oralism
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Oralism is the education of deaf students through
oral language A spoken language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. La ...
by using
lip reading Lip reading, also known as speechreading, is a technique of understanding speech Speech is human vocal communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A l ...
,
speech Speech is human vocal communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''c ...

speech
, and mimicking the mouth shapes and breathing patterns of speech.Through Deaf Eyes. Diane Garey, Lawrence R. Hott. DVD, PBS (Direct), 2007. Oralism came into popular use in the United States around the late 1860s. In 1867, the
Clarke School for the Deaf Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech (formerly Clarke School for the Deaf) is a national nonprofit organization that specializes in educating children who are deaf or hard of hearing using listening and spoken language (oralism Oralism is the ...
in
Northampton, Massachusetts The city of Northampton is the county seat of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2020 United States Census, 2020 census, the population of Northampton (including its outer villages, Florenc ...
was the first school to start teaching in this manner. Oralism and its contrast,
manualism Manualism is a method of Education of the deaf, education of deaf students using sign language within the classroom. Manualism arose in the late 18th century with the advent of free public schools for the deaf in Europe. These teaching methods we ...
, manifest differently in
deaf education Deaf education is the education of students with any degree of hearing loss, hearing loss or deafness. This may involve, but does not always, individually-planned, systematically-monitored teaching methods, adaptive materials, accessible settin ...
and are a source of controversy for involved communities. Oralism should not be confused with Listening and Spoken Language, a technique for teaching deaf children that emphasizes the child's perception of auditory signals from
hearing aid A hearing aid is a device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss Hearing loss is a partial or total inability to hear Hearing, or auditory perception, is the ability to perceive Sound, soun ...
s or
cochlear implant A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted neuroprosthesis that provides a person who has bilateral moderate-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is a type of hearing loss Hearing loss is a partial ...

cochlear implant
s.


History


Early 18th century

Since the beginning of formal deaf education in the 18th century in the United States, manualism and oralism have been on opposing sides of a heated debate that continues to this day.Winefield, Richard. Never the Twain Shall Meet. Washington, DC:
Gallaudet University Gallaudet University is a private university, private University charter#Federal, federally chartered research university for the education of the Hearing loss, deaf and hard of hearing. It is located in Washington, D.C., on a campus. Founded ...

Gallaudet University
Press, 1987. 4.
Oralism as the systematic education of deaf people began in Spain in the mid-1500s and was the byproduct of socioeconomic motives. The church barred deaf people from Holy Communion because they could not confess aloud. Deaf people were also prohibited from inheriting their family's wealth; therefore, to preserve the family wealth, deaf heirs in Spain were sent to Pedro Ponce de Leon after hearing that he taught a deaf man to talk in San Salvador Monastery in Oña.Cohen, Leah. Train Go Sorry. New York, New York: First Vintage Books, 1995. Oralism provided members of the privileged classes with deaf children a way to channel their children's education and an opportunity to keep them away from the deaf community. Speaking has been associated with the higher classes and higher intellect, and the perception of signing has been the opposite.


Late 19th century


Schools

Before the
Clarke School for the Deaf Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech (formerly Clarke School for the Deaf) is a national nonprofit organization that specializes in educating children who are deaf or hard of hearing using listening and spoken language (oralism Oralism is the ...
(now the Clarke School for Hearing and Speech) made its mark in deaf American education in the 1860s, there was a popular support of
manualism Manualism is a method of Education of the deaf, education of deaf students using sign language within the classroom. Manualism arose in the late 18th century with the advent of free public schools for the deaf in Europe. These teaching methods we ...
. Manual language soon became a less popular choice for
deaf education Deaf education is the education of students with any degree of hearing loss, hearing loss or deafness. This may involve, but does not always, individually-planned, systematically-monitored teaching methods, adaptive materials, accessible settin ...
due to the new
Darwinist Darwinism is a scientific theory, theory of Biology, biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of smal ...
perspective. Clarke School for the Deaf in 1867 became a "mainstream service" for deaf students through creating a "learn to listen" mentality. This was done through the proper training of educators in auditory/oral education. Since its start, Clarke School has expanded and provided support for oral communication within deaf education and policy. It has been remarked that, in the United States, the better-funded northern schools switched to oralism while their poorer southern counterparts kept signing because it was difficult to hire new oralist teachers. Footnote 37 references Baynton


Policy

In relation to the early 16th century oralism in Spain, 19th century oralists viewed oral language as a superior form of communication. ,
Horace Mann Horace Mann (May 4, 1796August 2, 1859) was an American educational reformer and Whig Whig or Whigs may refer to: Parties and factions In the British Isles * A pejorative nickname for the Kirk Party The Kirk Party were a radical Presby ...

Horace Mann
,
Samuel Gridley Howe Samuel Gridley Howe (November 10, 1801 – January 9, 1876) was an American physician, Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist, and an advocate of education for the blindness, blind. He organized and was the first director of the Perkins ...

