Before we put into
action any kind of educational approach we first must assess the severity of the
hearing loss. After, we can pick a method for each individual child.
There are three primary communication methods used in education of deaf
children. These are:
a) Oral/aural - an approach to deaf education that emphasizes
auditory training, articulation ability and lip-reading.
b) Total communication - a method of interacting with
individuals with language impairments using a combination of spoken language and
signs, which includes sign language, voice, finger-spelling, lip-reading, amplification, writing,
gesture and visual imagery (pictures).
(bi-bi) - This is a philosophy of teaching that recognizes the authenticity
and importance of both hearing and Deaf cultures, and that incorporates elements
of both in the classroom. Programs are modeled on English as a Second
Language (ESL) programs.
These methods have undergone waves of popularity and some are much older than
others. This doesn't mean, though, that one is better than the
other. Each individual is different, therefore each individual needs a
different type of method to help them with their development of language,
communication and to aid them in their learning. In these methods
there may be techniques that are used to aid the child with a particular method,
a) American Sign Language - a complete language, related
historically to the French. This is the manual language used by the Deaf
community in the United States.
b) Cued Speech - a manual used by some deaf children and their
teachers/parents, that uses hand shapes near the mouth to help make lip-reading
c) Lip-reading (Speech-reading) - Decoding the language of a
speaker by paying close attention to the face and mouth, without being able to
hear the speaker's voice.
As well as these different methods and different techniques, there are different
places and settings that the Deaf, or a child with a hearing impairment can
learn, such as:
a) Mainstreaming - the practice of incorporating children with
disabilities into the regular classroom instead of keeping them apart in special
b) Residential schools - these are schools designed for Deaf
individuals, particular, to live and learn in a school where Deaf people and the
Deaf culture surrounds them everyday.
- In the United States, the
oral/aural approach is historically the oldest.
- Oralist approach of deaf
education have believed that deaf children are best served by instruction in
lip-reading, in maximum use of residual hearing (through amplification and
auditory training), and in articulation to improve speech.
- This approach combines speech, use of residual hearing and
- This approach is the more traditional of the
auditory verbal/oral approaches.
- The child will be trained to use his or her hearing and develop expressive speech.
- Pure oralism strongly emphasizes no signing
and speech is the only acceptable means of response.
- The goal of this approach is to have the child mainstreamed into the child's regular school after having completed an oral
deaf or hard of hearing special education program.
- In order for success five elements must be
1) Parent involvement
2) Appropriate amplification
3) Consistent quality speech training
4) Developing appropriate language instruction
5) Range of placement option
- Although the auditory-oral emphasize
speech-reading, this method does not.
- The child is taught to listen first and is not required to look at the speaker's mouth for information.
- Often, the child is mainstreamed from the start in a typical preschool rather than a special self-contained oral program.
- The goal of auditory-verbal practice is for children who are deaf or hard of hearing to grow up in "typical" learning and living
environment that enables them to become independent, participating, and contributing citizens in an
complete mainstream society. This is because all children with a
hearing loss deserve an opportunity to develop the ability to listen and use
verbal communication with their families and communities.
- This method emphasizes the increase likelihood that young children,
deaf or hard of hearing, can be educated to use even minimal amounts of residual
or remaining hearing. The use of amplified residual hearing permits these children to learn to listen,
process verbal language, and to speak.
- With this method, disadvantages that are connected with dependence on
speech-reading are eliminated.
- Auditory training is teaching a person with a
hearing impairment how to use the residual or remaining hearing that is available
to them with the goal of maximizing use of speech and non-speech
- In developing an approach to
auditory training, it is important that the clinician consider the amount of
hearing that the client has.
- Clients with aided hearing
levels in the mild to moderately severe hearing range would work on sound discrimination skills.
- Clients with aided hearing
levels within the severe to profound hearing loss range would improve
the detection of sounds, particularly environmental sounds. Therefore,
the person may develop at least a functional use of their
- The emphasis is on teaching
the auditory skills that may be delayed or missing altogether.
