forum SignWriting List Forum
  Message 3512  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index
From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sat Jun 3, 2000  3:17 pm
Subject:  SW in France: Web Report from New Teachers ;-)

June 3, 2000
SignWriting List

Dear SW List Members:
As you know, awhile back a school in France joined the SignWriting
Literacy Project. Although the SW materials were donated to them
quite some time ago, they are just getting started now....knowing how
busy we can all get, I certainly understand! I have no doubt that
their interest in using SignWriting in the classroom is strong. On
May 31st, I received their first Web Report. Here it is:


SignWriting Literacy Project
Web Report #1

Date: Wed, 31 May 2000

From: Mary Laurent

Teacher of the Deaf
School: The "IRIS" Association
13 rue des pinsons,

>1. Why do you want to learn SignWriting?

Because it's there!:))) Knowing about work or research concerning Sign
Language is part of our job as teachers. Deaf students certainly have the
right to be informed about work concering their language. I have no idea
how SignWriting will evolve or not evolve in France but we should know
about it and have the chance to try it. After looking over the materials
and reading about work in other countries, we are very excited about
working with it in our classrooms. Just the idea of looking at sign from
the signers point of view gave us a lot to think about. As a left-hander,
I'm very pleased about the inclusion of left-hander's signs. I don't know
where it will lead us but it will certainly be positive. The amount of
work to be done, i.e. creating a dictionary, is pretty intimidating. But
the idea of being able to write in our language can only be an empowering

>2. What have been some of your past frustrations when teaching?

All "written" work must be done in a language other than the language I use
when teaching. Sign language is not recognized in France. Sign language
or Deaf language as we call it, "Langue Sourd", treasured by our teachers
and students is perceived by the educational system as a "tool" or "device"
to help us teach and not as a language. Knowing that we can write Sign
language makes us feel proud and also reminds people that it is a language
and not another kind of hearing aid.

>3. Are you hoping that SignWriting might help? If so, in what way?

I think it will help, first of all, to remind everybody that Sign language
is a language. That it can be written and analyzed. I think it will help
us get our minds around the idea of "visual language" and all that we still
don't understand about that concept. I think it will help us sign better,
more clearly, with more awareness and precision. It might possible help
our students to read and write better in the phonetic languages that give
them so much difficulty. Only time will tell.

>4. The SignWriting Teacher's Forum has a free web page for you and
>your students, to use in anyway you wish, just as long as it relates
>to SignWriting. How would you like to use your web page?

I'm not sure how we will use the web page. I hope that we will be able to
post student's writing assignments. We will certainly post reports about
the work we do. I'm sure that everything will take us a very long time to
do. But we are moving, albeit at a snail's pace. We intend to send you
videos of our presentation of SignWriting to students and teachers with a
written report. Then, we will see as we go along.

>5. Please write any other information about your group that you
>would like to share.

All I can say for the moment is that we are still trying to organize
ourselves to get started. We will send you more information as soon as we
are really doing something.

>6. We agree, as a group, to complete three Web Reports in return for
the SignWriting materials and technical support you donate to us. We
understand that this report and all other reports will become public
information and will be posted to the SignWriting Email List and
posted on the SignWriting Web Site. You have our full permission to
use the information as needed.

Thank you for considering us for your project.


Mary Laurent

Patrice Dalle

Teachers of the Deaf
School: The "IRIS" Association
13 rue des pinsons,

  Message 3512  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index