forum SignWriting List Forum
  Message 454  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index
From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Oct 19, 1998  8:42 pm
Subject:  Teaching SW To Hearing Children

On Thu, 08 Oct 1998 Michele Lewis wrote:
>The girls are progressing in SignWriting; they just aren't
>progressing as fast as I thought they would. Their ASL skills are progressing
>faster than I thought they would though!
>I think that the reason they are not picking up SignWriting very quickly is
>two-fold; one, they are learning reading and writing in English at the same
>time and two, because I do have to concentrate on their basic skills (the
>three R's) I am not able to devote as much time to SignWriting drill as I
>would like. Teaching them ASL is a lot simpler because we can practice ASL
>anywhere and at anytime. This isn't true with SignWriting. Learning
>SignWriting is more of a sit down subject. (Does this make sense?)

October 19, 1998
First, I want to thank everyone for their terrific feedback! As you know,
for some time now I have been working on an honor system...I donate
materials in return for feedback. And I have been quite impressed with how
honorable everyone has been...thank you for that!

But now, to answer Michele's question above...

Yes, Michele, it makes perfect sense. Reading and writing any language is a
"sit-down subject", mainly because you need to focus on a page! I guess
flashcards make it less of a sit down subject because they are larger and
have only one sign on each card, but generally reading and writing is
different than speaking or signing a language.

I would like to share with the List another important point about your
class...Michele is homeschooling her three young hearing girls. When
Michele became a part of the SignWriting Literacy Project, I had no idea
what would happen. All the other participants have deaf students. Michele's
hearing children are learning to read and write English, their first
language, while they are also learning their second language, ASL, and
learning to read and write it simultaneously! Lots of languages and writing
systems being thrown at them at one time. I am hoping they will learn to
read and write both languages well.

The reason this question is important is that in the past, some people have
expressed the fear that children cannot learn to read and write two
languages simultaneously. I personally believe that children can most
definitely learn both languages well....which I witnessed while living in
Denmark. But that question has been raised to me, as an argument against
reading and writing ASL. So I think Michele's class is an interesting case

Valerie :-)

Valerie Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee for SW


Center For Sutton Movement Writing
a non-profit educational organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

  Message 454  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index