I guess I am an unusual hearie. After all, I love and I mean love sign language. I loved SEE but now I am learning ASL and really superduper love ASL!! If I could communicate in ASL, and never needed english, I'd gladly switch. It's clear and simple yet grammatically intricate and very beautiful. If hearies could take the time to learn even the basics of ASL, they would then be convinced that ASL is a real language of it's own and not connected to english at all. I think due the fact true deaf have never heard speech, therefore they think in concepts versus words, that ASL should be their first language. Lets fill their basic need to communicate the easiest way they know how. ASL fits conceptual learning which is how deaf think. Ok, now they have hearing friends, and maybe want to be involved in the hearing world, start teaching them spoken language. I think if they have the capacity to learn words vs concepts, then help them. But be patient. Us hearies have a difficult time with ASL vs SEE why? Because we are thinking in words vs concepts so we struggle too with ASL. SEE is still word signs so it is much easier. SEE matches our linear thinking the same way ASL matches true deaf conceptual thinking. But hey Bilingual is a cool thing because in our country so many diffferent languages are spoken. ASL and Spanish should be taught in our schools as mandatory. But same for spanish kids. They should learn english because they live in an english speaking country. Hearing kids think sign language is cool because they can fingerspell secrets during class, so they wouldn't mind learning it. It's the hearing adults who have been prejudiced against ASL.(not all hearies of course). And since deaf live in the hearing world, they should have english as their second language for the chances of interacting with hearing is 100% guaranteed. But if it is too hard for them, then don't make it so demanding of them but encourage them and help them see how it would benefit them. I speak and read fluent english but I have to say I am a very visual and conceptual person. I understand ASL more clear than english. I have ADHD and there are holes in my processing of information that if you don't go from one thought process to another, it goes over my head. I think you can tell by the words I use, that I am not stupid(ie intricate). But I need more details than the average person. ASL is very detailed yet simply oriented. Say for example you are going to put me on a new computer program I have never used before. You know it like the back of your hand. It's so simple to you because you know the in's and outs. Maybe you are quick minded and are able to figure alot of things out, or when it is explained to you it just makes sense. Not me. I need you to take it one thing at a time, connect it to the next thing in relation to one another, and don't expect me to read between the lines. I need hands on training with simple explanations. Now say you are ASL and are explaining to me this new computer program in ASL. I would quickly grasp it so much faster. Because english to me is just words, it's hard for me to take something brand new and visualize what you are telling me. But with asl, the visualization is there for me, therefore I can understand. I know alot of hearing folks out there with the same problem. It's not that they can't learn, they can, but visualizing new things is difficult for them. I guess that is why I love ASL so much. Wow! I think I just made a discovery about the reason I love ASL. I knew I did, just didn't know why. Wow am I longwinded or what?
ps. I think I would like to add to a thought at the beginning of my sermon(lol). I learned SEE and interpreted in SEE for a long time. Then the organization I belong to in the 80's switched over to ASL to help the deaf more clearly in their native language. (SEE is the same as spoken English. And true deaf can get very confused with SEE same as learning oralism.)For example if you are true deaf with no spoken language, if I sign SEE I went over to grandma's house, and then later I say. I am over it already, but use the same sign over the context is changed. that would confuse people. Now to someone watching ASL without knowledge, it looks like oversimplified broken english. I thought ASL was that too.) In fact I know a deaf woman who lost her hearing at the age of 22 and refuses to learn ASL. She is in the same organization as me and her husband has to interpret for her because she didn't make the switch. She can lipread good though. But I finally after many years decided I want to get more involved with the deaf I had better learn ASL. Wow I didn't know what I was missing. It's like learning all over again only better. Robbie