Special features:


Most D/HH college teacher training programs simply do not have enough time to provide students with everything they will need to be effective instructors in all areas of education. Instead they are advised to "learn on the job" and via ongoing professional development activities. However, many trainings offered to D/HH teachers do not offer the answers that best address their students needs. 


This curriculum is also written with the teacher (or parent) in mind-- to provide additional information to help explain why English instruction can be so very confusing and how to make instruction clearer.


               For example, a Red Flag is provided to alert the teacher to specific areas where DHH students often become confused. The red flag symbol is          

              added to help teachers understand the potential problem and highlight those areas that obscure or complicate the process for students.

What is the rationale for using this curriculum for beginning English instruction?


Consider this….. a hearing child has literally heard the words "IS"  "ARE"  "THE" used thousands of time before he enters Kindergarten- in natural, everyday, familiar context. Without understanding the grammatical rules, he is able use these grammatical elements correctly in the majority of his communication. In school he will complete English exercises that require him to practice what he has already mastered naturally. In direct contrast, the Deaf or Hard of Hearing child, who has not had similar access to English, is expected to master these concepts using similar literacy materials. However the depth and appropriate skill building is not included in these materials. Thus, many D/HH children learn skills only partially…and often without full understanding. Further, given grade level expectations, they are expected to continue along in the "curriculum" whether or not they have fully learned these necessary elements. 


Therefore, regardless of the educational approach/language modality used, all D/HH students need to be sure they develop those skills which form the foundation of English literacy in a fully comprehensible manner. This curriculum guides the teacher in ensuring that the basic, essential elements are developed before moving on to higher level skills. Further, the lessons described are designed to be meaningful --building on what students know and adding to that knowledge by comprehensible increments. The bottom line is to guide students in establishing the basic foundational elements of English necessary for a lifetime of continued learning and independent use.

 Who is this curriculum designed for?

This curriculum is designed for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, (ASL, children with CI's using Spoken English, Total Communication-Signed English, Cued Speech, etc.) who have not had complete access to English. Though intended to be used from Kindergarten on, the curriculum is ungraded. The curriculum is written using a developmental approach and therefore appropriate for any student, regardless of age or grade level who has not had an opportunity to develop English in a comprehensible manner.


This curriculum was designed to provide teachers/parents with the instructional building blocks necessary for a  helping students develop a foundation for a lifetime of later English literacy development. It covers only those foundational pieces -how to read, how to write, basic beginning grammar and how to think about these things sensically (meta skills)- in a hierarchy that will make sense to the D/HH child who has not had intensive exposure to English. Further, for the student who does not use English phonetic information as a means for decoding/encoding it provides a means for developing literacy skills using their strength-ASL and visual learning lesson designs to understand and independently learn how English works.

What are the components of the curriculum?


  • Teaching students how to read for meaning from the start
  • Teaching students to independently write from the start (whether or not they have access to phonetic English information)
  • ​Vocabulary Development
  • Maximizing spelling retention techniques
  • 10 units of foundational level English grammar skills ( e.g.  Sentence Structure-Subjects/Predicates, Pronouns, Tense, Beginning Morphology (adding 's, +ed, etc.), Beginning Prepositions, etc.)
  • Curriculum objectives are written in performance-based terms so teachers can use them in the IEP's, goal writing, etc.
  • Objectives are measurable- provide a way for teachers to truly assess students improvement and set realistic/attainable learning outcomes
  • ​Objectives are ordered using a hierarchy that builds the student's knowledge incrementally -reducing gaps and strengthening development
  • Detailed lesson plans for many objectives
  • Extensiton Activities
  • ​Instructional templates
  • Visual Mnemonic devices for some grammar rules to aid internalization of rules

Reading Comprehension

Independent Writing

Foundational Grammar Elements

Bedrock Literacy Curriculum

Curriculum Components