EET: Expanding Expressive Tool

American Sign Language (ASL)



We do a great deal of work on speaking clearly, talking in complete sentences, and using descriptive language in English every day. We understand language is involved in all learning and is essential for inquiry and the construction of meaning. It provides an intellectual framework to support conceptual development and critical thinking.


Mrs. Tome, our Speech Pathologist and co-teacher, teaches the program EET: Extending Expressive Tool.  The tool enables children to move from giving one-word answers, when we ask them to describe objects, items, events and vocabulary to talking in complete sentences using descriptive language.  The Expanding Expression Tool is a visual and tactile program designed to keep students on topic, expand word choice, reduce the need for prompting, and improve organization and comprehension. Its hierarchical approach quickly takes a student's expression from single words to descriptive paragraphs.

American Sign Language (ASL) 

We also teach the ASL Fingerspelling to accelerates Early Literacy Skills. Manual fingerspelling engages the whole child in joyful learning. It adds a kinesthetic memory connection for acquiring new skills and develops the small muscles necessary for writing. 

Saying and signing are multisensory;  it combines “saying and doing,” which increases retention of new information and understanding of language concepts up to 90 percent. Research shows that learning sign language builds confidence and enthusiasm for learning. Reading the three dimensional language of sign also develops visual skills for reading printed language. High academic standards are met most easily when children are engaged and motivated. Enriching children’s literacy experiences by signing familiar songs encourages teachers and parents to become learners right along with their children. As an added bonus, children usually learn to sign songs more easily than adults, much to their delight!


Not only does learning American Sign Language (ASL) give children enhanced literacy skills, but it also provides them with an important life skill for communication. ASL is the third most commonly used language in the United States! Proficiency in a second language is a requirement for high school and college graduation, and the optimum age to acquire a new language is during early childhood. Additional language acquired while the child is young enhances their communication skills throughout life. This is especially true of learning the emotionally rich American Sign Language. New language connections in a child’s brain will develop much more quickly through song, as the child communicates whole sentences and phrases rather than isolated words. 

Young children who are fortunate enough to learn ASL through accelerated language learning have an early advantage in developing expressive, dynamic speaking skills. 

​The main goal of the PYP Curriculum, as well as the primary objective of our school, is to provide every student the opportunity to learn about other cultures and value diversity through language learning.


“Exposure to and experience with languages, with all their richness and diversity creates an inquisitiveness about life and learning and a confidence about creating new social interactions. Language provides a vehicle for learners to engage with the world, to relate to, and accept, responsibility for the mission of the IB.” 

-IB World School

Young Fives receive Spanish instruction on a weekly basis from Mrs. Rhodes, Mrs. Tome, and Mrs. Stanziano, the district World Language instructor. The curriculum for Young Fives includes learning to say

  • Hello

  • How are you?

  • What is your name?

  • My name is...

  • Colors

  • Counting

  • Naming animals

  • Days of the week

  • and other beginning concepts. 

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Palmyra, NY 14522