Laurent Clerc Teach The Deaf

998 Words4 Pages

The novel of Laurent Clerc: The story of his early years is about how Laurent Clerc the “Apostle to the Deaf in the New World”(Carroll 171) became educated and led to the creation of a school for the deaf in America. Laurent was born to a wealthy family in La Balme, France. He was grew up during the French Revolution, while the Directory was in charge. His parents throughout his young life tried to cure him of his deafness by having many doctors examine him and do painful procedures with no success. Eventually his parents sent him away to The Royal National Institute for the Deaf in Paris, or St. Jacques. There Clerc was taught to sign by Jean Massieu. Clerc along with the other students were also unwilling subjects in Dr. Itard’s experiments, …show more content…

Oralism isn’t an effective method to teach the deaf, because the students have to learn to speak and read lips which is impossible to do if one cannot hear in the first place. Laurent Clerc was already conflicted with a more effective way to teach the deaf than Abbé Sicards method of using natural signs to teach signed French when he crossed paths with Gallaudet. Clerc thought teaching just using natural signs would work better. Bébian, Abbé Sicard’s hearing nephew, was a strong advocate for teaching the deaf to sign naturally instead of mimicking spoken French. Until reading this book I didn’t know there was more than one school of thought on teaching sign language. I didn’t know that if religious leaders weren’t concerned that the deaf needed to learn about God, to save their souls, then no one would have ever opened up schools to teach them. Mostly every other hearing person assumed that deaf and dumb was the same thing. The teacher in the town where Massieu grew up, believed that “There was no way to teach deaf children” (Carroll 47) this stereotype of deaf is dumb was perpetuated by Abbé Sicard during Massieu’s public performances to receive donations for the school. Finally what I learned was that early 19th century medicine was experimental and painful. Even from a young age Laurent Clerc was subjected …show more content…

Jacques. Except Pierrot who was a fictional character in the story. Putting the story in a narrative format made it more interesting to read instead of just reading an article on Laurent Clerc’s life in a history textbook. I am a big history fan and making connections to the French Revolution and Napoleon made the story interesting for me. While reading a character would make mention of the Directory, and in my head I would think “Just wait until Napoleon comes to power it’s about to get a whole lot worse.” Also the way the story was written it wasn’t “Claude said” or “Pierrot yelled” because they signed everything the author made their dialogue

Open Document