Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology and Special Education

First Advisor

Susan Easterbrooks

Second Advisor

Paul Alberto

Third Advisor

Nicole Patton-Terry

Fourth Advisor

Jenny Singleton


Students who are deaf and use sign language frequently have language delays that affect their literacy skills. Students who use American Sign Language (ASL) often lack fluent language models in both the home and school settings, delaying both the development of a first language and the development of literacy in printed English. Mediated and scaffolded instruction presented by a More Knowledgeable Other (MKO; Vygotsky, 1978, 1994) may facilitate acquisition of a first foundational language. Repeated viewings of fluent ASL models on DVDs paired with adult mediation has resulted in increases in vocabulary skills for DHH students who used ASL (Cannon, Fredrick, & Easterbrooks, 2010; Golos, 2010; Mueller & Hurtig, 2010). Classifiers are a syntactic sub-category of ASL vocabulary that provides a critical link between ASL and the meaning of English phrases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of teacher-mediated repeated viewings of ASL stories on DHH students’ classifier production during narrative retells. This study included 10 student participants in second, third, and fourth grades and three teacher participants from an urban day school for students who are DHH. The researcher used a multiple baseline across participants design followed by visual analysis and calculation of the percentage of non-overlapping data (PND; Scruggs, Mastropieri, & Casto, 1987) to examine the effects of the intervention. All students increased their classifier production during narrative retells following a combination of teacher mediation paired with repeated viewings of ASL models.