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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Tue Apr 25, 2000  1:17 pm
Subject:  Re: Writing skills develop after reading skills

At 3:12 PM -0400 4/21/00, Lorraine Crespin wrote:
>As to what is happening with students here in Albuquerque. Let me first say
>that they all are better readers of SW than writers. some of the students are
>better than others at writing SW and others are quite adept in using the SW
>program on the computers. I seek them out when I , myself get "stuck". It
>seems to me that learning to read and write SW go hand in hand, one supports
>the other. But as is typical in literacy development, children will read in a
>language first with the writing (grammar, spelling, syntax, etc..)following
>as they are able to grasp and comprehend the language. For example, I can
>read Spanish, but writing it is another matter. I have learned the skills
>necessary to decode what I read, much the same way that our students have
>learned the SW basics to read it. Since it is their language, they also
>understand it. Their writing of SW varies among students. Some are using it
>when they get stuck in English- they know the sign they want but do not know
>the english equivalent, so they draw in the SW in their text. Others have
>been motivated to write stories and information in SW by the page fulls. It
>is all very exciting, because now they can write messages to each other and
>be understood without getting hung up with English.
>Carry on the good work!

SignWriting List
April 25, 2000

Welcome to the SignWriting List, Lorraine! And thank you for this
great message. It is also to your credit, that the students are given
such flexibility, to develop their reading and writing skills at
their own speed. It sounds like you are doing an excellent job.

I remember back when we first started, there was a teacher who
required her students to write "perfectly" and it discouraged her
students, and even the teacher herself became discouraged. So it is
clear that flexibility means a lot for success...

If it is OK with you, I would like to post your entire message on our
SignWriting Web Site? Under feedback from teachers in Albuquerque....

And next I will post the letter and web report from the fourth
teacher in New Mexico - Nancy Cole in Las Cruces!

Thanks again for writing, Lorraine...and please continue to keep us
informed. I am documenting everything ;-)))

Val ;-)


Valerie Sutton


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