Ministry of Education
Provincial and Demonstration Schools Branch

Sir James Whitney

Strive & Succeed

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Bilingual Education

Development of literacy in two languages entails linguistic and cognitive advantages for bilingual students.

Ensures a Bilingual Education for Deaf Students that promotes both American Sign Language (ASL) and English:

  • Language and Literacy Acquisition
  • Critical Thinking Skills and Meta-linguistic awareness and
  • Academic Success
  • Positive Self Image and Successful Social Interaction
  • Appreciation of ASL and Multi-Cultural Identities
  • A Learning Environment Appreciative of Diversity
  • American Sign Language is the first-language base for students. It is used as the language of dialogue, instruction and study. ASL is used to provide students with world knowledge that is a prerequisite for understanding English literacy.
  • First language proficiency creates teaching and learning experiences that increase the academic achievement of every student.
  • First language proficiency in ASL promotes second language (English) mastery.
  • English is a language of instruction and study.
  • ASL and multi-cultural heritage information are used in teaching

Parents are involved in the literary education lives of ASL Bilingual students.

Supporting the Ontario Curriculum’s Goal of Literacy and Numeracy Development:

  • Support the Ontario Curriculum
  • Commitment to EQAO and OSSLT
  • Use of Formal and Informal Measurement and Analysis of ASL and English Language Samples

ASL and English as the Study of a Language

The American Sign Language Curriculum and Ontario Language Curriculum work congruently.

Components that are studied in the ASL Curriculum:

  • Study ASL structures, vocabulary, discourse, semantics, styles, and registers found in stories, poems and others (e.g., (e.g., Clayton Valli’s ASL poetry works, “Cow and Rooster,” Dr. Samuel Supalla’s ASL story, “For a Decent Living”) as well as texts, lectures and interpersonal interactions
  • Analysis
  • Comparison
  • Making judgements
  • Pulling ideas together
  • Other higher level thinking skills to develop meta-linguistic skills in ASL as an academic language – the grammatical knowledge of ASL
  • Analysis of ASL as a repository of cultural heritage knowledge and experiences

Similarly, the Ontario Language Curriculum:

  • Study English structures, vocabulary, discourse, semantics, styles, and registers found in stories, poems and others (Shakespeare’s works)
  • Analysis
  • Comparison
  • Making judgements
  • Pulling ideas together
  • Other higher level thinking skills to develop meta-linguistic skills in English as an academic language – the grammatical knowledge of English
  • Analysis of English as a repository of cultural heritage knowledge and experiences

Instructional Strategies Using Bilingual Approach – ASL and English Skills

  • Meta-cognitive linguistic analysis: studying, comparison and contrasting of two languages
  • ASL PM Benchmark
  • Manipulative Visual Language
  • Cross-Linguistic Transfer Strategies

We strive for a system of support for our students in a community that recognizes their uniqueness inclusively.