "b" and "d" reversals. Other advantages are: (1) it is easier to attend to visual symbols than to auditory ones in a noisy environment; (2) there is greater consistency in representation of visual/manual symbols than auditory/vocal symbols; (3) the temporal duration of visual symbols can be adjusted with little distortion; and (4) visual/manual signs are more easily associated with visual referents than are spoken symbols. Research on the effects of fingerspelling on phonemic awareness and reading/spelling shows that it can help learners segment syllables into sounds. Fingerspelling is useful for helping dyslexic children (and illiterate adults) in non-English speaking countries, as is shown by studies conducted in Belgium, Portugal, and Sweden as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom. Fingerspelling has been shown to be of more benefit than traditional phonics instruction, because the visual cues reinforce the separate sound segments, and it benefits reading because of its time orientation--it shows learners the importance of sequencing of sounds or letters. Another advantage of fingerspelling is that it helps with memory drills. (A bibliographic listing of the literature reviewed is included.) (SKC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (4th, Cardiff, Wales, September 22-24, 1986).