Raychelle Harris, PhD

Professor/MASLED Coordinator
Department of ASL & Deaf Studies

Raychelle Harris

Phone Numbers

202-510-9962 (V)




Sorenson Language and Communication Center First Floor

Hello! I'm Raychelle Harris. I'm a faculty member at Gallaudet University. Originally with the Department of Interpretation for one year, from 2008 - 2009. Then from 2009 to now, I've been with the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies.  I graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Gallaudet University in 1995, majoring in Sign Communication. The degree name now has been changed to American Sign Language. I eventually received my Masters degree from McDaniel College in Deaf Education in 2000. I worked many different jobs, mostly teaching high school and college second language learners of ASL. I also worked in Deaf K-12 schools as an ASL specialist teaching primary language learners, also known as first language (L1). Later on, I decided to return back to school for more schooling, studying for a doctorate in Deaf Education at Gallaudet University.

My dissertation topic was focused on academic discourse within academic settings. What does ASL look like in an academic setting? Particularly in preschool? It was a captivating study.  My teaching and research interests are primarily focused in the areas of teaching and learning. In the classroom, I'm interested in how languages are taught and the methodology used to teach languages. I'm also interested in how language assessment is done, and the methods involved in the process. Not only that, I'm also interested in curriculum development and making the curriculum tailored to the students of today. Another fascination for me is the use of technology within ASL classrooms, including how to teach online ASL courses. Research methods, social justice and ethics of working with the Deaf community is another area of interest. Not only that, I'm also interested in specialized discourses. There are many of them. One classic example is ASL in academic settings. What does it look like?</

Raychelle has been teaching ASL as a first and second language since 1993.  Raychelle is currently the program director of the Masters in Sign Language Education program housed in the ASL & Deaf Studies department at Gallaudet University.  The program prepares students in the teaching of signed languages.   She was one of four co-editors of Journal of ASL and Literatures (JASLL) website. Raychelle holds Professional Certification with the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) and is a state-level Certified Deaf Interpreter and Court certified interpreter in the state of Texas.  

Raychelle specializes in methods (and theories) of teaching languages, L2 assessment tools and curricular design, and field experience (practicum and internship).  She has taught (and/or developed) nearly all of the courses in the program, including but not limited to:  

  • ASL 709:  Sign Language Media Production
  • ASL 741:  Methods of Sign Language Teaching
  • ASL 743:  Curriculum Development in Sign Language Teaching Field
  • ASL 750:  Assessing Sign Language Skills
  • ASL 752:  Sign Language Practicum
  • ASL 760:  Connecting Research and Practice in the Sign Language Field
  • ASL 762:  Seminar in Sign Language Education
  • ASL 770:  Sign Language Advocacy and Planning
  • ASL 790:  Sign Language Teaching Internship

Raychelle's full service duties is dedicated to the MASLED program - advising, field experience placements, curricular revisions and program assessment.  She also serves on the Council of Graduate Education (CGE) committee.  Outside of Gallaudet, Raychelle is a member of National Association for the Deaf (NAD) and ASL Teachers Association (ASLTA).  She also joins local homegrown organizations when she can, such as Deaf Women of Austin (DWA), Austin Deaf Club, Protactile and DeafBlind gatherings and Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) events.  

In the last five years, on top of her year-round, three semester (fall, spring and summer) teaching and coordinating duties, Raychelle was able to publish two books (her dissertation and a book on Deaf culture), several book chapters, three book reviews, two academic journal publications, three encyclopedia submissions, and a newspaper article in a psychology magazine.  She was also able to review five different journal article and book chapter submissions. 

Raychelle has been invited to present at over 40 different venues internationally (colleges, deaf schools, universities and organizations).  She was also asked to endnote a national conference, but declined because she felt the honor should go to a person of color, traditionally underrepresented at this particular conference venue.  Raychelle has presented at numerous conferences, including American Sign Language Teachers’ Association, International Congress on the Education of the Deaf, Association for College Educators of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, American Evaluation Association, National ASL and English Bilingual Early Childhood Education Summit, Gallaudet University Regional Interpreter Education Center, ASL Roundtable, Revolutions in Sign Language Studies, Visual Language and Visual Learning Lecture Series, and Conference for Community and School Awareness for Deaf,  Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind. 

In addition, she is a versatile scholar, who is able to present on assessment, curricular design, early childhood language acquisition, language teaching methodology, specialized discourses (such as Academic ASL) and advocacy for sign language peoples. 


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002