Samuel Gridley Howe
and
Alexander Graham Bell Alexander Graham Bell (; March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was a Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. He also co-founded the (AT&T) in 1885. , grandf ...

Alexander Graham Bell
were popular supporters of oralism and its impact on deaf education and services. Until the end of the 19th century, many educators of deaf America were deaf themselves."21st International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) in July 2010 in Vancouver, Canada"
''World Federation of the Deaf''. 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
However, oralists like
Alexander Graham Bell Alexander Graham Bell (; March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was a Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. He also co-founded the (AT&T) in 1885. , grandf ...

Alexander Graham Bell
began to wield increasing influence.
Bell A bell is a struck idiophone, directly struck idiophone percussion instrument. Most bells have the shape of a hollow cup that when struck vibrates in a single strong strike tone, with its sides forming an efficient resonator. The strike may be ...

Bell
and others believed in deaf assimilation with the
mainstream The mainstream is the prevalent current thought In their most common sense, the terms thought and thinking refer to conscious cognitive processes that can happen independently of sensory stimulation. Their most paradigmatic forms are judging, r ...
hearing world. Bell also believed that sign language was an instrument of imprisonment and that its use prevented the "gesturer" from being a "true American". Bell had no opinion regarding whether or whom deaf people should marry. By contrast, negative eugenicists sought to stop the spread of "bad genes" through invasive measures such as mandatory placement in institutions or sterilization. Bell believed oralism was "an attractive option to sterilization". To Bell, implementation of oralism meant the possibility of a mainstream and "normal" life for deaf individuals. In 1878, the International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) met in Paris to discuss the use of
sign language Sign languages (also known as signed languages) are languages that use the visual-manual modality to convey meaning. Sign languages are expressed through manual articulations in combination with non-manual elements. Sign languages are full-fled ...

sign language
and other issues within deaf education. During the congregation, no Deaf members were allowed to testify. In 1880, the ICED met again in
Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million, while its ...

Milan
with 164 educators attending with one of them being
deaf Deafness has varying definitions in cultural and medical contexts. In medical contexts, the meaning of deafness is hearing loss Hearing loss is a partial or total inability to hear Hearing, or auditory perception, is the ability ...
. This meeting created the solely oralist classroom preventing any form of
sign language Sign languages (also known as signed languages) are languages that use the visual-manual modality to convey meaning. Sign languages are expressed through manual articulations in combination with non-manual elements. Sign languages are full-fled ...

sign language
from being used. After the Milan conference, the Deaf community referred to this time in history as "the dark ages for deaf education in America".


Classroom

Hearing educators who could not sign replaced deaf teachers and, by the mid-20th century, eighty percent of American secondary schools for the deaf used the oral method exclusively.Fox, Margalit. Talking Hands. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. New York, New York: 2007 Some strategies, such as
Total Communication #REDIRECT 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 ...
or SimCom, saw classes conducted in a mixture of spoken and signed English with the teacher signing along, in English word order as they delivered their lecture. For example, "is" "was" and "the", which are not used in sign, were spelled out by the teachers using the manual alphabet. Students were taught using the articulation method, which taught them how to speak and lip read. Oralists believed that signs were no more than gross holistic gestures, which stood for English words in a one-to-one correspondence. Sentences in sign were thought to have no grammar. The facial expressions, such as exaggerated movements of the mouth, tongue, eyes, and lips, suggesting grimacing or excessive emotional display, triggered horror in hearing people. Students were asked to stop moving their faces when they signed, which would later be described as equivalent to asking hearing people to speak in declarative sentences uttered in monotone.


20th century


Movement towards manualism

Even though students were not allowed to use manual signs within the classroom, many deaf students preferred manual signs and used them frequently in their dorm rooms at residential schools for the deaf. Some deaf children were considered "oral failures" because they could not pick up oral language. Others thought that the techniques of oralism actually limited them on what they were taught because they always had to concentrate on the way the words were formed, not what they meant. Leaders of the manualist movement, including Edward M. Gallaudet, argued against the teaching of oralism because it restricted the ability of deaf students to communicate in what was considered their native language. Moreover, "attempts to eliminate sign language were tantamount to stripping them of their identity, their community, and their culture."


Policy change

The retraction of laws forbidding the use of sign language in the classroom occurred in 2010 with the International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) in
Vancouver Vancouver ( ) is a major city in western Canada Western Canada, also referred to as the Western Provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth desc ...

Vancouver
. Deaf grassroots activists and the planning committee of ICED created a solution to provide proper education to the deaf globally.


Modern usage

Oralism is no longer used to teach language or communication in the United States. Parental use of the oral approach typically stems from a parental desire for their child to use a spoken language to communicate with the majority hearing population. They also feel the use of a spoken language will further their child's literacy and written language skills in the classroom. Some researchers believe that the success of the oral approach in a classroom setting had not been fully evaluated. Recent research has demonstrated that an oral education using Listening and Spoken Language can provide most deaf children with spoken language skills that are equivalent to those of their hearing peers if using a
cochlear implant A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted neuroprosthesis that provides a person who has bilateral moderate-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is a type of hearing loss Hearing loss is a partial ...

cochlear implant
, which is a hotly debated device in the Deaf community.


