It is important to have bilingualism at Gallaudet University today. We all know that American Sign Language (ASL) is our most natural form by the meaning through personal of all experiences. No question about that. ASL shows us the greatest skills of our civilization, along with literature in meaning significance.
At the same time, it is very important to emphasize that bilingualism has created all of us in this nation—same concept, as we are the nation of immigrants.
We need to change the attitude by adding “written” English—not “spoken” English as President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano has informed the audience and live streaming for State of the University presentation to discuss Gallaudet Priorities Update to focus on a framework for bilingualism–but there is huge concern about bimodality [sign and speak with mouth] that has been added to Gallaudet’s priorities.
ASL-Written English bilingualism fosters empathy, trust, and mutual understanding. I wonder if the task force for Bilingual Mission hand-picked by President Cordano would aspire to affirm between ASL and English and depend the sense of awe and grace that accompanies an awareness of ASL-English bilingualism.
For example, there is someone who is on the task force team is a huge supporter of bimodality philosophy–which could bring big concerns on that issue.
Will Bilingual Mission Task Force create pathways better education to walk toward ASL-‘written’ English bilingualism? Do they teach the need to heal from the traumas of living in less than a just, sacred and sustainable world that Oralism is above ASL? How can they fix the concerns to resist the further destruction of the ASL-‘spoken’ English hegemony?
“Written” English is important to our intellectual and academic life. The task force needs to remove “spoken” English or bimodality philosophy off the table and expose that written English would bring many lifelong learning process that is the essence of our literacy–in other words, bimodality is all about academic hypocritism.
Gallaudet University would become the university that uses exclusive ASL for intellectual discourses–building relationship in this university to the world. Remember, the greatest gift what George Veditz in the 1913 film, The Preservation of Sign Language, promised our world including Gallaudet University.
I know for a fact that Veditz would challenge the Bilingual Mission Task Force to remove ‘bimodality’ or ‘spoken’ English–will they make any difference this time? The change to stop language oppression and hegemony has been recognized and we do not need to deal with that.
In 1864, National Deaf Mute College was never about bimodality–it was about educating students in exclusive sign language. Keep that way.
Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier
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