ASL (or BSL) vs SEE (or ESL... whatever)

DeafInTX

New Member
I've had to take both ASL and SEE2 for my degree (Deaf Ed). We're required to learn SEE2 because it's the "language of instruction" at public schools for the deaf here in Texas (supposedly, but the school's I've observed at seem to use whatever works -- ASL, SEE2, TC, all of the above). I was really against SEE2 before I learned it; I couldn't see how a deaf child would be able to understand if you used the same sign to represent several concepts. But hearing children learn to understand that the same word can represent many different concepts, so why can't a deaf child? Other things to consider: SEE may confuse children born to Deaf parents who have used only ASL before starting school, but many (around 90%) of deaf children have hearing parents and a lot of those parents do not learn ASL or only learn basic survival signs, so a lot of deaf children start school not having any language base. And SEE2 is not as bad as I had envisioned; most of the signs make sense conceptually, they're just initialized ASL signs. I still would prefer to teach using ASL, but I can see where using SEE2 might be beneficial for the deaf child, particularly in learning to read.
 

Passivist

New Member
chickeradoo said:
Which one do you use and/or support? I support ASL :thumb:


This appears a curious request ! Until you master ENGLISH you cannot effectively use sign to refer to it, there would be no reference point. So it's usually ENGLISH sign first then I would assume ASL/BSL second. It's a little bit of a 'loaded' question, most would not agree using non-related english-grammar sign language (BSL is this, I don't know about ASL), to access it , would be viable. Such wide variations of BSL grammar e.g. create real learning difficulties for deaf who then find it hard to follow written or spoken English. To be literate you need to learn the national language, here, it's English (!).

Another issue is there are no written reference materials available for the sign user, it's all visual. Really speaking without that reference material you cannot effectively educate the deaf. I understand there is a version of 'written' sign language, but it looks even more difficult for deaf to follow, and without universal adoption is wasted time. You would STILL need English to follow even that. Basically, until a deaf person can gain English literacy basics, they are on a permenant learning and communication uphill struggle, and will find considerable issue moving out of a deaf world to function outside.

The world doesn't revolve around sign language, so you need alternatives.
 

CutePommie

New Member
I used BSL, BSL Hand-on signs for Deafblind /Deafblind's Manuals, BSL Frames signs for Usher sydromes, SSE (Sign Support English), and Lipreadings. I support all of any signs.
 

shezzbeav

Wanderluster
Premium Member
I grew up using SE (Signed English), and now I use both Auslan and SE, hence I use PSE (Pidgeon Signed English), which is a mix of both Signed English and Auslan. I tend to use Auslan more often, but when I'm either with my family or my in-laws, I use PSE.
 

DeafMonkey

Active Member
when I was kid that I used to SEE till my age 10 yrs old change to ASL but I am still used both SEE and ASl cause of my mom use SEE instead of ASL :)
 

LisaMarie

New Member
I use ASL all my life. I m very devoted to ASL but of course I do support in any type of sign language for people who raise that way. My belief is that if you are signing that way that is your identity. Just my opinion. :)
 

TheSpirit

New Member
Passivist said:
This appears a curious request ! Until you master ENGLISH you cannot effectively use sign to refer to it, there would be no reference point. So it's usually ENGLISH sign first then I would assume ASL/BSL second. It's a little bit of a 'loaded' question, most would not agree using non-related english-grammar sign language (BSL is this, I don't know about ASL), to access it , would be viable. Such wide variations of BSL grammar e.g. create real learning difficulties for deaf who then find it hard to follow written or spoken English. To be literate you need to learn the national language, here, it's English (!).

Another issue is there are no written reference materials available for the sign user, it's all visual. Really speaking without that reference material you cannot effectively educate the deaf. I understand there is a version of 'written' sign language, but it looks even more difficult for deaf to follow, and without universal adoption is wasted time. You would STILL need English to follow even that. Basically, until a deaf person can gain English literacy basics, they are on a permenant learning and communication uphill struggle, and will find considerable issue moving out of a deaf world to function outside.

The world doesn't revolve around sign language, so you need alternatives.

I disagree with all of your comments. Here are my counterarguments.

You said: "Until you master ENGLISH you cannot effectively use sign to refer to it, there would be no reference point. So it's usually ENGLISH sign first then I would assume ASL/BSL second."

I say: Until you learn English, you can't effectively use sign to refer to it. SEE2's (English sign) main purpose is to refer to English, since it is manually coded English whereas ASL/BSL are not... ASL/BSL are their own languages and do not refer to English.
-
You said: "I understand there is a version of 'written' sign language, but it looks even more difficult for deaf to follow, and without universal adoption is wasted time. You would STILL need English to follow even that."

I say: You're right about needing English to follow written ASL - *if* you utilize english as a means to translate it. Written ASL (SignWriting) can be used, in fact, to teach English and it is surprisingly simple to understand. Also, on the issue of lack of universal adoption, people who refuse to adopt SignWriting are the only reason it isn't universally adopted. Kind of a catch 22 that the critics who refuse to accept it use the fact that it is not accepted universally as a method of attack.
-
Finally, "The world doesn't revolve around sign language, so you need alternatives."

I am not sure what you mean by that, but I'd argue that the world does, in fact, revolve around language. We would still be beating rocks together and killing animals with our hands without language.

Keep in mind that I am not attacking you - just your viewpoints. I'm engaging in a sensible debate to hopefully come to a consensus with you on this topic.
 

