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Date:  Thu Mar 2, 2000  6:27 pm
Subject:  Further News from South Africa

Dear Valerie and friends,
Apologies for taking so long to give some further feedback.  Things have become very involved with the SignWriting.  As you know, I am teaching secondary school kids SignWriting and we are in the process of `translating' basic signs to South African Sign Language (SASL).  Many ASL signs are similar to SASL which does make the process easier.  The kids are not yet able to write `comfortably' in the sense that they can write a letter with ease and with speed. 
Of course, they have almost taken over the process themselves and I am like a `mediator' because they argue for HOURS over the right way to SignWrite an SASL sign, trying to change it from ASL to SASL.  Amazingly, do you know that there are up to 11 different Sign Languages in South AFrica???  The regional, racial variations in Sign Language are enormous so, we can have up to 6 or 7 signs written in SignWriting for one word!!!  The process is going slowly with what materials we have but it is also going very positively because some kids are using SW in English, to remember vocabulary.  What I am going to do is a small experiment:  I am going to do a list of vocabulary words (taken out of context of a story, of course) and we will do the meanings in English, without the SW additions as well.  We will do a test on  this.  And then, we will do another list of vocabulary but with the English meanings AND the SW depiction as well.  And then do a test.  It will be interesting to compare the results?
In addition, the principal at the school has asked me to do a demonstration of SW to other teachers.  Their reactions will be interesting and I am rather nervous about this!!!  But after the demonstration, I will share with everyone what happened.
Yours in SignWriting

  Replies Author Date
2980 Re: Further News from South Africa Valerie Sutton Fri  3/3/2000
3021 Re: Further News from South Africa Valerie Sutton Wed  3/8/2000

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