Foundational Skills

The following standards are directed toward fostering students’ understanding and working knowledge of concepts of the five parameters (handshape, movement, non-manual markers, location, orientation), fingerspelling and basic structure of American Sign Language. They are basic components of linguistic understanding that all students need to comprehend academic texts in ASL. These foundational skills are not an end in and of themselves; rather, they are necessary and important components of an effective, comprehensive viewing program designed to develop proficient viewers with the capacity to comprehend texts across a range of types and disciplines. Instruction should be differentiated: good viewers will need much less practice with these concepts than struggling viewers will. The point is to teach students what they need to learn and not what they already know-to discern when particular children or activities warrant more or less attention.