Following the Rules Consistency in Sign Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1991
Following the Rules
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara Luetke-Stahlman
    University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City, KS
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Barbara Luetke-Stahlman, PhD, Director of Deaf Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, 39th and Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 66103.
Article Information
Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1991
Following the Rules
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1991, Vol. 34, 1293-1298. doi:10.1044/jshr.3406.1293
History: Received January 24, 1990 , Accepted January 31, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1991, Vol. 34, 1293-1298. doi:10.1044/jshr.3406.1293
History: Received January 24, 1990; Accepted January 31, 1991

The majority of hearing-impaired students in the United States are exposed to at least one, if not several, forms of simultaneously signed and spoken English input (e.g., Seeing Essential English, Signing Exact English, Signed/Manual English, or combinations of these systems). It was the purpose of this study to investigate teachers’ and interpreters’ consistency with regard to following the rules of three of these systems. Subjects were asked to interpret a carefully designed set of stimuli; their performance was videotaped for later bimodal transcription and analysis. Careful descriptive analysis of the form and content of the data revealed that some professionals who purported to use a particular system frequently do not follow accurately the rules of that system, but many can encode in sign the meaning of what they are saying. Signing Exact English (SEE-II) users were able to follow the rules of that system at a significantly higher percentage of time than users of either of the other two systems (p<.03 and p<.001). They also were able to encode the meaning in sign of what they were saying an average of 86% of the time—significantly higher than users of Signed/Manual English (p<.02). However, the average percentage of ability to follow the precise rules of a system was below 57% for even the adults who used SEE-II. It is possible that the acquisition of English is confounded for hearing-impaired children when professionals do not consistently sign the system they purport to use.

Acknowledgments
The author wishes to acknowledge partial funding support from the Graduate School at Northern Illinois University and assistance in manuscript preparation from the University of Kansas Medical Center. The cooperation of the participating professionals and their administrative support are also acknowledged.
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