On the one-to-one level, in which a teacher was unable to understand a student and vice-versa, deafness was erased through the common communicative form of writing. Yet for speakers of ASL, written English can be a language of colonization. It is the language of the institution that the student wishes to learn. The institution, unable to recognize the appeals of students in any communicative form other than standard written English, erases linguistic minorities and cannot comprehend their grievances in other linguistic forms. The institution simply cannot understand requests or critiques, uniting deaf students with women students and students of color, and working class students whose means of communication is incompatible with the institutional language. This conflict is well represented in studies of first-year and basic writing courses (see Canagarajah, Horner, Lu, Rose and Zamel among others). As Brian Street writes, "Literacy was a terrain over which the struggles between colonized and conqueror crucially took place, as in many third world countries today" (Street, 112).

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