Simultaneous communication to use or to avoid?

In short, practice bilingualism, not simultaneous communication.

Simultaneous communication or its term variants (SimCom and sign supported speech) is one of some "communication methods", in which one speaks both spoken language and manually coded English at the same time.

It's commonly used among hearing signers with other hearing listeners in front of Deaf people so that Deaf persons can be involved in the conversations.

Top reasons for say no to SimCom

Speaking two languages in two modes simultaneously may sound perfectly feasible to naive hearing people. But, it's not feasible.

With an exception in some social situations which will be discussed later in this post. But, definitely not to be used in classroom.

Signed English is not a language

Because, these two language ASL and English are entirely different with their own grammatical rules and structure as well as their own structure of the smallest units of language.

ASL has its own grammatical rule and structure that one cannot speak two languages at the same time, regardless of separate modalities. It's an analogy to speaking English and typing Arabic at the same time. Result? Broken Arabic with English-like grammar.

Not only it corrupts grammar in an oppressed language, it also loses intonation, contextual meanings (words in different contextual sentences), prosody, and all other linguistic features.

SimCom is a symbol of oppression

ASL and English are different separate languages of their own grammar, structure, etc. When speaking both languages at the same time, one strongly tends to, if not always, speak full English and broken ASL.

What this tells is that ASL tends to be devalued and that English tends to be chosen or a priority over ASL. It explicitly exhibits an audist attitude. It reminds a history-long oppression of audism and linguicism.

SimCom can be harmful to language acquisition

A number of studies, including neuroscience and linguistics, reveal that ASL or any signed language is a genuine, human language that language regardless of hands or lips is central to the brain, not speech. Below are two quick examples of some facts.

Speaking ASL activates the same linguistic regions of the brain (Broca for expression and Wernicke for recepion) as speaking English. What this means is that language resides in the brain, not in mouth or hands.

Language acquisition in ASL is on the same milestones as that in English. For example, linguistic pointing (pronouns in ASL) emerges at about the same time as pronouns in English in children. What's more, it comes with pronoun reversal errors that appear in ASL-speaking toddlers despite its iconicity at around the same age as found in English-speaking toddlers.

SimCom with deaf children during the critical period of language development hinders natural language acquisition. Because, 1) deaf children are not fully accessible to spoken language via speech, despite cochlear implants or any other devices; 2) signed English is not a language. In the end, language acquisition is weakened.

Practice bilingualism, not simcom

Speak in one language and then another. That way one articulates full sentences in a language at a time.

Approaches to speaking two languages -- English and ASL -- at home with a child is no different from those speaking two spoken languages at home.

Approaches to speaking two languages -- English and ASL -- at home with a child is no different from those speaking two spoken languages at home.

To teach a bilingual baby a word for an object in two languages, sign an ASL word and then speak an English word separately. Balance with firsts. E.g. first ASL, then English. Next time, first English then ASL. In some cases, a monolingual parent speak one language and the other parent speaks another language. It depends from one family to another. But, don't speak both languages at the same time with a few occasional exceptions (usually with one or two words maximum).

For example, an ASL-speaking parent might sign "no" at the same time vocalizing "no" for more emphasis (e.g. to prevent a child from doing something dangerous). It's normal. It's the same with an English-speaking parent using a manual gesture to accompany a vocal word.

To articulate full sentences, use one language at a time.

When to use simcom

A common situation is a casual hearing-hosted party or social/family event where a hearing friend or even an oral deaf would speak English and ASL at the same time when having a conversation with others if their deaf friend is present with them so not to leave the deaf person out. Likewise, conversely, a friend might chat in ASL with his/her friend at the same speaking English if their hearing friend is present.

If the person is interested in the topic, she/he would ask the bilingual for more information in full ASL or English (whoever is asking). If the deaf and a hearing person are conversing, the bilingual might faciliate in full English and ASL. Or, then they would chat directly in writing back and forth one to one if the deaf person doesn't lipread or vocally speak.

It's all about flexibility and inclusive strategies at an informal party.

For weddings and such formal settings, a certified professional English-ASL interpreter is usually hired for both deaf and hearing participants for accessibility to both parties (deaf and hearing).

Cultural awareness: Sometimes a hearing person would be curious or might desire to ask an interpreter a question or to have a chat. When this occurs, an interpeter would say "Sorry, I'm working." It's not appropriate to make a chat with an interpreter at work.