Western Canadian Centre for Deaf Studies

Current Research Projects

Learning to Read with Languages (ASL And English): A Sign Language Phonology and Reading Intervention Study

Intervention studies have been essential in investigating the role that awareness of the sound structure of spoken languages (i.e. phonological awareness) plays in supporting young hearing children in learning how to read. Yet, many deaf individuals with no or limited access to the sound structure of spoken language effortlessly acquire visual languages (signed languages) and are able to learn how to read fluently. How does this occur?

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Dual Language Educational Apps: A Co-Design Project with Deaf Children

Hearing children have a multitude of sound-supported educational software products available both at home and at school to enhance learning. In contrast, there are few accessible interactive educational products to support learning for deaf children. Researchers at the Minerva Deaf Research Lab are designing some fun, interactive translational products that use Avatar and robotic technology to embed signed language and print skills practice within a technology enhanced digital games environment.

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ASL Assessment Portal: A web-based test administration system for ASL Assessments

In comparison to the availability of spoken language assessments, there are relatively few signed language assessment resources available. The ASL assessment portal (web-based interface) is being developed to support the goal of bringing multiple ASL assessment tools together to assist in more widespread accessibility to ASL assessments used in research and education.

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Assessment Tools: American Sign Language Phonological Awareness Test (ASL-PAT)

Although there are many assessments for evaluating the spoken language skills of hearing children, there are few comparable assessments of American Sign Language for educational use. To better support deaf children’s language and literacy development, these kinds of assessments are urgently needed. We are developing a computerized ASL phonological awareness test for use with children ages 4 to 10.

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The Advancing Adolescent Reading Initiative (AARI)

In this project, we are developing a series of comprehensive, customized, and technology-supported Adolescent Reading professional learning modules for Alberta educators teaching in grades 7 – 12. The modules draw upon the research and teaching expertise of local, national and international adolescent literacy specialists.

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