EIPA Written Test and Knowledge Standards
Generally, spoken English does not vary within the hearing community. Of course, particular words or phrases used by different age groups and social groups as well as different regions around the country will vary. However, the general form of the language is the same. This means that if a person speaks English, whether it is in or outside of the classroom, others who also speak English will understand what he or she is saying.
However, there are many different sign systems within the Deaf community, including American Sign Language (ASL), Manually-coded English (MCE) and Pigdin Sign English (PSE). Not all members of the Deaf community use the same system. And not all members of the Deaf community can communicate with students who use an educational sign system in the classroom.
Before taking the EIPA Written Test, educational interpreters should be familiar with the core standards used to develop the Sign Systems portion of the test.
- Sign systems designed to represent English were developed by educators and are not naturally developed languages. The adult Deaf community generally does not use them.
- Deaf or hard of hearing students in the educational system use an educational sign system in the classroom. Because a student can communicate in the classroom with an interpreter, or a teacher of the deaf, using an educational sign system does not mean that student can communicate with other deaf students and adults.
- Educators who use sign systems believe that exposure to visual English will facilitate English development, although this has not been proven to be the result for all deaf or hard of hearing students. They also believe that English signing is easier for hearing people to learn.
- English sign systems have some invented signs to represent words and morphemes that do not occur in ASL.
- All sign systems have borrowed elements from ASL, such as prosody, fingerspelling, some elements of the use of space, and some grammatical markers that appear on the face.
- Signing Exact English (SEE II) and Signed English are sign systems designed to represent English.
- The philosophy of simultaneous communication is a practice in which a person speaks and signs simultaneously, using some form of English signing.
- Interpreters may have more knowledge of and skills in the use of ASL than a licensed teacher of the deaf.