Summary of VL2 Research Briefs

"Visual Language and Visual Learning" (VL2) is part of the Science of Learning Center at Gallaudet. The VL2 center publishes research briefs as a resource for educators and parents. The goal is to inform the education community of research findings, to summarize relevant scholarship, and, in the form of practice guides, to present recommendations that educators and parents can use when addressing the multifaceted challenges of educating deaf and hard of hearing children.  The research briefs can be found at: Each brief is described and linked below. Summaries of the briefs are also available in American Sign Language (ASL) at:

Brief 1: The Importance of Fingerspelling For Reading

This 2010 brief focuses on the importance of fingerspelling for reading. Included are three appendices for instructional guidance. Available in EnglishSpanish, and Mandarin.

Brief 2: The Importance of Early Visual Learning

This 2011 brief discusses the implications of visual attention on reading and the classroom environment. Available in EnglishSpanish, and Mandarin.

Brief 3: Visual Attention and Deafness

This 2011 brief discusses the implications of visual attention on reading and the classroom environment. Available in EnglishSpanish, and Mandarin.

Brief 4: Reading Research and Deaf Children

This 2011 brief provides an overview of the research discussing multiple factors impacting  deaf children and reading. Available in EnglishSpanish, and Mandarin.

Brief 5: Eye Gaze and Joint Attention

This 2012 brief provides  an overview of the evidence documenting the importance of eye gaze and joint attention in language acquisition, and the fundamental skills critical to successful interactions in home and school environments.

Brief 6: The Implications of Bilingual Bimodal Approaches for Children with Cochlear Implants

This 2012 brief discusses the research supporting approaches using both ASL and spoken English for children using cochlear implant technology.

Brief 7: The Benefits of Bilingualism

This 2012 brief shares the impact of bilingualism on language and cognitive development.

Brief 8: ASL/English Bilingual Education

This 2012 brief discusses models, methods, and strategies involved in ASL/English bilingual education.

Brief 9: Family Involvement in ASL Language Acquisition

This 2013 brief discusses how parental involvement is a critical factor in deaf children's language acquisition. Activities to facilitate visual language development are included.

Brief 10: Different Ways of Thinking

This 2013 brief discusses how gesture is different from sign language and the implications of gesture in the language, cognitive, and social emotional development of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.  

This site was supported by federal funding. Publication of this material shall not imply approval or acceptance by the U.S. Department of Education of the findings, conclusions, or recommendations herein. Gallaudet University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, hearing status, disability, covered veteran status, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, place of business or residence, pregnancy, childbirth, or any other unlawful basis.