Here we go with the 1st/2nd thing again. I agree that deaf should learn "proper English" but I also think that ASL should be learned/taught at the same time or at least before entering school- that would work for pre lingually deaf/born deaf. For kids who become deaf later- say 2 and up- there's no reason why they can't have ASL as the primary language and use that to teach proper English. I know a deaf man who lost his hearing at the age of 11 due to measles (or mumps I can't remember which). He grew up mainstream in hearing schools- barely managed to get through. His primary language now is ASL and his English is better than most (and that's on top of the fact that in his family SPANISH is the primary language!). I also know quite a few hard of hearing people who grew up mainstream and 'learning proper English'- as an adult their English still isn't very good at all. One had a reading level of a 4th grader, at least two others- their written skills lacked a lot. All of them are smart in other ways, just that they had major difficulties with English- and likely ASL would have helped them much better. I was "lucky" I guess that I was able to do well in English/Reading etc growing up in mainstream but I can only imagine how much further I could have gotten if I had known ASL. Maybe be able to participate more instead of trying to play catch up all day. Neither Botts (I can't see it in her 2 posts) nor I are looking down on you. In so many words I could say that you are also looking down your nose at those deaf who learned ASL at an early age but could probably run circles around you in the English/reading/writing department. So -- I disagree with your assessment that ALL dhh should have "Proper" English as 1st language. It won't work that way for all of them. Some will do fine with just English, Some do best with just ASL, and even more will or can do just fine with both, utilizing ASL to learn English. Ain't a one size fits all situation.