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From:  Stefan Woehrmann
Date:  Fri Jun 30, 2000  8:37 pm
Subject:  Re: standardized spellings

Hi Valerie, Martin and members

Valerie wrote :

- she was following the normal pattern of people native to a language -
> native signers are able to adjust their signing depending on the
> situation and that means "true fluency" on Irina's part....
> So I agree - she should be complimented for her flexibility...she is
> reaching out to other students at their level of comprehension
> instinctively - I bet she will become an excellent teacher some day,
> if she chooses to teach...

Irina is simply great - no doubt about that. I can talk to her just as I
talk with my own hearing children. But - and that makes me feel insecure -
talking to my mearing boys (8 years, 5 years ) I realize that they are still
on their way to develop perfect grammar skills - German seems to be pretty
difficult ( ;-) hello Nancy ;-) )
So what do parents do ? They donīt confront their children with their
mistakes but instead offer - just by the way - the correct grammatical
structures - so without the feeling of being taught the children get the
chance to improve their language skills.

When it comes to my deaf students - I would love to offer written
DGS -phrases, questions , orders ...
So I videotaped class-activities and tried to transcribe them. What would
happen if these structures the deaf children use at this moment are not
judged to be "correct DGS "

Of course it would be brilliant if I could be assisted by a competent deaf
signer but there only very view schools all over Germany who offer that kind
of support (deaf teachers )

The best would be to ask deaf adults for their support. So I go and ask them
to sign these kind of questions , statements, orders and try to offer these
formulations as "correct DGS "

Is there anybody on the list who has got an idea whether I would do very
much wrong if I would show confidence in what little Irina and her friends
are going to develop - I mean the structure of SL ? Next September we will
get four other students in our class - beginners first grade - so we will
become a functioning group with lots of comunicative interactions.

And Val - let me tell you this - Irina has already become a wonderfull
teacher - to all of us !

Stefan ;-)

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