Teachers' use of fingerspelling in communication with their deaf students

Greg Leigh, Merv Hyde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One aspect of teachers’ use of simultaneous communication that has received little attention is their use of finger spelling with their deaf students. This issue is significant from the perspective of teachers’ abilities to encode a more diverse lexicon than that which is available in a particular sign system. In this study both the incidence and accuracy of teachers’ use of fingerspelling are examined for a sample of 30 teachers using Australasian Signed English. Additional variables considered are the extent of teachers experience with the sign system and the grade level of the deaf students taught by the teachers. There was no significant effect for teacher experience. The low incidence of use of finger spelling recorded by the teachers (three percent of their communication) gives cause for concern regarding their meeting curriculum objectives particularly for students in primary and secondary grade levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of Education of the Deaf
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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