About Dr. Weast

Dr. Traci WeastDr. Traci Weast


Dr. Weast has taught American Sign Language at both high school and college levels for over twenty years. This includes designing curricula, developing ASL programs, and training both ASL and TESOL teachers earning certification. She has a Ph. D. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington, where she examined nonmanuals in American Sign Language, with suggestions for improved teaching on eyebrow movement. She has been signing ASL since she was 5 years old.


Linguistics, Pedagogy, and Training Teachers:

Dr. Weast trained future teachers as an Assistant Professor at Lamar University, teaching courses such as Teaching ASL as a Second Language, Linguistics (for ASL and Deaf educators in training), and Teacher Education Practicum, also serving as Field Experience Supervisor to ASL Student Teachers.  At Lamar University, she also taught Linguistics comparing ASL to English, to students earning their Masters and Doctoral degrees. At Lamar University she also served as an Academic Advisor to students earning a B.A. degree in American Sign Language. She has taught both ASL and interpreting courses at Tarrant County College.

Additionally, Dr. Weast currently teaches as Adjunct faculty at The University of Texas at Arlington in the Department of Linguistics and TESOL, supervising internship and practicum TESOL courses, and previously taught Pedagogical Phonology in the same department.  In 1996, Dr. Weast founded the American Sign Language program at Birdville School District, and she is currently teaching American Sign Language levels 1-4 at Birdville High School.


Certification and Service:

Dr. Weast holds Texas State Educator Certification in both American Sign Language and Spanish (Lifetime). She also has previous National Association of the Deaf Interpreter Certification (Level 3), and current Texas BEI certification. She also holds an English as a Second Language Academic Certificate for adult education. Prior service includes serving as Project Director of Project TRAIN- coordinating the interpreter training program at Lamar University through a grant she won as lead author for $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Education; serving as academic advisor to the undergraduate program at Lamar University; Doctoral Dissertation committee faculty member; Academic Lecture Committee Member; Linguistic Consultant for a project on Multimedia and Visual Language Materials for the Deaf; Designed the Linguistics portion of a CLEP exam for ASL; Conference presentation Judge, and Abstract reviewer for several conferences. Service includes Vice President of the DFW-ASLTA (American Sign Language Teacher’s Association) from 2013-2014.

In addition to workshop presentations, such as here locally with DFW-ASLTA, Dr. Weast has also presented at several conferences across the country.


Recent workshop presentations:

The First Week of Class: Setting Up for Success  – classroom management for ASL teachers

Quizstar: Online Assessments for ASL students, and technology in the classroom

What do you mean by fluency, and why didn’t I get an A? – Rubrics, Assessment, and Lesson Design


Sample national scholarly presentations:

Sample presentations include a presentation on “ASL Classroom Management” on teaching, pedagogy and assessment at the American Sign Language Teachers Association national conference in 2009; “What’s in a Question? New Recommendations for American Sign Language Curricula” at the High Desert Linguistics Society Conference at the University of New Mexico in 2008, and presentations at other conferences such as the SignTyp Conference on sign language phonology, the 44th annual meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society, and a presentation at Harvard University.


Sample publications:

Sample publications include a chapter on American Sign Language in Emotional Units in Sign Languages– Sign Language Typology Series Vol. 3; a chapter on American Sign Language in Proceedings of the Chicago Linguistics Society Vol 44 Issue 2; also an invited dissertation abstract for Sign Language & Linguistics 12:2; and A chapter in Harvard Studies in Korean Linguistics, published by Harvard University.