Deaf international students are a vital part of the student population at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Those students arrive at RIT with a variety of English skills and at various levels. The objective of this study is to investigate how deaf international students improve their English skills once they arrive at RIT /NTID. Did they improve their English skills through Spoken American English, American Sign Systems (i.e. American Sign Language and/or Signed English), and/or English classes from NTID/RIT? Furthermore, participants were asked how they felt about learning English and if their feelings changed while attending NTID/RIT. Participants were selected by responding to a formal e-mail announcing the nature of this study and its goal. Data were collected, analyzed and placed into thematic categories related to learning English, communication styles and feelings about improving their English. Findings show that, unlike American deaf students (Meath-Lang, 1980), deaf international students have generally positive experiences related to learning English. However, their responses indicate confusing views about using sign language.

Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Project

Student Type


Department, Program, or Center

Master of Science of Secondary Education of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (NTID)


Christie, Karen

Advisor/Committee Member

Bateman, Gerald


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