Shakespeare in ASL

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Thu Jul 8 14:19:05 UTC 1999

Looks like in this discussion we have lost track of what the alleged myths are.

The primary myths Beverly (if I may speak for her) and I referred to were
the following:

1) That ASL is not a fully developed human language with a phonetics,
phonology, morphology, etc... (and that use of it would be the equivalent
to T&T [Tarzan and Tonto] language).

2) That acquisition of and continuing development in this language would
impede acquisition of and/or development in another.

I do not believe Beverly or I wanted to question the statistic that deaf
children performed poorly in school (any more than we would deny the fact
that children who are speakers of other languages do poorly in school when
tested only in the target rather than in the native language or even in a
variety of the native language which may not really be native).


>In the graduate classes in Audiology at UF and the Deaf Ed classes at UNF only
>those students who were not already teaching students with hearing impairments
>requested documentation, which was quickly given.  The debates at national
>meetings of ASLHA and CEC that I attended were never about whether the figures
>were accurate but why they were so low.  The Chairman at UNF postulated that
>hearing impairments were a greater handicap to learning than visual ones
>because totally blind students graduated with higher educational achievement
>than those without impairments while those with profound hearing impairments
>were much lower.
>> At 6:31 PM -0700 7/7/99, Scott or Pafra Catledge wrote:
>> >Probably one reason that the alleged myth persists is that chairs of
>> >graduate programs in Deaf Education give it to their graduate students as
>> >an acknowledged fact of life.
>> And do these graduate students passively accept it as an acknowledged fact
>> of life, or do they ask those chairs for citations and proof?  If the
>> former, can those students be said to be performing at the graduate level?
>> Ken Miller
>> Darrell Huff School of Statistics

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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