Date: Sat Nov 28, 1998 4:12
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: New Teacher Feedback
November 28, 1998
This is the first semester of the SignWriting Literacy Project. SW
materials were donated to five groups using ASL, and in return, teachers
give us feedback. The feedback is then posted on the SignWriting Web Site.
Kathy Akehurst, a participating teacher, is a private tutor with seven
students in Ontario, Canada. You can read Kathy's reports on this web page:
Kathy just submitted her third and final report for this semester. Many
Here it is:
To: "Valerie Sutton"
Subject: Web Report 3
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 08:18:03 -0500
SignWriting Literacy Project
Web Report 3
SignWriting Classroom Diary
This is the final report for the Fall, 1998 SignWriting Literacy Project.
1. Did you keep a daily diary of experiences in the classroom? Are there
any experiences you can share with us?
We did not keep a daily diary as we did not meet, as a group, on a daily
basis. Our sessions were usually about once a week, which did not give us a
lot of time to work 'together' on SW, but did show the motivation of the
students as it required them to work on things on their own throughout the
week. The parents helped their children, and themselves, through the week
and contacted me if they had questions.
2. What do you feel the students gained from learning SignWriting?
A good feeling about their own language for one thing! Seeing the
possibilities for writing in sign did good things for the adults self-esteem
(most of them coming from a time when even sign was considered primitive,
somehow...)and, for the children, starting this young is an excellent way
for them to see themselves and their language as varied and different but
certainly equal to anything around them. They also 'cleaned up' their
signing a bit as now they have to be conscious of it to 'write it down'!
3. How do the parents feel?
As above. Add to that - very pleased to see their children have an
opportunity early on that was not available to them. The children seemed
quite delighted, as well, to work right beside their parents on something
they are attempting to learn together as a family.
4. Do your students want to continue learning SignWriting?
6. Did you enjoy teaching SignWriting? Overall, are you glad that you
participated this fall?
I did enjoy teaching it. I can see that there is so far to go and so much
to learn, I don't feel at all qualified as a teacher, but I'm willing to
share what I can and help where I can so we can all improve together. We
are glad to have been part of the Project this fall.
7. Did you notice any improvement in student's reading skills?
In general, yes. It depended upon the degree to which they applied
themselves. The children seemed to pick that up a bit more quickly than did
the adults (having no preconceived notions as to what they 'should' be
seeing, I imagine).
8. Do you want to continue the project?
If your answer is yes, when do you want to continue?
9. Do you think that written ASL can become a part of Deaf education in the
Definitely. It only seems logical that there be some manner of recording on
paper this living language.
Private Tutor, Ontario, Canada
Valerie Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee for SW
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA