forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Judy Kegl
Date:  Fri Sep 11, 1998  1:51 am
Subject:  Re: Texas School for the Deaf

To Christina at Texas School for Deaf:

I direct the school for Deaf children in Bluefields, Nicaragua, where we
emphasize SignWriting literacy. Nicaraguan Sign Language is quite distinct
from ASL, so our books would be of no value to your second grade class.
Anyway, we have been working with SW for over two years now and we had to
produce our own books -- some simple, and some fairly complex. When we
started, we took a book of famous art and wrote about what we saw in the

Some children's books or stories that we have translated (the pictures
almost tell the story, if you find the right book): 3 little pigs, Boy Who
Cried Wolf, Tailypo, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, The Story of Babar, The
Little Engine That Could, Are You My Mama?, Pied Piper. You might try some
Greek mythology or history stories -- there are a lot of children's
versions. The catch is that translating or adapting stories takes time.
But, with each story, you get better at it.

For us, translating stories is an exericise for the class (not second
graders, but older kids.) As we do this, our dictionary file grows. And,
the students who assist us develop a good spanish lexicon in the process
since our dictionary file is in spanish and ISN (Idioma de Senas de
Nicaragua). We also spend a lot of time analyzing grammar and syntax.
This improves everyone's writing skills, and gives the students a better
appreciation of the complexity of their own language.

Good luck! --- James Shepard-Kegl

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