|SignWriting List Forum|
Date: Fri Mar 17, 2000 4:54 am
Subject: Re: SignWriting as a gateway?
I am going to respond to this message but first I'd like to talk with
the two other teachers I've been working with in a primary and
intermediate class of DHH students who are learning to read and write
signs using signwriting. I think these teachers' perceptions of 'time'
and 'links' between the two languages their Deaf students use day in and
day out, ASL and English, will address some of the concerns you and your
wife discuss regarding SignWriting in other educational programs.
Don & Theresa G wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Akehurst
> > I am not the children's 'school' teacher so I'm not really sure about
> > abilities to read in English improving (actually, when they are with me,
> > they don't want to read in English they want to read in SW) but my
> > impression is that they are improving. The parents have asked me to join
> This observation is something that concerns me. I do support, tentatively,
> the idea of a writing system for sign language that could help Deaf kids
> learn to write in their own language. However, as we all know, Enlgish is
> the lingua Franca of our American society, not to mention the world. Being
> able to use English through reading and writing is SO vital for them. From
> what I see from this comment, it sounds like they would rather do all their
> reading and writing in SW rather than bilingually switch between the two
> (which would be just fine with me). We know how hard English can be for
> deaf kids to learn, so it sounds here as if they're trying to "take the easy
> way out" (I hate that phrase for its application to oralism and sign, but it
> is appropos here) by sticking with SW rather than English.
> I mentioned SW to my wife, who is an elementary teacher of the deaf at a
> school for the deaf. One thing she said, in addition to the fact that SW is
> not "English" (as it shouldn't be), is that for her, she finds no way she
> could make room in her schedule to teach English AND SW, even if she were so
> inclined. How do the classroom teachers out there make time for both SW and
> English instruction? How do the classroom teachers help the kids make the
> connections and transitions between SW and English?
> --Donald Grushkin
> Ph.D., Language, Reading & Culture (Bilingual Education)