Bi-Bii To Oralism

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Bi-Bi to Oralism INTRODUCTION One would not insist that blind children must learn visually, in order to develop their sight. The implication of their blindness is obvious. Blind children have little to no vision and their education needs to be modified to accommodate this difference. So why are deaf children expected to learn aurally? Although American Sign Language (“ASL”) has been recognized as a true language since the 1960’s, the number of deaf children enrolled in schools with signing programs has been rapidly declining (Bollag, 2006). Instead, they have been increasingly educated through the oralism alongside their hearing peers in a ‘mainstream’ environment. The oral approach stresses that deaf children can – and should – learn to lip-read and speak, possibly with the assistance of technology like hearing aids or cochlear implants in order to maximize their hearing ability. At the same time, this method warns against (and in many cases, prohibits) the use of ASL, the native and natural language of the deaf. This is based on the theory that the ease of communication afforded through ASL will prevent children from trying hard enough to become successful oral adults (Lynas, 2005). The trend towards placing children into these programs largely stems from new advancements in medical technology, placing a renewed emphasis on the oral approach in education (Bollag, 2006). Approximately 30,000 children in the United States have received cochlear implants since the 1990’s (Young, 2012) and this number will only continue to increase. However, nationwide surveys have consistently shown for decades that deaf students graduate with sub-par literacy skills and most read at the fourth grade level or even below (Bollag, 2006). Despite man... ... middle of paper ... ...s (O’Donoghue, 1999). Many parents try to educate their children orally and give them assistive devices, such as cochlear implants and hearing aids, in order to make their child more ‘hearing’ and altogether avoid the deaf world and sign language. However, parents must overcome this fear of the unknown because very few children are able to be successful through the oral method. It is incredibly important, then, to educate the deaf in their own native language and benefit society as a whole. Since the Bi-Bi method is the best way of educating deaf children, it should be implemented in every deaf school. This will allow deaf children to read on the same level as their hearing peers and perform normally academically (Lynas, 2005). It will also allow them to meet their maximum potential in education and open up more opportunities for their life after school as well.
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