Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Lip-reading II: Video learning.


Hard of Hearing poster suggesting they don't work, at least in the UK.

"Online videos are useless. They suggest learning in situations that are never real to us. A lot of videos use TEXT to explain what was spoken to assist learners, I was never sure if that helped or not, as I waited for the text explanation because initially, you don't read 85% of what is said, I suppose it becomes catch 22 after and the brain switches off and waits for the easier text explanation maybe there is someone out there that can explain why our brains do this?   It is a debate with BSL people too who are very wary of using text with sign language.

I suppose if the video was totally silent and did NOT tell you what the lips were 'saying' most would switch off in frustration.  stick your hand over the text access on the above video then tell me what is said e.g.  It tends to show it is not as simple as attending a class or, watching a training video. Where we want to lip read is on the street, I don't know about USA methods but here there is little or no 'on the street' testing and skill honing except what you attempt yourself, and you need a lot of confidence you won't have, most of what you did have only got you to a class of  empathisers (Or not!).  

It should be part and parcel of the coursework. But again, the UK has no real norm or approach to the skill. I doubt a definitive class exists.

Generally speaking, courses are about once a week, with approx 8 to 12 pupils and 1 tutor, I saw major flaws in that system, it doesn't really suggest how they cover the many loss degrees, ages, and abilities, or the ability for the tutor to adapt to one pupil without neglecting the rest. 

There were obviously gender differences too, the ladies far more successful than the men were, it was males who dropped out first.   Probably males who won't attend a lip-reading class too.  I suppose women are better communicators anyway and men less willing to admit they struggle, so staying away or leaving prevents that struggle being seen or addressed.

There were disagreements those struggling were being asked to leave classes because they 'hold others up', and to go to a welfare service instead, tutors clearly unable to hold the class if there were 1 or 2 who demanded a lot more tuition and help than the rest did, the needs of the many etc then kicked in.  In essence, the most in need were told to leave the class, because tutors told them 'We cannot meet that need, if you are struggling you need social/welfare help etc..'  That was the desertion of duty and care in my view, stats suggest these people never seek any more help after.  Such classes have a duty and I don't think they have the capability.

Systems simply referred them BACK to the classes they were asked to leave or told them to learn to sign instead or something.  Both classes have no ability to assess psychological/age, or other issues connected with hearing loss, the UK system operates in a fragmented and solitary fashion and the twain rarely meets. Up until recently, sign classes refused text use in lessons, and lip-reading class teachers opposed signs being used.  Struggling with hearing loss you have to then fight the ridiculous politics of it too.  The needy are giving up the struggle.

The more able with hearing aids will prosper, the rest will probably fail, and the teachers I WOULD challenge, can teach such a difficult skill to 12 people at a time with all the issues involved, it's naive. Logic (And fairness), suggests you inform the more able to go elsewhere.   I am sure they mean well but mean-wells aren't helping.  The class duration once a week, for perhaps 1 maybe 2 hrs, is woefully insufficient to teach anything much, the idea seems to be to put 'like with like' so they can form a mini 'social system' themselves and hope that improves their lives since social interaction is what most is about.  I don't think statistics bear that out at all.

It doesn't work, the more able will gravitate to their like. Sod's law.  I do not believe anyone who says 'I picked this up easily and can lip-read now without problems'. Statistics suggest less than 5% will actually succeed to gain even a basic degree of lip-reading ability, I don't think it is helped by teachers pretty much doing own thing in these classes, there has to be some 'proof' of success, a proper and organised approach, an assessment of pupil system, a real appreciation of the mental/depressive effects of losing hearing etc. Its all in the lap of the gods isn't it? 

Is that the way to teach an alternative communication format? If you want to learn French or German you need to pass an exam don't you?  The hype generally, is that LR does NOT work, at best is only 30% effective, it is TOO HARD to learn, and the classes do not seem to be best placed to counter that.  If lip-reading tuition isn't being taken seriously and just treated like some hobby course only for those WITH useful and still effective hearing, instead, aka you learn OK, if you don't that is OK too. What is the point of that? 5% are better off? the rest?  There is no  goal and no reward either."