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From:  Nancy Cole
Date:  Thu Oct 19, 2000  2:42 am
Subject:  Re: Article on early-childhood language acquisition Newsweek


I thought I would add something to the previous note. I have some parents in
my classroom who have been very supportive in using ASL for their children.
I am amazed at their support. Now, Hannah is 4 years old, and her mother
found out that she was deaf at 15 months. Her mother learned SEE II, and
still uses it. Hannah uses ASL, and spells very very well (wow, for a 4 year
old eee!). The problem is that you have two cultures. Hearing and Deaf
Culture. When parents are learning a signed language they tend not to use it
often. Hannah was very very lucky because her mother, even though she didn't
sign very well, and didn't use ASL, she signed all of the time in Hannah's
presence. I think it doesn't matter if the parents are learning signed
language, because they both learn together. What is really important is to
use it at all times. I've noticed (hard not too since I'm deaf)that parents
when in front of there children and talking to another hearing individual
they don't sign. Language happens all the time, so hearing have an
advantage. As I am teaching my students I am really learning more and more
about English and what a difficult language for deaf to learn! Wow, how I
got by, I'll never know! How I learned it is even more amazing! Sign
Writing is not at all like English and that is the wonderful thing about it!
It's so visual and deaf kids pick it up quickly! Oh, son is
learning signwriting too! It actually helps his speech (so they tell me)
he is hearing by the way, and his first language was ASL, and he took one
look at sign writing and picked it up fast.

So, hey that again is my two cents worth ha! Smile everyone! I haven't said
anything in awhile!
Nancy Cole

  Replies Author Date
4040 Hello Everyone ;-) Valerie Sutton Fri  10/20/2000

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