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From:  Stefan Woehrmann
Date:  Sun Oct 1, 2000  3:19 pm
Subject:  cued speech and SW flash-cards

Hi Valerie, Ingvild and listmembers -

Dear Ingvild ,

thank you very much for your kind message!

I would like to share my new experiences especially with the teachers who
are looking for a tool to improve articulation skills with their students.

Today I feel like a inventor myself (hi Valerie) .

Using the foundations that are offered by SW - I was working (very hard) for
several days /weeks) now to experience the possibilities that are offered by
SW-articulation-flash-cards )

The first step was to share my first "product" with the listmembers! Thanks
to a very supportive advice of Valerie I was able to improve these materials
a lot.

Iīm very very happy to tell you that I am now at a higher level of my job.
The "articulation- flashcards " all written with the symbols that are part
of the SW 4.3 are such a great support in the beginning of my articulation -
reading and writing course at first grade - that I canīt express my
happyness about SW enough !!!

What I did was to find out which elements of a "articulation-face " should
be enough to allow the student - who is going to learn to articulate the
various sounds he needs for reading or speaking . This learning process is
taking place within special classroom experiences. Special sounds are
associated with special gestures, signs, materials, places in the classroom
The first signs I offered distinguish between voiceless and voiced sounds.. I
used a combined sign touching the throat with your right index-finger (with
voice) or signing without voice like using a key -- lock the throut
Now I found out that simply the lines I use for air streaming out of the
mouth are enough to indicate what kind of sound Iīm asking for. (= with air
out of mouth = voiceless : t, p, k, sss, sch, ch, f, h, z)

In the beginning I always added the handshape for a letter of the alphabet.
Now there are only very few additional handshapes needed.

The whole system is still in the process of development - but - what we
experience today is, that my first grade students are able to read the
different "faces" . They produce a specific sound that is associated with a
special graphem.

My son Johannes - who is a skilled SW - reader and writer -- is able to read
out loud complete German sentences just looking at "texts" that are written
with these "artivulation- faces " Isnīt that funny?

My other son Christoph started school this September. He looks at these
articulation - faces and reads out loud the single sounds - hmm just the
way he was reading the single sounds for every single letter.
With the help of this articulation-face- system he learned within a very
short time to improve his reading of the German words in a wonderful way !

They were excellent teachers and partners for discussing my ideas on a high
level - !! I asked for their advice how to describe the faces that are
associated with typical sounds.

Since I developed this system I notice that I use facial expressions
(mouth-pictures) much more in my signwriting-spellings. This helps to
distinguish between signs which depend very much on the lip-movements.

At school my firstgrade students are able to copy , read and articulate the
sounds for: A, D, E, F, I, L, M, O, P, R, S, T, U, W , (School started in
September !)
For soundcombinations au, eu, st, --- I use sign-combination - two faces
cross each other in the middle - this indicates that the sound changes from
here to there quickly -

Now I can write a face at the blackboard and the whole chorus will start to
articulate this sound !!!!!!
Next step - I write the graphem underneath

Another game the whole blackboard is filled with almost 16 faces - I start
to write a graphem underneath but play the teacher who doesnīt know. All of
them jump towards the blackboard in order to correct my mstake -- ha, thatīs
fun , especially if the student has won who realized that from time I was
right with my solution ! ;-)

Another game - everybody goes to the blackboard underneath one of the faces
and reads out loud the sound of this face.

Another game - I have taken lots of photographs of facial expressions - very
often with additional handshapes - the students look at the foto and go to
the blackboard to show the face that goes along with this foto.

Another game : One student starts to write a letter underneath one face .
Now he turns to one of his colleagues und simply speaks out loud which
letter he wants him to draw underneath one of the faces .

Well - I simply wanted to share some of my experiences with this system .
And I bet that within the next couple of weeks we will have a great tool to
enrich our possibilities in the classroom.
In case You are interested in more You are cordially invited to contact me

All the best to all of You

Stefan ;-)

----- Original Message -----
From: Ingvild Roald
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2000 12:38 PM
Subject: Re: cued speech and SW flash-cards

Wow Stephan,

this was great!

Both your account of what is going on in the classroom, thqt was really
interesting, and I admire your guts.

And for us here in Norway, your choiche of face symbols for the German
sounds. As you may (or may not) know, Norwegian is related to German, and
our sounds are not that much different. We have been putting off the job of
finding the best symbols to use use with pronouncing Norwgian, even if it is
more important to us in the use of Sw than I presume it is to most of you...
You see, in Norwegian sign language, a lot of mouthing of Norwegian words
(especially nouns) goes on along with the hands and eybrows and shoulders
doing their things. Actually, NSL has borrowed from the majority language in
this way, while ASL has borrowed through fingerspelling. The focus of a
Norwegian deaf person 'listening' to a signer is actually mostly on the
mouth of the signer.

