Love in a Silent World

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“Love in a Silent World” is an article explaining some deaf histories and deaf cultures by describing the backgrounds of a young deaf couple, Mike and Monica. Mike, a Gallaudet college sophomore, is a “manualist”, meaning that he “does not speak” and that he only communicates “through sign language”. Monica, a Gallaudet college freshman, on the other hand, is an “oralist”, which tells people that she has learned “speech and lipreading” and that she used to be forbidden to communicate with others through sign language. Even though Mike and Monica are both deaf, they are very distinct from each other. In fact, Mike and Monica were lucky to have the opportunity to learn sign language because American Sign Language didn’t even existed in the past. American Sign Language was created after decades of which Charles Michel, a French Catholic cleric, founded the first public school for the deaf in the mid-18 century in Paris. Many people, at first, thought that deaf people must learn speech and lipreading. It wasn’t until the rise of a concept called Total Communication of the mid-70s, which encourages “an integrated combination of speech, lipreading, hearing aids and sign language”, that sign language gradually became popular. Unfortunately, the argument of whether deaf people should learn lipreading or sign language has already formed two sides of “the War of Methods”, resulting the debates between manualists and oralists, until now. Of course, there are several reasons that oralism can prevail for many generations. First of all, it’s easier for oralists than manualists to participate in the world where most people communicate with speech. For instance, when there’s no translator in a class with a hearing teacher, oralists are much more capable of learning the course than manualists. Secondly, oralists actually get to experience things when they learn to “grasp the meanings of words”. Children, as a result, develop their interests in learning...
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