ASL/English Storybook iPad App


Interactive ASL/English Storybook App – from Gallaudet University

Supported Platforms: iOS – iPad (All Versions) and iPad Mini

Price: $4.99, available on Apple iTunes Store

Recommended for: Early and emerging readers, ages 5 & up

American Sign Language (ASL), is not “English on your hands,” but actually contains its own syntax and grammar among other elements, establishing it as its own language.  Many schools recognize ASL as meeting foreign language requirements, and since it is the 3rd most used language in the US, this mother of a profound deaf 9-year-old, finds that very encouraging.  The more people to acquire knowledge of ASL, even at a rudimentary level to be able to communicate with my daughter, the happier this mom will be.  Additionally, research has indicated the benefit of multiple language exposure for children in the area of literacy. These remarkably done storybook Apps are perfectly designed for exposing hearing children to ASL and Deaf/Hard of Hearing (HoH) children to English.   The VL2 Storybooks Apps comes out of Gallaudet University, is the world’s leading higher education institute for providing ground-breaking education for the Deaf/HoH.  The Baobab and the VL2 storybook app series are designed and managed by Melissa Malzkuhn, VL2’s Digital Innovation & Media Strategies Manager.

Every child loves, and deserves, a great story. Great stories invite children into our vast world, encouraging new ways to imagine and then leading them down the path to reading and learning. The inspiration behind the VL2 Storybook Apps comes from the belief that there are many ways to tell a great story.  Our way is to provide exciting and captivating stories in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Children can watch the story in ASL or start reading it in English…Several major research studies on bilingualism and visual learning show that learning two languages leads to greater literacy skills in both languages, and the younger, the better. Young visual learners, deaf and hearing, do benefit tremendously from continued exposure to ASL and written English.

FEATURES as outlined on the V12storybookapps website:

  • Original story told in ASL and English
  • Easy & accessible navigation designed for children
  • Rich interactive narrative with direct English to ASL vocabulary video translation
  • 170-word American Sign Language glossary. Parents can learn ASL along with their child
  • Vivid Retina supported watercolor illustrations
  • App design is based on proven research in bilingualism and visual learning. The ability to view the story in both, ASL and English leads to greater literacy skills in both languages in young children



The Boy Who Cried Wolf, “READ” mode, Page One, 2048 x 1536, 4.5 MB, Use for Retina Display


The Baobab Sentence Preview, 2048 x 1536, 6.2 MB, Use for Retina Display

The Baobab Sentence Preview, 2048 x 1536, 6.2 MB, Use for Retina Display


 Vocabulary Index ("LEARN")

Vocabulary Index (“LEARN”) – The Blue Lobster


There are also wonderful lesson plans available; though primarily for use in educating the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, some families, particularly homeschoolers, may find them of value.



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Copyright 2015 Allison Gingras


About Author

Allison Gingras created the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV), including "The Gift of Invitation" and "Seeking Peace: A Spiritual Journey from Worry to Trust." Her ministry focuses on the grace of prayer, Scripture, and sacrament. Allison is the national WINE Steward for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization and hosts A Seeking Heart podcast.

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