Cate Calder with the Cued Speech Association and contributions from teachers and researchers

Abstract / Introduction

This MESH Guide provides the theory and research supporting the development and use of Cued Speech.

For any interested parties including families and professionals who wish to understand more about the system of Cued Speech and how it gives deaf children (and adults) a way to lip-read with almost 100% accuracy thereby enabling them to develop a fluent mental model of a spoken language; integrate new vocabulary; improve their own pronunciation and be able to develop literacy skills in the same way as hearing peers.

Strength of Evidence

Cued Speech was originally devised in 1966 and throughout the years since it has been subject to research by a diverse range of scientists working in disciplines such as linguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, cognition, speech science, hearing science, social science and computer science as well as by practitioners working directly in the field of deafness.  We would recommend the publication “Cued Speech and Cued Language for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children” edited by Carol J. LaSasso, Kelly Lamar Crain and Jaqueline Leybaert which summarises findings by at least 44 contributing researchers across 4 countries.

Transferability across countries and settings

The system of Cued Speech has been adapted to represent the phonemes of at least 63 different languages and dialects across the world with more adaptations being developed all the time. British English uses 8 hand shapes, 4 positions about the face and 4 movements, to date the adaptations for all the cued languages draw from 17 hand shapes, 5 positions and 5 movements. Some examples are French, Spanish, Polish, Slovak, Chinese, Thai Tammasaeng, Urdu, German and the full range of English dialects such as American, Australian, South African, Welsh and Scottish.


Date of publication
15 Mar 2018
Date of revision
15 Mar 2022
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