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A Biingual Approach to Grammar


Presented by Dr. Todd Czubek and Dr. Kristin DiPerri, Boston University


In this workshop we will discuss grammar instruction for DHH students across the US. This has traditionally been an area that incites many teachers to throw their hands up in frustration. One reason for this reaction is the paucity of relevant materials for effective grammar instruction. We will discuss the reasons behind less than optimal writing successes for many students that persist into 2022.

We will present an analogy that will help frame the challenge for DHH students, particularly those with little access to English. This will help teachers have a better understanding of what is needed to provide grammar instruction that will manifest in improved writing abilities. We will also differentiate between practicing and learning grammar and the resulting application this has for the TOD.

We will also provide some insight into effective language teaching when two languages are considered. Borrowing from effective bilingual instruction practices, we will discuss how using ASL to develop sophisticated grammar concepts is a way to improve grammar instruction. 


Participants will be able to: 


  1. Summarize the basic challenges in grammar instruction for the TOD with DHH students who do not have full access to English.
  2. Explain the difference between practicing and learning a grammatical element.
  3. Use the analogy provided to explain why language-deprived Deaf students will struggle to improve their writing given the traditional grammar instructional approach.

Presented by:

Dr. Todd Czubek 

Todd Czubek earned his Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at Boston University. He has been involved in multiple projects designed to improve teaching strategies, applied literacy, and student outcomes especially as they relate to the role of ASL in Deaf children’s academic programming. Todd is a faculty member in Boston University’s Deaf Education Program and co-author of the Bilingual Grammar Curriculum. His interests include exploring how the modality and affordances of ASL, as well as ASL Literacy, can contribute to rethinking texts, composition, genre, and academic programming for Deaf children.

Kristin DiPerri

Kristin DiPerri, Ed.D. is an independent educational consultant and literacy development specialist for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. She has presented numerous workshops and presentations throughout the US and abroad to teachers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. For almost 40 years she has worked as a classroom teacher, a researcher, an instructor in the Deaf Education program at Boston University and as the English Literacy Coordinator at a residential school for the deaf. She consults with several schools/programs in the US and internationally to implement new literacy programming approaches to meet the diverse literacy needs of DHH students. She is the author of several instructional publications: 5 workbooks for students, the Bedrock Literacy Curriculum and co-author with Todd Czubek, Ph.D. of the Bilingual Grammar Curriculum. She is the owner of Bedrock Literacy & Educational Services.



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