AW: [sw-l] Handwriting

Stefan Wöhrmann stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Mon Dec 8 18:08:16 UTC 2008

Hi Stuart, 

thank you very much for your comment.  I would like to afform that I go
along with your thoughts. One problem – I see – we would not be good
teachers if we think to write by hand is an easy to accomplish task for
children. No it is not true.  SignWriting by hand is difficult and it takes
many many hours of practice and a teacher who enables them to keep
motivated. It is a time consuming and slow – and in a surrounding where
everything and all is oriented towards spoken languge you would not expect a
child to develop higher skills in an area if there are no adults who really
understand ... 


And what   you suggest is a brilliant idea – we need to compare the symbols
as they are printed with noble software – and what they look like if written
by hand. That is the reason Valerie that I am so interested in the  first
handwritten documents – .. smile ... just to compare the way other
handwriters tried to find their way to write double circular movements,
hands parallel to the floor, .... smile 


Attached another handwritten document of a SignWriting enthusiast – smile –
next to a railway-track


All the best


Stefan ;-)



Von: sw-l-bounces at
[mailto:sw-l-bounces at] