Signing Exact English
Signing Exact English (SEE, sometimes Signed Exact English ) is a system of manual communication that strives to be an exact representation of English vocabulary and grammar. It is one of a number of such systems in use in English-speaking countries, which are known collectively as Manually Coded English.
Relation to American Sign Language 
SEE is an artificial system that was devised in 1972 that has been proven to function as the first language of children with hearing loss. It is based on American Sign Language (ASL). However, it often modifies ASL handshapes to incorporate the handshape used for the first letter of the English word that the SEE sign represents. Many new signs were invented, however, especially signs for grammatical parts of words called morphemes. SEE can be thought of as a code for visually representing spoken English, developed primarily for use in deaf education.
Signing Exact English (SEE) is useful to families who use English in the home or who want their child with hearing loss to be able to speak, understand, use, read, and write English. SEE often is a good alternative to natural sign languages by hearing parents of deaf children because they do not require them to learn a new grammar or syntax. Therefore, SEE and its variants are easy to learn for people who have already internalized English. Children who grew up on SEE are now in their 20s and 30s and members of the Deaf Community. Research has shown that most users of SEE graduate high school and attend college. Many graduate college and obtain jobs, live independently, drive, and vote (see American Annals of the Deaf, summer, 2012) Other advantages are:[original research?]
- SEE sign makes visible the smallest units of meaning in the English language which are difficult to hear (e.g., the word "boy" is signed differently than the word "boys");
- SEE sign parallels spoken and written English and is useful for children who hear speech;
- SEE sign gives visual access to articles and prepositions and other grammatical parts of the English language;
- SEE is easy for English speaking parents and teachers of deaf children to master because they do not have to learn a new grammar;
- SEE is easier for non-deaf and non-verbal individuals with receptive English language skills (such as those with severe autism) to master.
The use of Signing Exact English has been controversial. Many deaf people[who?] complain that it is awkward and difficult to sign, but they typically have had little experience with it. Some[who?] feel it is important for children who use SEE to have opportunities to learn ASL as well. However, it is advocated by some educators[who?] as a way of providing deaf children with access to a visual form of the English language. There is no conclusive evidence that deaf students learn English by observing a manual representation of English. SEE does not manually represent all English morphemes. It allows signers to drop word medial morphemes. For example, the sign for examination is produced with two signs: EXAM + -TION. The system assumes that since examtion is not a word in English the observer will fill in the missing parts, Thus, the SEE user must first be familiar with English in order to discern the correct form. Young children must be taught which signs have incomplete English morphemic representations. Since knowledge of English structure is a prerequisite for the understanding of SEE, SEE can be described as a code not a language.
Educational controversy 
There is debate as to whether SEE benefits children enough to justify its teaching in place of or alongside the more widely adopted signing language, ASL. Proponents of SEE argue that it is useful in helping children learn to read and write English more naturally. They further claim that SEE can exist as a practical alternative to ASL without hindering the learning of ASL, because it is easier to learn for native verbal English speakers, such as individuals with partial hearing loss or no hearing impairment. Opponents point to the logistical disadvantages of trying to promote the mainstream use of a second signing language, and dispute that SEE offers advantages to warrant educational resources which could be put toward encouraging universal adoption of ASL.
SEE is not considered a language in itself like ASL, but functions as a first language for the children who use it and whose family members use it. Technically, it is an invented system for a language—namely, for English. Thus, there is some discrepancy around whether language credit ought to be given for learning SEE, as is commonly done now with ASL.
See also 
- Johnson, Robert E (1989). Unlocking the Curriculum: Principles for Achieving Access in Deaf Education. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet Research Institute. pp. 89–3.
- Stewart, David & Barbara Luetke-Stahlman (1998). The Signing Family: What Every Parents Should Know about Sign Commuciation. Washington D.C.: Gallaudet University Press. pp. Chapter 6.
- Stack, Kelly (1999). Innovation by a Child Acquiring Signing Exact English II (PhD Thesis). Los Angeles: University of California. OCLC 41560262.[page needed]
- Luetke-Stahlman, Barbara (1988). "The benefit of oral English-only as compared with signed input to hearing-impaired students". The Volta Review 90 (7): 349–61. OCLC 425071444.
- Luetke-Stahlman, B (1990). "Can SEE-2 children understand ASL-using adults?". American annals of the deaf 135 (1): 7–8. doi:10.1353/aad.2012.0454. PMID 2346108.
- Luetke-Stahlman, B; Moeller, MP (1990). "Enhancing parents' use of SEE-2. Progress and retention". American annals of the deaf 135 (5): 371–8. doi:10.1353/aad.2012.0442. PMID 2091451.
Further reading 
|This article lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. (April 2012)|
- Gustason, Gerilee; Zawolkow, Esther (1993). Signing Exact English. Moderns Signs Press.
- MacDougall, James C. (1988). "The development of the Australasian signed English system". Australian Teacher of the Deaf 29: 18–36.