So, with you permission, we will use your work as a basis when we get around
to making the same sort of thing here.

Thank you, and good luck!


>From: Stefan Woehrmann
>Reply-To: SignWriting List
>To: SignWriting List
>Subject: cued speech and SW flash-cards
>Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2000 22:15:16 +0100
>Dear Valerie and List Members,
>Here is my classroom-report number xyz ;-)
>school has started 2 weeks ago. Iīm soooooooo busy to get SW materials
>prepared. Our first grade students are now second grade but our learning
>group has changed. Four other little students are with us together now -
>first grade. So now we try to get along with 8 students - (first grade and
>second grade) in one class-room.
>Without the support of SW I wouldnīt have any idea how to get things done.
>But now - the experienced students can learn on their own - translating SW-
>sentences into German, learning vocabularies , typing at the
>computer --teaching the new students what they have to learn first -
>Three of them a wearing a CI which meant to them no exposure to SL before -
>whatsoever ? Of course they have hat some eclectic kind of family - signs
>but they donīt understand whatīs going on. They are unable to inform us.
>They are unable to answer questions. They are unable to ask anything!!
>They are unable to speak --- hmmm - For how long would people, parents,
>teachers ...the children themselves accept this state of lack of
>communicative skills in order to "wait for auditory nerves to grow "
>Of course - deaf children are in a special position after CI surgery.
>What do they hear ? Who can tell us ? Well they realize the music is on or
>off - but were unable to learn a couple of German words. ...
>When the parents were informed that there child will be in contact with
>Irina and her classmates - they were confronted with the issue of Sign
>They havenīt had any contact with signing children before.The CI was
>expected to be the big blessing that would cure this disability.
>And now - they entered our classroom wich is packed with SW -
>exercise-sheets all over the place. These strange circles, arrows ... this
>compicated, meaningless "Chinese" ----
>Well - I explained my point of view and stressed that their children will
>have to learn Sign Language in order to become competent partners within
>group. I told them that SW will become a very important tool. I explained
>this new system - Sign Writing. You may imagine that they looked pretty
>skeptical -
>Hmmm. And then - little Irina started to translate - reading out loud the
>SW-sentences from the screen. Afterwards she went to the blackboard and
>wrote 2 little German sentences ( without any mistake) . Danny started to
>type on the computer and wrote a German sentence in SW and pointed at the
>SW- spellings while he translated in perfect German!
>Hannan started to count from 1 - 20 - She went to the blackboard and wrote
>Pause" both in SW and in German - Linda took an excercise - sheet and
>the sentences -
>Wow - this kind of demonstration is much more convincing than a thousand
>word lecture!
>The parents accepted to wait for the first experiences with this completely
>new orientation. So we started as before - reading and writing SW -
>Hi Valerie - the new Sutton Fonts in Windows are a tremndous help for this
>Thank you soooo much !
>Contrary to the time a year ago - I feel much more secure about using SW
>during my lessons. The second day at school - on Friday the new students -
>who had never seen the sign for cat, blue or red, for Irina or Danny were
>really able ( !!!!!!!!!!!) to read and understand the first SW - signs for
>the numbers - 1- 5 (o.k - no problem) , colours, names -- believe it or
>not but they were able to use their heads for learning the first symbols so
>Irina and Danny are excellent teachers. Especially Irina - but more about
>that later.
>Now Iīm in the beginning of a very very exciting experience. I am on my way
>to develop a list of flashcards which should support my little friends to
>get as quickly as possible informed about the relationship between the
>letter in the German Alphabet and the sound (Phonem) the children are
>supposed to perform- while looking at this letter.
>I am so fascinated that this system (SW) is such a wonderfull highway to
>So my question is if any of you teachers in the literacy-project have
>already written "cued-speech" flash-cards.
>German is a very difficult language - even for the hearing. The letters are
>pronounced pretty much differently depending on the context - that is the
>reason that so many hearing students have great trouble to write German
>without too many mistakes.
>But the Deaf - wow - well you probably know what Iīm talking about starting
>the articulation - courses with my little friends.
>Please have a look at my gif. This is not the end but the second stage of
>development. The list isnīt complete and I have still to put the signs in a
>special order. These signs arenīt any "official" cued speech signs but are
>helpfull to support the children in articulating what they are asked for --
>(more or less ;-) ) Iīm interested in your feedback concerning my writing.
>In order to help you to get an idea of the pronouniciation that is
>associated with the written sign I looked for english words and underlined
>that letter that should be represented .. (excuse my English ;-) )
>All the best
>Stefan ;-)
>P.S SignWriting is so wonderfull
><< ArtikulationshilenSWunterstrichen.gif >>

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