This is an informal vlog in response to Ella Mae Lentz regarding her point of view of Sim-Com. Her vlog was in response to Charles Downing's FB post and to Harold3's youTube comments. I love Ella Mae Lentz and agree with her stance regarding how SIM-COM is an ineffective way to communicate.
I am a 12 year veteran teacher that attended a state university that put more emphasis on Aural/Oral approach. They did include sign language, but it was very limited to English sign systems. After graduation, I really thought that I knew a great deal about Deaf education. It wasn't until I started to associate with Deaf people that I really began learning the language. (By not means, have I "arrived." I am still a work in progress.
I would love to get your feedback regarding SIM-COM (simultaneous communication: signing and speaking at the same time). I realize in my educational experience and even at my past places of employment (mainstream environments) I was encouraged to use SIM-COM during instruction. I believe that using SIM-COM is not the most effective way to communicate with Deaf and particularly harmfully to Deaf children.
I most admit that I am also guilty of using SIM-COM. I have to make it a conscious priority to stop myself, since in all of my years of teaching and educational experiences, professionals have encouraged the use of SIM-COM. This is a learned behavior and I must be aware, that when I am doing this, communication is ineffective. ASL has distinct grammatical features and syntax that is completely different from English. The two can't be done simultaneously and still maintain the integrity of both languages.
As an educator, I feel it is especially necessary for us to do the right thing in regard to the children. The right thing is to give children the opportunity to learn ASL correctly and not skewed by the influence of English. The same thing is true for learning English. Deaf children should have the opportunity to learn English without the influence of ASL skewing the structure of English. Let's keep them separate, so Deaf children have a chance. They can't speak up and are the innocent by-standers that end up the recipients of our distorted attempt at language. Please for their sake, let's make it a intentional effort to respect both languages and keep them separate. I too am included with this plea. I must break the habits of years of mis-education and do what is right for the sake of the children.
Thank you Ella for sharing your response with us. I really do look up to you and respect you highly.
Feel free to share any feedback or comments you may have.
Thanks for watching.
April has been teaching for the past twelve years across the United States. She began her career in Chicago Public Schools, but has taught at Phoenix School for the Deaf, and currently teaching and interpreting in the Atlanta area.