A total immersion approach to BSL is the answer? Some facts BSL campaigners distort when talking about educational approaches. E.G.
'Facts and figures.' (Source the BBC).
(1) There are about 11 million people in the UK who are deaf or hard of hearing.
[Never validated. No statistical analysis has ever been done, that defines loss, it is impossible and falls foul of the Data protection law, and is cross-related to disability stats, the majority of 'deaf' stats tend to only emerge from deaf charity bases (So with obvious bias), who don't have resources to validate, but are USED as valid resources because the system doesn't know either. AOHL puts the figures at 9m, including 3m who never use a hearing aid. BDA stats have doubled year on year without any validity, to currently over 90,000 deaf signers, 6 times an increase from 15,000 who stated in a national census of actual use and twice the number registered by health systems, such stats are unquotable as accurate.]
(2) There are more than 48,000 deaf children in the UK - 41,261 in England, 2,374 in Wales, 2,942 in Scotland and 1,497 in Northern Ireland.
[No statistic says they are DEAF and use sign, (or need it, CI users are on the rise), it comes under 'hearing loss', this is deaf activism 'suggesting' all deaf sign again, also, Wales e.g. have NO deaf schools.].
(3) BSL is the first or preferred language of about 70,000 deaf people in the UK.
[This conflicts with 'fact' (2), suggesting 50% of hearing also rely on BSL as well, and have been added to actual deaf stats. The BDA the BSL mouthpiece recently went as far as 90,000 deaf, with no proof supplied, it's all 'think of a number...', who can disprove it, with no effective survey ever taking place?]
BSL is not a translation of English - it has its own linguistics and very different grammatical structures to English. The UK government acknowledged it as an official language in 2003.
[But did NOT, and still have not, approved widespread usage in deaf education since, they simply recognised deaf use sign via a European declaration of minority language recognitions along with 11 others in Europe, the Britsh Deaf Association used the declaration, to suggest the UK had already accepted BSL in schools, to boost BSL campaigns.. (As they still try to suggest via recent BSL GCSE Campaigns), but again the UK Dept of Education is doing little more than paying 'lip-service' to it and has said no recognition or inclusions in this current parliament..]
Sign language has no written component. Deaf people can only use sign language to communicate face to face.
[WITH each other, and not with others without support elsewhere, so not enabling deaf people to cope in a hearing world, and inhibiting deaf children's opportunity, and ability to be included.]
This means that the deaf must use English or another language for reading and writing, which has become increasingly important for business and communication with the advent of computers and the Internet.
[It's essential not 'increasingly important' if you aren't English literate you have no way to learn what you need to, or advance or work properly, 'illiteracy' becomes the barrier].
All deaf people are bilingual IF they use sign language in addition to lip-reading.
[Not, and poorly explained properly, even lip-reading ability may not suggest any effective oral/written response, so still explicitly sign dependent.]
As with any second language, sign language has its own unique history, culture and grammatical structure, making the translation from signing to writing in standard English a significant challenge.
[All the more reason ENGLISH should be their first signed language, education is not just there to promote a culture in isolation, but to enable deaf to move in and out of it. It's not a system just designed so deaf can socialise with each other, but that's all they are doing with it. E.G. would you teach your child to speak French if he lived in Germany, assuming the interpreters will provide the rest?]
Sign language requires the use of hands to make gestures.
This can be a problem for people who do not have full use of their hands. Even seemingly manageable disabilities such as Parkinson's or arthritis can be a major problem for people who must communicate using sign language. Having a broken arm or carrying a bag of groceries can, for a deaf person, limit communication. The amount of light in a room also affects the ability to communicate using sign language.