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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Dec 6, 1999  4:35 pm
Subject:  SW assisting literacy in spoken languages

James Kegl wrote:
>There will always be a strong and exceedingly persuasive argument that Deaf
>children ought if possible learn to read and write the dominant hearing
>language. Mastery of written English, for example, surely is a key to
>achievement in American society, especially for Deaf people. (Similarly,
>Nicaraguan Deaf are measured, some might say most unfairly, by their command
>of spanish.) To me, literacy in SW solely for the purpose of reading and
>writing a sign language is a most laudable end in itself, and will become
>even more desirable as literature in SW develops. But, I think SW can also
>be an extremely valuable tool as a bridge from literacy in ASL, for example,
>to mastery of reading in English.


December 6, 1999

Thanks James, for this insightful message! I personally believe that
SignWriting assists deaf children in learning to read and write a spoken
language, judging by experiences in the classroom. Of course that is not a
scientific study, but I suspect it is true. When a person is given a way to
read and write their native language, reading and writing a second language
becomes easier....

And apparently deaf kids get so inspired with SignWriting that they write
words too, without being asked...they simply try to write all kinds of
communication as soon as they become if nothing more, SW
serves as an inspiration for them to start reading and writing in
general...Stefan in Germany, who is teaching Deaf kids, told us that the
kids automatically wrote German words near the signs, without being

Val ;-)

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