Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


The purpose of the study was to determine if there was a positive effect on heterogeneously grouped fourth graders when taught the American Sign Language sign for reading vocabulary words.

The subjects for the research consisted of forty-eight students from a suburban, upstate New York state school district. The subjects participated in weekly vocabulary instruction. The treatment group (N=24) was involved in the vocabulary lessons taught by the researcher including instruction of American Sign Language signs for each new vocabulary word for the week. The .control group (N=24) also participated in vocabulary lessons at the same time, and for the same duration; however, this group was not instructed in American Sign Language.

At the completion of each week, the students were given a vocabulary quiz to determine. if they could correctly identify the vocabulary terms with their definition. After 5 weeks of instruction, the students were also given a unit test comprised of a sampling of the vocabulary terms.

An independent t test was utilized to analyze the results of each research question. The results reported that there was no statistically significant difference between the mean score of the treatment group and the control group on their weekly vocabulary quizzes. There was also no statistically significant difference between the mean scores on their unit vocabulary test. Further research was recommended.