Teacher's Web Report #1
Wed, 31 May 2000
1. Why do you want to learn SignWriting?
Because it's there!:))) Knowing about work or research concerning Sign Language
is part of our job as teachers. Deaf students certainly have the right to
be informed about work concering their language. I have no idea how SignWriting
will evolve or not evolve in France but we should know about it and have
the chance to try it. After looking over the materials and reading about
work in other countries, we are very excited about working with it in our
classrooms. Just the idea of looking at sign from the signers point of view
gave us a lot to think about. As a left-hander, I'm very pleased about the
inclusion of left-hander's signs. I don't know where it will lead us but
it will certainly be positive. The amount of work to be done, i.e. creating
a dictionary, is pretty intimidating. But the idea of being able to write
in our language can only be an empowering experience.
2. What have been some of your past frustrations when teaching?
All "written" work must be done in a language other than the language
I use when teaching. Sign language is not recognized in France. Sign language
or Deaf language as we call it, "Langue Sourd", treasured by our
teachers and students is perceived by the educational system as a "tool"
or "device" to help us teach and not as a language. Knowing that
we can write Sign language makes us feel proud and also reminds people that
it is a language and not another kind of hearing aid.
3. Are you hoping that SignWriting might help? If so, in what way?
I think it will help, first of all, to remind everybody that Sign language
is a language. That it can be written and analyzed. I think it will help
us get our minds around the idea of "visual language" and all
that we still don't understand about that concept. I think it will help
us sign better, more clearly, with more awareness and precision. It might
possible help our students to read and write better in the phonetic languages
that give them so much difficulty. Only time will tell.
4. The SignWriting Teacher's Forum has a free web page for you and your
students. How would you like to use your web page?
I'm not sure how we will use the web page. I hope that we will be able to
post student's writing assignments. We will certainly post reports about
the work we do. I'm sure that everything will take us a very long time to
do. But we are moving, albeit at a snail's pace. We intend to send you videos
of our presentation of SignWriting to students and teachers with a written
report. Then, we will see as we go along.
5. We agree, as a group, to complete three Web Reports in return
for the SignWriting materials and technical support you donate to us. We
understand that this report and all other reports will become public information
and will be posted to the SignWriting Email List and posted on the SignWriting
Web Site. You have our full permission to use the information as needed.
Thank you for considering us for your project.