(Speech-reading) - Cued Speech
- This is a method, in which the deaf are able to read the speech of others from the movements of the lips and mouth.
- It is also referred to as speech-reading, which
includes the reading of facial expressions and body language.
- Speech-reading is not normally used by itself.
It is a coping skill we use to communicate effectively with either wearing hearing
aids or using assistive listening devices and practicing effective coping strategies.
- Cued speech is also known as cued English or
- Cued Speech is a sound-based hand supplement to
- In cued speech, eight hand shapes representing groups of consonants are placed in four positions around the face that indicated groups of vowel sounds.
The shapes and locations in combination with the mouth movements eliminate the ambiguity
that speech-reading produces.
- Combined with the natural lip movements of speech, the cues make spoken language visible.
- Cued Speech in the spoken language, while
American Sign Language is the signed language.
- Cued Speech shows pronunciation, accent, duration, and the rhythm of speech.
- Unless they learn American Sign Language as a second language, students who grow up using Cued Speech are not able to communicate with the larger community of Deaf adults who use sign language.
- It can be learned in a relatively short period of
time, which is helpful for parents and family, as well as the child.
- Cued speech is a way to provide full access
to spoken communication through the visual code.
- It provides an appropriate foundation for reading and writing English.
It positively affects literacy because it enables a deaf child to internalize the
language. The step of internalizing a language is critical to the process of learning how to read and write.
- Cued speech prevents parents from over-simplifying their English
or "dumb down" because they are communicating in a language they are
familiar with and do not have to make themselves more easily
- Children that use Cued Speech speech-read more accurately.
- Cued speech gives a child an improvement in auditory discrimination.
- Hearing families who use Cued Speech have better communication and fewer behavioral problems.
The key to an aural/oral approach is practice. The child must be immersed
in a speech-intensive environment at home and school.
- Total communication is the title of a philosophy of
communication and not a method.
- A number of sign systems, such as cued
speech, were developed to convey manual representations of English sentence
structure along with spoken language. The sign systems translate words
and grammatical morphemes used in spoken English into visible hand
configurations and gestures.
- All of the systems basically follow the share
the same features:
1) they generally familiarize themselves with some American Sign Language signs
2) to convey grammatical concepts, that are not expressed by separate signs in
American Sign Language they invent new signs, such as an article,
3) they also produce sentences that copy the syntactic structure of
- Total communication is often the first
approach recommended because it encourages a child to use to use every available mode of communication to both receive and convey messages.
The mode of communication depends on the particular need of the child,
whether it is manual, oral, auditory, and written.
- Today simultaneous communication is the most common form of communication used in educational settings for deaf
- The main benefit is that it opens all roads
and modes of communication for the deaf child.
- It allows flexibility without eliminating any
- It allows the child to choose the form that
is best for them in a given situation.
- It also allows the child some form of expressive communication.
"A person who is bicultural can move freely within and between two different cultures. Biculturalism implies an understanding of the mores, customs, practices, and expectations of members of a cultural group and the ability to adapt to their expectations" (Finnegan)
- Individuals, who are Deaf, are considered bilingual if they are able to communicate effectively in both American Sign Language
- They are considered bicultural if they are capable of functioning in both the Deaf community and the majority culture.
"Research has shown that effective language has to be fast and clear. ASL is an efficient language for visual learning and is easier for Deaf children to acquire as a first language than any form of English" (Finnegan)
- Bi-bi programs are modeled after English as a
Second Language (ESL) and foreign language interest programs. These
programs emphasize the positive aspects of the Deaf culture.
- Bilingual-bicultural (bi-bi) programs have
admiration for both American Sign Language and English.
- In bi-bi education American Sign Language is
used as the primarily language of instruction in order to introduce it as
the child's first language.
- Deaf culture is an important aspect to
- English language skills are taught after
proficiency in American Sign Language is reached.
- This approach is for all children, no matter
what there hearing loss is, but these programs are
usually not to be found in mainstreaming, but in residential and day
- Early contact to comprehensible language,
such as American Sign Language, helps early cognitive development.
