A bilingual model has been applied to educating deaf students who are learning American Sign Language (ASL) as their first language and written English as a second. Although Cummins's (1984) theory of second-language learning articulates how learners draw on one language to acquire another, implementing teaching practices based on this theory, particularly with deaf students, is a complex, confusing process. The purposes of the present study were to narrow the gap between theory and practice and to describe the teaching and learning strategies used by the teachers and parents of three elementary school children within a bilingual/bicultural learning environment for deaf students. The findings suggest that strategies such as using ASL as the language of instruction and making translation conceptual rather than literal contribute to literacy learning. Findings further indicate that some inconsistencies persist in applying a bilingual approach with deaf students.