Simultaneous Communication
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Simultaneous communication, SimCom, or sign supported speech (SSS) is a technique sometimes used by
deaf Deafness has varying definitions in cultural and medical contexts. In medical contexts, the meaning of deafness is hearing loss that precludes a person from understanding spoken language, an Audiology, audiological condition. In this context it ...
, hard-of-hearing or hearing
sign language Sign languages (also known as signed languages) are languages that use the visual-manual modality to convey meaning, instead of spoken words. Sign languages are expressed through manual articulation in combination with non-manual markers. Sign l ...
users in which both a spoken language and a manual variant of that language (such as English and
manually coded English Manually-Coded English (MCE) is a type of sign system that follows direct spoken English language, English. The different codes of MCE vary in the levels of directness in following spoken English grammar. There may also be a combination with other ...
) are used simultaneously. While the idea of communicating using two modes of language seems ideal in a hearing/deaf setting, in practice the two languages are rarely relayed perfectly. Often the native language of the user (usually spoken language for the hearing person and sign language for the deaf person) is the language that is strongest, while the non-native language degrades in clarity. In an educational environment this is particularly difficult for deaf children as a majority of teachers who teach the deaf are hearing. Results from surveys taken indicate that communication for students is indeed signing (about 2/3 of the population of students), and that the signing leans more toward English rather than ASL.


History/overview

Manual communication Manual communication systems use articulation of the hands (hand signs, gestures, etc.) to mediate a message between persons. Being expressed manually, they are received visually and sometimes tactile signing, tactually. When it is the primary f ...
, including simultaneous communication, has existed for a while in the United States, but gained traction in the 70's. The history of using signing with children has been a tumultuous one, with many swings between discouraging the use of signed languages and focusing on
oralism Oralism is the Education of the deaf, education of deaf students through oral language by using lip reading, speech, and mimicking the Articulatory phonetics, mouth shapes and breathing patterns of speech.Through Deaf Eyes. Diane Garey, Lawrence ...
, to the current push of
bilingualism Multilingualism is the use of more than one language, either by an individual speaker or by a group of speakers. It is believed that multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. More than half of all ...
in Deaf schools. Ultimately, the majority of schools pushed the signed language they used to focus on English, resulting in the birth of a language that combined spoken language (English) with a manual language. The historical use of SC in schools has been stormy, with professionals (both researchers and teachers alike) on either side of the debate on whether the language is useful or not.


Studies/research


Positive approaches

According to a study done in 1984, it was found that compared with haphazard instruction involving no language approach whatsoever, Total Communication was proved to be beneficial when combined with the correct approach. One study entitled "Intelligibility of speech produced during simultaneous communication", 12 hearing impaired individuals were asked to audit the audio samples of 4 hearing sign language experts who had produced recordings of a Simultaneous Communication (SC) sample and a Speech Alone (SA) sample. The 12 hearing impaired individuals were asked to then determine which speech produced was clearer. After listening to both audio samples, hearing impaired listeners agreed that both SC and SA were intelligible, which is supported by previous research. Since the intelligibility of the speech was kept on par with English grammar, the study results indicate that SC is a positive tool to use with
Deaf Deafness has varying definitions in cultural and medical contexts. In medical contexts, the meaning of deafness is hearing loss that precludes a person from understanding spoken language, an Audiology, audiological condition. In this context it ...
and
Hard of Hearing Hearing loss is a partial or total inability to Hearing, hear. Hearing loss may be present at birth or acquired at any time afterwards. Hearing loss may occur in one or both ears. In children, hearing problems can affect the ability to Language ...
children as a language model and for Deaf/Hard of Hearing adults to keep using. Another study showed the difference between a control group, families who participated in an intervention program that offered services such as classes on Total Communication, private teachers for the child and a deaf adult who came to the families house, and another group of families who used TC, but did not have as much intervention as the control group. The results showed that intervention did work, and that it positively correlated with the communication skills show by the control group's children. The children showed advanced cognitive skills, including comprehension and expression, specifically related to time.


Negative approaches

A study done in 1990 titled "The Effectiveness of Three Means of Communication in the College Classroom" by Dennis Cokely reviewed research done previously that supported the use of Total Communication (SimCom) in the classroom. However, the study pointed out several restrictive factors that several research tests had not approached. One of the tests administered only compared SimCom, the Rochester Method and speech reading with voice (
lip reading The lips are the visible body part at the mouth of many animals, including humans. Lips are soft, movable, and serve as the opening for food intake and in the articulation of sound and speech. Human lips are a tactile sensory organ, and can be ...
), omitting the option of ASL as a means of communication. The 1990 study addressed this issue by comparing SimCom, Sign Alone and Interpretation to see which was the most effective. The results from the comparison showed that signing alone as a way for students to understand information given was the most effective and SimCom was the least effective. Overall, Sign Alone and Interpretation was most effective in all areas of the test, proving that SimCom was a struggle for teachers and students alike. When working with two separate modes of communication, the one that comes naturally for the user will be the more prominent mode. A study conducted in 1998 showed that signing and speaking at the same time results in a slower approach to instruction than if just one
modality Modality may refer to: Humanities * Modality (theology), the organization and structure of the church, as distinct from sodality or parachurch organizations * Modality (music), in music, the subject concerning certain diatonic scales * Modalities ...
was used to express language.


Methods of Total Communication

Listed below are the signed communications that are used within SimCom. Since SimCom can use any spoken language, mainly English, combined with any signed mode, all communication listed below are available for use. *
American Sign Language American Sign Language (ASL) is a natural language that serves as the predominant sign language of Deaf communities in the United States of America and most of Anglophone Canada. ASL is a complete and organized visual language that is expres ...
* Signing Exact English *
Cued speech Cued speech is a visual system of communication used with and among deaf Deafness has varying definitions in cultural and medical contexts. In medical contexts, the meaning of deafness is hearing loss that precludes a person from understandi ...
*
Contact sign A contact sign language, or contact sign, is a variety or style of language that arises from contact between deaf individuals using a sign language and hearing individuals using an oral language (or the written or manually coded form of the ora ...
(Pidgin Sign) *
Total Communication Total communication (TC) is an approach to communicating that aims to make use of a number of modes of communication such as Manual communication, signed, oralism, oral, auditory, written and visual aids, depending on the particular needs and abil ...
* Bimodal bilingualism


See also

* Key word signing


References

{{Reflist Sign systems Deafness Deaf culture Special education Education for the deaf