This promotes increased literacy and greater academic achievement.
- Students who attend bilingual-bicultural programs develop functional skills in two languages.
- The emphasis of early language acquisition and establishing
American Sign Language, as their first language, provides a base, in which English is
- Students in bi-bi programs have an increased self-esteem and confidence
because of the healthy view of Deaf children and their acceptance of who they are,
as well as the increased confidence to function in bi-bi environments.
A little over 40% of students in American residential and day-schools, which are
designed for deaf and hearing-impaired children were using a form of a bi-bi
programming, while a larger portion of the remainder were using manually coded
American Sign Language
- Sign language for the deaf was first organized
in France during the 18th century by Abbot Charles-Michel l'Epée.
French Sign Language was brought to the United States in 1816 by Thomas Gallaudet, founder of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Conn. He developed American Sign Language, a language of gestures and hand symbols that express words and concepts.
- American Sign Language is considered the
language of the Deaf community and is used in the United States and
- American Sign Language is a distant language
within the scope of the world's languages, with its own syntactic, semantic,
and configurational rules.
- It is composed of manual gestures called signs in combination with various types of non-manual grammar,
such as mouth morphemes, appropriate facial expression, body movement and
- Some of American Sign Language's grammatical features include directional verbs, classifiers, rhetorical questions and the
aspect. It has its own grammar that does not in any way reflect the grammar of English.
- People who use American Sign Language use the physical space in front
of them to create the mental picture. American Sign Language is suited to the eyes. The eyes see “the whole
picture," therefore a signer can use more than one sign alongside.
- Children learning American Sign Language
generally develop their first signed words at approximately the same age as
children who are acquiring oral language.
- Deaf children who learn sign language in preschool do better in
academics, such as learning to read and write English, as well as better behaviorally and socially.
- American Sign Language is also far easier on a child’s eyes than any of the
Manual Codes of English Systems.
- Deaf children of deaf parents are better linguistically than deaf peers born of hearing
parents. This could be due to early language acquisition.
- American Sign Language can allow children to maximize their higher education.
- Here is the alphabet: http://where.com/scott.net/asl/abc.html
- Mainstreaming is a placement option in which children go to regular classes,
as well as going to some special education classes.
- These classes are called resource classes and are taught by specially trained teachers.
- Deaf students who are mainstreamed miss out on the feeling of belonging that individuals from the Deaf culture associate with their residential schools, and their experience is very different from those who attend residential school. Mainstreamed students often are singled out in many respects.
- One common complaint about mainstreaming is that the children are only in the regular classrooms for non-core subjects such as Physical Education and Art.
- A child that is in these types of environments has the opportunity to meet and interact with hearing peers.
- They are also exposed to a regular curriculum.
- These children often learn how to be self-starters.
- They develop excellent study habits that serve them well as
adults, which could be in part because of their inability to understand the teacher and the other students.
- These students
- A residential school is for students who are
deaf or have a severe hearing impairment.
It has a comprehensive academic, health, and socialization program including dormitory.
Most programs serve preschool ages through grade 12.
- Residential life as the ideal opportunity for students who are deaf to become familiar with and
acculturated into the Deaf community.
- The Deaf culture is passed on from one generation to the next
through the residential school, where they learn such things as Deaf folklore and
folk life from other children, Deaf teachers and Deaf house parents.
- Most schools accept students based on degree of hearing loss, academic needs, parental choice, and other factors.
- Any child with a hearing loss becomes a member of the Deaf culture,
but through schooling residential schools.
- Recently residential schools enrollment has
decreased because of mainstreaming becoming an option for Deaf students, as
well the population of Deaf children has decreased because of recent
vaccinations. Therefore many residential schools have shut down.
- The schools are designed with the needs of deaf students in mind.
- The opportunity for peer interaction is available
because of the variety of after school activities.
- Deaf children have adult Deaf role models.
Quotes sited from http://ericec.org/faq/deaf.html.