The bottom line is that with Cued Speech, you can say anything in any spoken language and convey it perfectly in a visual format for the deaf and hard of hearing. Make that as easy as possible for as many people as possible and you’ll see why we claim so many times that Cued Speech is the easiest possible way to build literacy and English fluency.
What is Cued Speech?
Cued Speech: A visual communication system that combines hand cues and speechreading to convey the speech sounds of spoken language in a syllabic structure that distinguishes between consonant and vowel in real time with accuracy. In other words, cueing, speaking, and writing are all modes of the same language base because of how spoken language is composed of phonemes, the smallest units of language that have no meaning by themselves.
Sound out the letters of ‘cat’ – /k/, /a/, /t/ – phonemic articulation. Say the words – “cat” – /ka -t/. Syllabic articulation. You would cue spoken language as if you would say it in syllables.
Cued Speech was created in 1966 out of an effort to raise the literacy rates of the deaf and hard of hearing. A consequence of increased access to the native spoken languages of one community, literacy rates among native cuers were comparable to that of typical peers. In addition, there were consequential benefits for speechreading, speech discrimination, and speech articulation.
Cued American English is composed of eight hand shapes that show the consonants of spoken language, and eight hand placements that convey vowels. In the case of tonal languages such as Mandarin Chinese or Thai, the placement of the arm in reference to the elbow conveys tone.