Passivist

New Member
TheSpirit said:
I disagree with all of your comments. Here are my counterarguments.

You said: "Until you master ENGLISH you cannot effectively use sign to refer to it, there would be no reference point. So it's usually ENGLISH sign first then I would assume ASL/BSL second."

I say: Until you learn English, you can't effectively use sign to refer to it. SEE2's (English sign) main purpose is to refer to English, since it is manually coded English whereas ASL/BSL are not... ASL/BSL are their own languages and do not refer to English.
-
You said: "I understand there is a version of 'written' sign language, but it looks even more difficult for deaf to follow, and without universal adoption is wasted time. You would STILL need English to follow even that."

I say: You're right about needing English to follow written ASL - *if* you utilize english as a means to translate it. Written ASL (SignWriting) can be used, in fact, to teach English and it is surprisingly simple to understand. Also, on the issue of lack of universal adoption, people who refuse to adopt SignWriting are the only reason it isn't universally adopted. Kind of a catch 22 that the critics who refuse to accept it use the fact that it is not accepted universally as a method of attack.
-
Finally, "The world doesn't revolve around sign language, so you need alternatives."

I am not sure what you mean by that, but I'd argue that the world does, in fact, revolve around language. We would still be beating rocks together and killing animals with our hands without language.

Keep in mind that I am not attacking you - just your viewpoints. I'm engaging in a sensible debate to hopefully come to a consensus with you on this topic.


I'm obliged and thank you for your response. I don't think language par se is the issue, only, where it is effective as I see it. I don't think there's much opposition to the fact it is an intriniscally DEAF language and NOT a hearing one. Unless the hearing person is sign aware, or, the deaf person is able to have assistance to follow, I think that point is pretty much made. In as much as sign is negligable in one-on-one terms with mainstream we must surely agree ? I think the point made is if .e.g. you are a native using serbo-croat (As an extreme example), then unless there are alternatives, you are going to have some considerable difficulty making yourself understood to someone that isn't aware of it.

It's not about 'respect' either, it depends if you see sign language as viable communication-wise as a tool one-on-one, or accept it probably means dependency on others, indeed the campaigns are, to promote MORE support for people who use sign alone to follow things. There are alternatives (and addditional means), by which deaf people can follow communication, written and verbal, the thrust of may debates is why should 'Deaf' accept that ? IT gets emotive, rights/culture clouds things, and it ends up being a my way or the highway attitude on communication, which is not helping the deaf.

For mainstream to adopt the ASL/BSL thing, there has to be leeway given we don't see any from the voices of the Deaf community. A number here echo the phrase all deaf regardless together, each to his own, (There's a whole world of cliche's out there !), but the debates/discussion show very little real sign (No pun intended), of this really happening. The fabled deaf unity has rarely existed, and was quoted as "one of the most fracticious groups of disabled people in the world" at one point. A decibel here or there can make the most profound difference to attitudes, you don't see this with most other sectors or minorities.
 

Passivist

New Member
Rose Immortal said:
There are some minorities where you see it with subtle changes in skin color or socioeconomic status. To my limited observation, anyway.


Ethnic/colour status isn't applicable here, we're talking effective communication. Theoretically I could opt for communication using paper bags and a big stick, so long as TWO or three people use the same means, THAT is a 'language' (and even, a culture by definition, I had this OK from Dictionary makers). How effective that would be is another matter we are discussing, even via choice it's not all that logical, (Although personally effective), and would need to evolve to be viable (Or you bludgeon your stand on others, via conquest and war !). One doubts much spanish was taught in south america until the spaniards went there !

The entire planet is forced via these means, and the strongest wins usually. I think currently, this is probably the first time in recorded history language is a real choice you can insist on, there again ONLY In the democratic and certain other countries, or they ignore you until you learn theirs (The 'Deaf' seem to be adopting this approach in democratic countries, if we can't beat 'em, ignore them).
 

Rose Immortal

New Member
The comparison I was making was between this comment:

A decibel here or there can make the most profound difference to attitudes,

And the attitude some racial minorities have about how light- or dark-skinned one is.
 
M

Mookie

Guest
Cheri said:
Well, I sign SEE, But I support all signs.

Well, your SEE I/II easily makes me dull. Just like an airhead blondie motormouths... No offense. :thumb:

For the record, I had SEE in the public school in small city. I fluent in ASL.
 

Cheri

Prayers for my dad.
Premium Member
Mookie said:
Well, your SEE I/II easily makes me dull. Just like an airhead blondie motormouths... No offense. :thumb:


What is your problem? Don't you have better things to do than go around throwing insults?
 

Sweetmind

New Member
OH yea! cheri what is your problem? Mookie has the right to express her own true feelings about SEE.. I agree with her all the way because too many deaf students doesnt write very good english written while they were taught SEE by hearing teacher in d/Deaf and mainstream school. It is very totally sad for people who have a hardhead for not accepting ASL as a true language and works for everyone especially for Deaf children s need. It helps d/Deaf children very much to understand the concept of language before English. Sighs!

SEE is an artificial langauge that doesnt have a real language because of orally speaking reason for SEE and hearing people to learn which is a big mistake in many ways. BOOO BOOOO!!

Be reasonable for all deaf children to meet other deaf children with ASL. thats the most comfortable to use ASL than SEE.. SEE is quite a big boredom in the classroom.

Thank you! ;)
Sweetmind
 
Last edited:
Top