Oral schools

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech (formerly Clarke School for the Deaf) is a national nonprofit organization that specializes in educating children who are deaf or hard of hearing using listening and spoken language (oralism Oralism is the ...
: Focus on helping deaf and hard of hearing children develop spoken English and listening skills. The school's goal is to prepare students for the mainstream setting. Cleary School: Focus on ASL and Spoken English in its Elementary, Middle, and High School classrooms. Their Pre-K focuses on spoken English. Memphis Oral School for the Deaf: Teaching children to develop their spoken and written English skills by teaching children in spoken English.
Moog Center for Deaf Education The Moog Center for Deaf Education was founded in 1996 by one of the pioneers of the oralism method, Jean Sachar Moog. The Moog Center is an independent, not-for-profit school that provides education services to children — birth to early e ...
: Provides listening and spoken language services to children who are deaf or hard of hearing, ages birth to early elementary years, and their families. Tucker Maxon School is a spoken language early intervention and Pre-K thru 5th grade educational institution based in Portland, Oregon. Enrollment includes children who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as children with typical hearing in an inclusive, co-enrolled, mutually beneficial classroom environment. The school's mission is to teach "deaf and hearing children to listen, talk, learn, and achieve excellence together".


Efficacy

There have been few quantitative evaluations regarding the long-term outcomes of oral programs for deaf individuals, but those that do exist tend to study this in relation to children with cochlear implants. One study compared the English development of deaf children with a cochlear implant versus what the English development might have been without the implant. English development was greater and more successful for the implanted deaf child than that of the non-implanted child based on the implementation of a predictive model. The predictive model employs age, residual hearing, and communication mode used by the child to predict the language development. Although deaf implanted children are already at a disadvantage for English development when compared to their hearing counterparts, the implant, on average, reduced what could have been an even larger deficit had the child not been implanted (based on the predictive model). The authors recommend implanting the child as early as possible. The studies did not consider how a non-implanted child exposed to a signed language and a bilingual/bicultural education could develop English skills in relation to a hearing child's English development. Multiple studies find that by ensuring a deaf child has access to American Sign Language, their overall academic performance is better than those who are not. Communication in oral-deaf students without cochlear implants is typically less frequent and less complex than hearing peers of the same age. These expressed communications are less clear than that of their hearing peers. Linguistically, these communications are typical of the language skills seen much earlier in their hearing counterparts. Despite efforts to encourage the sole reliance on speech and spoken language in oral schools, some oral-deaf individuals developed sign systems among themselves in non-supervised settings. Additionally, oral-deaf children often used manual gestures/signs simultaneously or in addition to vocalizations during expressive communications at home. Some studies have called into question the role of developing spoken language skills in relation to developing reading skills. One study in particular demonstrated that while individuals who became deaf before developing spoken language did show a decreased ability to differentiate between the
phonological Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the I ...

phonological
properties of a language, they showed equal capability of recognizing and understanding the orthographic properties of what they were reading. In fact, compared to their hearing counterparts, the deaf individuals showed an increased rate of written word processing skills as they increased in age. Altogether, this research provided evidence contrary to the belief that spoken skills are critical to the development of reading skills, and further proposes that educational approaches should include a stronger focus on building awareness of written language forms separate from the related aural aspects. There is little existing research on the social, professional, and mental health of deaf individuals using oral methods in comparison to those using other methods of education and communication. However, some studies suggest that social-emotional outcomes for deaf children who use cochlear implants and spoken language are statistically significantly higher than those of their signing deaf counterparts in a world made for ableism. There also was no accurate predictor of oralism's success in the classroom.


Social

It is reported by some that deaf children in an oral setting may feel depressed, anxious or experience aloneness and embarrassment.


See also

*
Baby sign language Baby sign language is the use of manual signing allowing infant An infant (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is the more formal or specialised synonym for the common term ''baby'', meaning the ve ...
*
Deaf culture Deaf culture is the set of social beliefs, behaviors, art, literary traditions, history, values, and shared institutions of communities that are influenced by deafness Deafness has varying definitions in cultural and medical contexts. In ...
*
History of deaf education in the United States The history of deaf education in the United States began in the early 1800s when the Cobbs School of Virginia, an oralism, oral school, was established by William Bolling and John Braidwood, and the American School for the Deaf, Connecticut Asylum ...
*
Language deprivation in deaf and hard of hearing children Language deprivation in children with hearing loss occurs when children do not receive accessible language exposure during the critical period In developmental psychology and developmental biology, a critical period is a maturational stage in ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Oralism Education for the deaf Philosophy of education