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Practice what you preach.

It's important to work on your cueing every day. Avoid the urge to cue one way in your daily life and another for standardized testing. In the end, you'll perform better in both areas. Ten questions to get you prepared.

A note of thanks.

Be sure you understand all those tricky words that you have been trying to avoid. Words like: thanks, usually, singer are not uncommon and not that difficult once you learn the right way to cue them.

Get Connected.

You should be striving towards cueing with the rhythm and fluency of natural, conversational English. In order to achieve that goal, you will need to practice incorporating liaisons into your cued discourse. It will increase your speed, give you an ease of delivery, and yield a more accurate depiction of English to those for whom you cue–not to mention, it may increase your rating!

SLOW. Construction ahead.

You should spend some time each day practicing at a slower rate of speed than you are typically accustomed. Cuers who are put in situations where they must cue faster than are able to do so comfortably (i.e. inexperienced transliterators and teachers) generally exhibit numerous typical form and omission errors. Take time to slow down and produce cues clearly and deliberately.

Practice "very" often.

R-colored vowels are often discussed apart from other consonant vowel combinations because they may be more difficult to discriminate. Be sure you understand which vowels are found in words like: berry, war, hairy, and mere.

Spelling is for spelling B's.

Become aware of the ways that spelling may still influence your cueing performance. Just because chicken is spelled with an "e" doesn't mean it should be cued at the chin.

You don't know what you don't know.

Seek out training with several instructors. Attend camps, workshops, and observe others. Dissect your cueing and find out exactly what it is that you do not yet know.

A Question for One of the Raters

R: "People who take tests have to remember that what they present on a video is often the only clue we have into how they cue with their children or on the job. So many candidates will read sentences with all this incredible inflection in their voices, but their faces are absolutely deadpan. I'm sure they believe that the prosody is there, but no matter how many times we watch a tape looking for the slightest hint of an eyebrow raise or some facial expression, there is nothing. Perhaps it is not taught as broadly as it should be, but cuers need to know that prosody is just as important to a cued message as any single handshape or placement. Cueing without prosody deprives the deaf cue reader of a large portion of the English message. Prosody can change the meanings of words, parts of speech, and make the difference between a statement and a question. Including prosody isn't just important for passing a test, it's an essential piece of cueing. I recommend that cuers videotape themselves cueing in various settings. Then, they should turn down the sound and see if they are visually conveying all of the flavor that was present in the spoken form. After all, when it comes to cueing, what you see is what they get."

10 Questions

There is no simple litmus test, no sword-in-the-stone that can tell you how you will do on any standardized testing. The information provided here is to help you get yourself ready to take the CAECS-E. Are you ready to take a test of your expressive cueing skills? Are you aware of and able to model the standards of cued American English? Below you will find ten questions. Answer them to the best of your ability and check your answers against the ones provided. Although getting all of the questions correct cannot and does not ensure that you will pass, the questions can help you identify gaps in your cueing knowledge. There are no questions like these anywhere on the CAECS-E, but if you cannot answer them correctly, you will know where to begin your preparation.


1. What is the final phoneme in the word capped?
2. Are the medial phonemes in matter and madder cued the same or differently?
3. What will you use to show the rising intonation of a question when cued?
Your eyebrows
4. Does the word rainbow contain a flick?
5. How many liaisons occur in the sentence, Put one in a box?
6. Is there a /w/ phoneme in the word flower?
7. When cueing the word who, should you begin with handshape 6 or handshape 4?
Neither, h.s.3
8. What vowel cue will be used for the final syllable in emblem?
9. When cueing the word why, do you start at the side placement?
10. When cueing the word why, do you end at the side placement?