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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Fri Apr 30, 1999  5:08 pm
Subject:  Re: introduction

On Thu, 29 Apr 1999 Deborah Holden wrote:
>Hello SignWriting list,
> I would like to introduce myself. My name is Deborah Holden. I am
>a Teacher of the Deaf in a school district in New York State. I read
>the Silent News article over breakfast on April 7 and since then my
>world has been spinning with SignWriting and the possibilities for some
>of my Deaf students.
>I have a some questions and would like your input. How much time will I
>need to prepare myself in order to teach SignWriting?


April 30, 1999

Hello Deborah and all....
Thank you for your excellent introduction, and welcome to the SignWriting List!

It sounds like you had some positive experiences with your students very
quickly....that is encouraging :-)

When you mentioned reading Silent News over breakfast, I immediately
thought of this...that someday you may be reading SignWriting literature
over breakfast. People who are fluent in SignWriting, read a SW document
like reading the newspaper, and I am hoping that someday you too will
become that fluent.

For the past two days I have been working on the web design for a new
lesson online, which I call the "Advanced Lesson". Everyone on the SW List
has heard about was supposed to be posted long ago. It is now 90%
completed, which means it will be our next Special Feature for sure. That
may help you learn SignWriting...and I would suggest taking all the other
lessons online too:

SignWritng Lessons Online Directory

You asked how much time you will need to prepare to teach SignWriting?.....

Years ago, in the mid-1980's, we had a "Teacher Certification Program".
Around 40 teachers received their "SW diploma". In fact, several members of
the SignWriting List participated and are "qualified" teachers.

But we no longer have that program available. Anyone is welcome to teach
SignWriting. I know that in time, as more and more people teach
SignWriting, standards of good teaching will develop automatically, through

So Deborah, if you and the school district in New York State choose to
participate in the SignWriting Literacy Project, then I will be sending you
the Lessons In SignWriting Video Series and the Lessons In SignWriting
Textbook around mid-summer. And with those materials, plus the lessons that
are posted on the web, it will be up to you to choose to sit down and learn
on your own. You will be able to judge your own skills, when you receive
the children's booklets written in SignWriting. If you can read them and
understand them, then you are ready to teach!

I am sorry I cannot give you an exact amount of time - I don't know myself
since you will be learning on your own. I think you should just "dive in"
with the web lessons immediately, and if you have a question, just write to
us, and we can answer them. Learning SignWriting is a process, just like
learning ASL is.

I will answer your other questions later this evening -

Thanks once again for the great information about your student's reactions
to SignWriting -

Have a wonderful Friday!

Valerie :-)

Valerie Sutton


The DAC, Deaf Action Committee for SW
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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