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ERIC Number: ED296489
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Ten Reasons for Allowing Deaf Children Exposure to American Sign Language.
Duffy, J. Trey
A literature-based rationale for teaching American Sign Language (ASL) as the primary language system for deaf children elaborates on the following points: Sign languages are visual-manual; spoken languages are oral-aural. Competency in a first language tremendously increases a person's ability to learn a second language. Deaf children have not been able to compete academically with their hearing, English-speaking peers. Deaf children of deaf parents perform better academically than deaf children of hearing parents. About 90% of deaf adults marry other deaf adults. Artificial sign systems that are currently used deny deaf children the opportunity to create and experiment with language naturally. The use of simultaneous communication (such as SEE 2 and spoken English) in the classroom does not mean that deaf students are receiving "exact" English. Without exposure to ASL, deaf students still develop ASL-like habits. ASL is a natural language. Culture and language are inseparable, and denying access to ASL is denying deaf culture. It is concluded that English literacy is a desirable quality and should also be included as a component of a total communication philosophy using a bilingual/bicultural approach; problems in attaining this goal are outlined. (JDD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Parents
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A