forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Ronald Zapien
Date:  Wed Sep 16, 1998  8:12 pm
Subject:  Re: SW for Second Graders

In addition to this, you should include lots and lots of synonyms. This is one
the real complaints about learning ASL or any sign system--the fear of dumbed
language. Many times this concern is merited because parents can't model more
complex language structures because they don't know them. Just a thought.

Valerie Sutton wrote:

> 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,
> >etc.
> >
> >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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