restricted access In Support of Bilingual/Bicultural Education for Deaf Children

Due to the inherent differences in oral-aural and visual-manual languages, particularly the mediums through which they are learned, the overwhelming majority of deaf children cannot learn English effectively through speechreading and written English, nor can they receive their education through speechreading, written English, or manual forms of English and achieve anything even nearly comparable to the achievements of their hearing peers. Research is consistently showing that native signers do better academically and maintain that advantage throughout their school years. Instruction through a natural sign language is also a benefit, and the transition to teaching through English can be successfully accomplished at about the fifth-grade level.