Oral And The Oral Manual Controversy

831 WordsJun 13, 20164 Pages
The Oral-Manual Controversy in Deaf Education History tells us that the oral-manual controversy in deaf education emerged during the Age of Reason. The Age of Reason chronicles the so-called War of Methods when the manualists, followers of Abbé Charles Michel de l’Épée’s manualism, and the oralists, followers of Samuel Heinicke’s oralism, competed each other in the deaf education arena (Lang, 2011). Needless to say, no winner was declared; hence, the controversy has continued for centuries. Description The oral-manual controversy is about the conflict between the oral method and the manual method of teaching deaf people and the competition as to which of the two methods is better. Historically, the oral-manual controversy was based on the two competing paradigms of deaf education: manualism or manualist philosophy and oralism or oralist philosophy that originated in Europe and popularized by l’Épée and Heinicke respectively (Lang, 2011). Manualism supported the use of sign in teaching deaf students, while oralism supported the use of speech in teaching deaf students. The controversy started in Europe and spread out to countries that followed the adoption of deaf education, including the United States. Scheetz (2012) pointed out that while many European schools for the deaf originally favored the oral method, majority of the original schools for the deaf in America embraced the manual method as evidenced by the popularity of the American Sign Language (ASL). Moores (2010)
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