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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Oct 2, 2000  8:29 pm
Subject:  Re: SW helps to express students thoughts


On 10/1/00, Stefan Woehrmann wrote:
>materials help them to understand (at least a little bit) that it would be
>very helpfull to learn vocabularies just like the hearing do - if they are
>eager (or asked) to learn a foreign language. Now that we can use
>GebaerdenSchrift it is possible to write bilingual materials - thank you
>Valerie !! Now itīs much more a question of motivation then anything else
>... (same with the teacher ? ;-) )

SignWriting List
October 2, 2000

Stefan -
Thanks for these wonderful comments - very interesting to read your
messages in detail - you say so much in one message!

I have no idea what it must be like to teach Deaf children, since I
have never done that myself. And I understand from teachers here in
the US that it is quite stressful....

As an outsider, I can guess what might help a little to encourage the
kids to write....but of course, I have no idea if this can be
accomplished in your classroom -

You were saying before that a new teacher had taken the "risk" and
started writing with no training, and she did well, even without the

As you know, the entire SignWriting system was invented that way - I
just jumped in and tried writing signed languages, having no idea if
I would succeed or not....I just took "risks" with a positive
attitude, and we are now seeing that those risks have benefited

I am leading to this point....

Back in the Spring, a Deaf student named Fernando in Albuquerque, New
Mexico, surprised his teachers and parents with a remarkable
document, which he wrote in ASL signs in SignWriting...and he also
placed the English words for each sign under the written
a gloss...

When the teachers asked Fernando why he had placed the English words
there, I believe he responded that his parents are hearing people,
and his parents do not know signs that well, so he did that English
translation for his parents, so they could read what he wrote....

That is an important story, because it shows that if people REALLY
want to communicate, they will find a way...but there has to be a
real REASON for the communication. If there is no purpose to the
exercise, there will be no inspiration.... risk taking is actually
quite healthy for the human spirit.

So here is my outsider suggestion:

Tell the kids, that you want them to write a message to their
parents. Tell them that they should write it in DGS in SignWriting.
The majority of your students have hearing parents? Perfect! Then
point out to the children that their parents use another language,
German, so they will need to put the document in BOTH
languages...then the kids can go home to see if their parents can
read their messages....

If this works, it will show the Deaf students a purpose for learning
to read and write German words (because they want their parents to
read their message), plus their parents will have the pleasure of
seeing that their child can read and write both languages....

Just a thought!

I am working on new software development right now and will be back
with you all soon -

Once again, congrats, Stefan for all you are accomplishing -

Val ;-)


Valerie Sutton

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