Assessing the Effectiveness of Can-Do Statements for ASL

ID: 4087
School: School of Language, Education, and Culture
Program: American Sign Language
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2020
End Date: September 2022


This research project examines the NCCSL/ACTFL Can-Do Statements to determine whether they are an effective tool for assessing ASL students’ language proficiency. The literature shows little evidence on the effectiveness of the Can-Do statements (Tigchelaar et al., 2017). Language instructors and experts used their shared experiences and beliefs as the basis to create can-do statements. None of them represented ASL and that means current Can-Do statements are largely centered on one particular modality - written/spoken. As ACTFL has recognized ASL and its visual/manual modality, they inserted ‘signed’ into all proficiency benchmarks next to “spoken” and “written”. However, their Can-Do statements have not been modified accordingly which has a potential impact on the effectiveness of Can-Do statements for ASL students. This presentation will share preliminary findings based on survey responses, self assessments, and video recordings by ASL students who enrolled in upper level ASL courses from three universities.

Principal investigators

Priorities addressed

Approved Products


Pudans-Smith, K.K., Buchanan, B., Pirone, J. S., Hauschildt, S. and MacGlaughlin, H. M. (2021, August 1). Assessing the Effectiveness of Can-Do Statements for ASL. American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA). ASLTA Virtual Conference.