Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

David Allsopp, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vonzell Agosto, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeannie Kleinhammer-Tramill, Ph.D.


foreign language, culture, deaf, education


A significant gap has been identified in research-based findings and classroom instructional practices of hearing ASL teachers in high schools in the U.S. (Rosen, 2015). Research has shown the absence of standardized ASL instructional guidelines, rules, and procedures has created a significant gap in teaching and learning practices at the high school level, and research-based findings about the most suitable pedagogical approaches that should be used in ASL induction and immersion programs. This study aims to understand hearing teachers’ perceptions of their ASL instructional practices and choices, using a qualitative research approach and a case study design. Based on a review of the literature on classroom instructional practices of hearing ASL teachers in the high school classroom, 4 separate interviews were conducted with 3 hearing ASL teachers at the high school level in one school district. Findings revealed that teachers' diversified vocabulary instruction, hearing and deaf cultural language etiquette were found to be important in teaching ASL as a second language, and teachers saw teaching of signs and non-manual signals as challenging. The results indicate that hearing ASL teachers encountered several challenges in teaching ASL to hearing students. A major barrier to successful teaching was the dichotomous relationship in deaf and hearing language cultures. On this basis, it is recommended that guidelines be developed to integrate deaf cultural experiences in teaching ASL to hearing students. Further research is needed to understand the effects of integrating hearing and deaf cultural etiquette in teaching ASL to high school students who are hearing.