Someone asked me if I were against oralists when I know s/he must have meant oralism because to be against oralists just because they can speak is outrageous! So my response to this modified question is, yes, I am against oralism but not spoken English. Let me share you that the term oralism to me is a stigma. It is associated with “force” for some even “abuse” (i.e. hands whacked with rulers, hands being put down (watch this):
although physical abuse is prohibited but still, this term brings back these memories that many are scarred with the term oralism.
Oralism is way different than spoken English. Oralism tends to be the only approach and it bans from ASL. Spoken English is not against for one to know both languages since birth. It has no biased meaning – it is just a language. Spoken English doesn’t ban a Deaf child from using ASL nor force those who cannot hear enough to use it. Some people who think the world of oralism are ignorant. Using the word, oralism, still did not change to a positive concept just we would never change the concept of slavery. Now I am not comparing slavery to oralism but in that sense, the idea of slavery is negative just like oralism is for some, if not, many. Would we want to still practice slavery? No! Unfortunately, it is still happening in some parts of the world. Slavery will always be negative just like oralism is but in a different sense of course. There were horror stories associated to oralism that scarred them for life. Although it is history but today the practice, the principle and the philosophy still discriminate against ASL. The Deaf children are suppressed from using ASL. The term should be changed to oracy since it involves the use of switching to both languages where they have the options to use, spoken or signed, where there is more flexibility and compatibility.
(In my video clip, you will see my description on how Flemish Deaf view oralism definition vs. Deaf culture definition.)
That's why I don't accept and approve the concept of oralism because of the attitude. The concept is negative so that is something to think about how should we view oralism.From my experience, I was able to grow up using spoken English and ASL. Did I ever think that I think of myself as a oralist? No. I am just a spoken English user so it is completely different than being oralist because one doesn't know ASL. I use spoken English, yes. I am ASL user, yes! Oralists don't use ASL. It is just a different view about the way I grow up as I never thought one has to separate those who speak from using ASL. They were placed in an environment using an only-oral-method approach and it was not necessary! ( ASL users still can use spoken English and to not to know ASL growing up because it will hinder language development is still unproven stated by research documents. It has been proven that bilingual approach will benefit the Deaf child to grasp the language, ASL, that is most accessible and natural to them, making the bridge to learn spoken English more effectively if the child desires to do so and benefits the time spent for learning speech).