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Learning ASL for Book Reports at East Islip HS

Learning ASL for Book Reports at East Islip High School thumbnail218001
Learning ASL for Book Reports at East Islip High School thumbnail218002
Learning ASL for Book Reports at East Islip High School thumbnail218003

Students in the Cleary School for the Deaf’s secondary program at East Islip High School enrolled in teacher Greg Kguloian’s English class recently helped the class’ hearing students learn some American Sign Language to present book reports.

Students formed cooperative groups called reading pods, working with a hearing-impaired student and an ASL interpreter to learn how to “sign” sentences that tell what they learned from the book they all read together. Each student then shared with the others in the group. The reading pods broke the final reading assignment into separate but equitable pieces and then shared what they learned from the reading as a team, with each student in every pod telling the class about the book via ASL.

“When I taught at St. Anthony’s High School before coming to East Islip more than 25 years ago, I had a hearing-impaired student who inspired me to learn ASL in order to communicate more readily and directly with that one deaf pupil,” Kguloian said. “Over the course of that year, I was better able to make a connection with the deaf student in my class. By signing as I taught, other kids in the class became interested in knowing how to sign. At the end of that academic year, the entire class had learned quite a few signs and were able to communicate with the hearing-impaired pupil. That experience stayed with me for all of these years, and has even given rise to several other lessons that involve teaching a few simple signs and gestures to show the Cleary School students that the hearing community not only ‘sees’ them in the school that we all share, but acknowledges them with a language that encourages a bridge between the deaf and the hearing communities. We are all in this life together, and, when we take the time to find a positive way to make each other feel welcome and supported, it encourages everyone to know that we’re all part of the same community of learners.”

Date Added: 5/27/2022

Monday, August 08, 2022