Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Type


First Advisor

Emily Meehan

Second Advisor

Gerardo Chacón


Many teacher preparation programs provide insufficient problem-solving skills training, and deaf students whose primary language is ASL encounter linguistic barriers when answering mathematics word problems. Research suggests that deaf students do not fully develop their critical thinking skills due to the linguistic barriers in mathematical word problems. This project investigates whether the use of ASL in mathematical word problems effectively gives another approach, more visual-based, to solving word problems and thereby helps deaf students develop critical thinking skills. A survey of 28 deaf students in developmental mathematics courses included three-word problems, one asked in English only, a second in ASL only, and a third in both ASL and English. The survey followed up with three reflective questions asking which problem participants preferred and how confident they felt about the accuracy of their answers when answering each word problem. The results show that the majority of the students felt most confident with their answers to the English only question, yet they preferred that the problem be stated in both English and ASL.



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