Why American Sign Language gloss must matter

Samuel J Supalla, Jody H. Cripps, Andrew P J Byrne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


RESPONDING TO AN ARTICLE by Grushkin on how deaf children best learn to read, published, along with the present article, in an American Annals of the Deaf special issue, the authors review American Sign Language gloss. Topics include how ASL gloss enables deaf children to learn to read in their own language and simultaneously experience a transition to written English, and what gloss looks like and how it underlines deaf children’s learning and mastery of English literacy through ASL. Rebuttal of Grushkin’s argument includes data describing a deaf child’s engagement in reading aloud (entirely in ASL) with a gloss text, which occurred without the breakdown implied by Grushkin. The authors characterize Grushkin’s argument that deaf children need to learn to read through a conventional ASL writing system as limiting, asserting that ASL gloss contributes more by providing a path for learning and mastering English literacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-551
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Annals of the Deaf
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • ASL gloss
  • ASL-to-written-English transition
  • Best reading instruction practices
  • Oral reading in ASL
  • Signed language reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Speech and Hearing


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