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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Thu Nov 8, 2001  10:44 pm
Subject:  Re: Spain and Germany

SignWriting List
November 8, 2001

Wonderful posting, Stefan! The photos of you and Steve and Dianne are
great, and I love all the feels like we visited with

Thanks to the three of you, for sharing all this with us -

Val ;-)


>Hi Steve, Dianne and everybody,
>yes - thank you so much for your wonderfull visit.
>I am still busy to look through all your wonderfull teaching materials and
>SW- files .
>I feel very greatfull and feel more secure now about some spelling issues.
>I posted a short report with some impressions on my website - even if you
>cannot read or understand German you will understand that we have had a
>great time !
>Have a super day
>Stefan ;-)
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Steve and Dianne Parkhurst
>Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2001 7:37 PM
>Subject: Spain and Germany
>> Hi, everybody!
>> As you may have gathered from a previous message or two, my wife Dianne
>> I were able to visit Stefan and his family in Germany a few days ago. We
>> were in southern Germany for a conference, so on the weekend we had a
>> window of time to travel up north to see Stefan. Germany is gorgeous this
>> time of year with the leaves turning color and lots of green fields (our
>> part of Spain is rather brown most of the year). We discovered something
>> called a "Happy Weekender Pass" that allowed all three of us (our
>> three-year-old son was also with us) to travel anywhere in Germany on
>> trains for only about $20. Of course to get there we had to change trains
>> or 6 times, but it worked.
>> We spent all Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning talking about SW. For
>> those who are wondering, yes, Stefan has as much endless energy and
>> enthusiasm in person as he seems to have in his e-mails. We swapped a lot
>> files and he showed me how he makes all those wonderful animations. One
>> added bonus was getting to see the second half of the BBC presentation on
>> Bluefields while staying in the hotel there (it was even in English!).
>> Stefan and I spent quite a bit of time discussing what needs to be written
>> in a text. As you may have noticed in his stories he includes a lot of
>> facial expressions--Valerie does it as well. We, on the other hand, tend
>> leave off the facial expression from most of the signs. Here in Europe
>> signers do a lot more mouthing the words than in America--and perhaps
>> because of the long historical oralistic methods of Deaf education,
>> seems to have more mouthing than Spain. So the question is, how much is
>> necessary to write?
>> Stefan and I made the distinction between "informed" and "uninformed"
>> readers. Here in Spain we primarily teach Deaf adults who are native
>> signers. We assume that they know what they are signing and will
>> automatically fill in the appropriate facial expressions. Stefan is using
>> with children who do not necessarily know the SL. For us it is important
>> be able to read fluently with speed. The fewer symbols you have, the
>> you can read. Of course there has to be a balance; if you leave out too
>> much, it's hard to understand the text; if you put in too many details, it
>> slows you down and you lose the flow and the context. We do put in any
>> facial expressions that are grammatical: biting the lip ("F") or teeth
>> as an intensifier; or eyebrows as intensifier or topic, etc.
>> Also, as you may know, we use brackets here to represent when whole
>> use the same facial expression. So rather than have to read a head shaking
>> over every sign in the whole phrase, we put a beginning bracket with the
>> head shaking and then a close bracket at the end. Cognitively this is a
>> more accurate anyway--negation is often an element of the phrase, not the
>> individual sign. I'll attach here part of a text with some examples in
>> Spanish SL.
>> I was really impressed with Stefan's system of writing mouth movements.
>> Again this is only useful for certain audiences. Deaf adults don't need
>> want) all that detail on how to vocalize the words, but Stefan showed me
>> well it works with his kids in the school. Different methods apply to
>> different audiences.
>> Anyway, we had a great time talking about these things. I am really glad
>> were able to get together, even if it was for just a short time.
>> Have a super day!
>> Steve :-)
>> ----------------------

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