writing by hand - not so easy ? -

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Nov 25 19:41:15 UTC 2003

SignWriting List
November 25, 2003

Stefan Woehrmann wrote:
> Writing German  - my students are used to write more than 2 pages a
> day --
> (answering questions, copy texts from the blackboard, writing
> vocabulary-exercises, translating SW- documents ... ) but almost no
> expressive writing on their own - besides simple sentences that are not
> connected - like: The doctor is busy. The teacher is tall. The apple is
> delicious. The ape is eating a banana . .... !! )
> Writing SW we would get 4 - 6 sentences - but not more! Using the SW
> program
> every student will get about 16 to 24 sentences within a reasonable
> time.
> This document can be printed and it is the task to "translate" it to
> German
> in their exercis books.

Stefan - I am not sure if I understand this exactly, so please excuse
if I have misunderstood...Your students write 2 pages of spoken German
each day? How long have they been doing this? For maybe a year? Or 2
months? or whatever the time, doesn't matter...

My point is this: Have they been spending the exact same amount of time
on writing SignWriting by hand? Probably not. So give it equal time.
You may find they will become equally as skilled writing both
languages...but it is important to compare the time spent
practicing...sometimes we forget how much practice we have, writing
spoken languages, and then we mistakenly assume that SignWriting should
be automatic...and writing never is automatic, no matter what the
writing system...

SignWriting is very fast to read, but that was never the same, with
writing...partly because people who write SignWriting oftentimes do not
know how to sign well either...so the student's signing skills also
determines the speed of writing...after all...when I write English, I
am writing a language I know well...when I write Danish, a foreign
language, I am slower...

I know I do not write English that fast by hand anyway....I am so
spoiled by typing - ha!

Val ;-)

PS. Please forgive my inability to get the lessons going again - I will
try to get to it as soon as I can...

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