forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Dec 9, 1998  4:05 pm

On Tue, 1 Dec 1998, Alexandra Han wrote:
> 8) As you well know, D/hoh children must learn to write, take speech
>therapy, and learn ASL if they are in a Deaf school or a Bi-Bi program. Now
>you're asking these children to learn yet another form of language: the
>written version of ASL. One argument that could be made against
>SignWriting is that it's even more work for these children AND their
>teachers, and thus reducing the time for learning written English, which
>the children need. What is your response?

December 9, 1998

We do get this question quite frequently...Won't SignWriting take time away
from learning to read and write English?

So far our experiences seem to show that Deaf children start to read signs
quite quickly, and they oftentimes teach the adults, who can be skeptical
and frightened of it.

And judging from our experiences so far, SignWriting may actually help Deaf
kids learn to read English words faster. That is why we started the
SignWriting Literacy Project - to study this issue to see if this is true.

I would think that having a written form for both languages can be useful
in a bilingual, bicultural setting.

It is my guess that people learn their second language faster, if they have
a written form for it, and the reverse is true too...people learn their
second language faster, if their NATIVE language has a written form.
Perhaps this is because both languages need an equal foundation so that the
learner can compare both languages equally.

Valerie :-)

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

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