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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Tue Sep 15, 1998  8:03 pm
Subject:  Re: SW for Second Graders

James Shepard-Kegl wrote:
>The advantage of SW -- the real miracle of SW -- is that the system
>potentially puts Deaf kids at a par with their hearing peers when it comes
>to learning to read and write in their native language. But, you have to
>level the rest of the playing field for this to work. That means the Deaf
>kids need the same quality stuff, in SW, that hearing kids get in English,
>So, there should be stories with adjectives -- lots of them --, similes,
>metaphors and so forth. Sure, you need basic sentence structures, but you
>need relatives and conditionals, too. ASL uses all this all some form of
>grammatical equivalent. And, you need stories with depth -- stuff that
>really peaks the interest.


Hello James!
Thank you for your inspiring messages. I have to catch my breath when
reading all of your accomplishments!! Congratulations :-)

In regards to the SignWriting Literacy Project, it is something brand new
that is really quite different than the unique circumstances in Nicaragua.

I am donating books to teachers who have never met me in person. Nor have
some of them ever seen SignWriting before. The whole concept of reading and
writing ASL is new to them, and they are asked to teach a subject they do
not know.

So I had to create simple books, because the teachers are learning with
their own students. In fact, it is my guess that the students will teach
the teachers :-)

Most of the teachers are Deaf themselves, but they are adults, not
children, and they were told all their lives in school that reading and
writing was only English. Now they have to adjust their thinking, and start
teaching the reading and writing of their native language, within two
weeks, without anyone near them who knows SignWriting.

So, I will do all I can to help and to make the road a little easier. We
can start with easy flashcards, and then someday do the excellent
literature you talk about above.

Keep up the tremendous work, James - Your points are well taken and I
predict that more and more literature will be someday written in ASL too -
we are just behind the Nicaraguans, that is all!

Tomorrow is another day, and I must go back to the pile of papers on my desk -

Have a great evening everyone!

Valerie :-)


Visit the SignWritingSite:

Valerie Sutton at The DAC
Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
(619)456-0098 voice
(619)456-0010 tty
(619)456-0020 fax

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