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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Thu Feb 3, 2000  3:45 pm
Subject:  Re: Shorthand

>I just checked out the SignWriting shorthand on your site Val, huh? This is
>very interesting. I'm wondering if that would be helpful for beginers like
>small children to learn first as a preintro into SignWriting..... Food for


SignWriting List
February 3, 2000

Thanks Dawn, for this message.

Actually, no! The Shorthand is more abstract and is harder to read
for Deaf children.

Children are first taught to read. Then they learn to write later. So
the first step with young children is to teach them to read.

In regards to reading...
When we teach children English, we first teach them to read "block
printing" of English letters. It is no different with Deaf children
and SignWriting...

Deaf children learn to read SignWriting Printing immediately, with no training.

Reading would become very difficult without SignWriting Printing. I
know. I have shown the Shorthand to Deaf children...they read
SignWriting Printing immediately, but not the Shorthand.

In regards to writing...
When children start to learn to write English, they first write rows
and rows of block letters. Then, several years later, they learn to
write cursively. So handwriting comes later, after we already know
the basic "block printing" symbols.

I assure you, I know what I am talking about because I have true experience.

The reason Karen and Charles did so well with Shorthand was because
they already knew the basic "block printing" in SignWriting....and
then based on that knowledge...the Shorthand was easy and is very
useful for them.

So, once a person reads SignWriting, then it is a natural progression
into writing by hand.

Just try to imagine a world without block printing of English letters
- texts would be harder to read for small children.

So of course a new "SignWriting Handwriting & Shorthand" textbook is
needed...the first one I wrote in 1982 was used a great deal... and
people lived by it...

That is why I am grateful that Karen van Hoek is now interested in
helping test updates to see if we can't get a new book out in the
future....because it is sorely needed for people who use SignWriting

Meanwhile, the Handwriting and Shorthand are not replacements for
SignWriting Printing...Deaf children would not be reading SignWriting
if we did not have the Printing...

Thanks everyone, for all your messages about the Shorthand and I am
glad so many people are interested!!

Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee for SignWriting


Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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