The assumption in education of deaf students, for the past fifteen years at least, has been that simultaneous communication (SC) is the most effective means of communication in the classroom. Some justification for this assumption comes from research studies conducted during the past ten years, but methodological limitations of these studies, here reviewed, casts serious doubt on the conclusions claimed. Descriptive research over the past five years has lead some linguists and educators to question the effectiveness of SC and to ask whether, given the psycholinguistic demands of signing and speaking at the same time, more effective communication may occur if (hearing) people sign without speaking or speak and use an interpreter. A pilot study designed to investigate this question resulted in no unequivocal evidence of superiority, but because actual college lectures (not the usual contrived and rehearsed material) were used and notes taken by the students as well as their objective test results were examined, it appears that signing without speech does have notable advantages.


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pp. 415-442
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