The development and evaluation of a new ASL text comprehension task
Lieberman, Amy M.
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Citation (published version)Patrick Rosenburg, Amy M Lieberman, Naomi Caselli, Robert Hoffmeister. "The Development and Evaluation of a New ASL Text Comprehension Task." Frontiers in Communication, Volume 5, https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2020.00025
Being able to comprehend a language entails not only mastery of its syntax, lexicon, or phonology, but also the ability to use language to construct meaning, draw inferences, and make connections to world knowledge. However, most available assessments of American Sign Language (ASL) focus on mastery of lower level skills, and as a result little is known about development of higher-order ASL comprehension skills. In this paper, we introduce the American Sign Language Text Comprehension Task (ASL-CMP), a new assessment tool to measure ASL text comprehension ability in deaf children. We first administered the task to a group of deaf children with deaf parents (n = 105, ages 8–18 years) in order to evaluate the reliability and validity of the task, and to develop norms. We found that the ASL-CMP has acceptable levels of internal consistency, difficulty, and discriminability. Next, we administered the task to an additional group of deaf children with hearing parents (n = 251, ages 8–18 years), and found that the ASL-CMP is sensitive to expected patterns: older children have better ASL text comprehension skills, literal questions are generally easier to answer than inferential questions, and children with early exposure to ASL generally outperform those with delayed exposure. We conclude that the ASL-CMP task is reliable and valid and can be used to characterize ASL text comprehension skills in deaf children.
RightsCopyright © 2020 Rosenburg, Lieberman, Caselli and Hoffmeister. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.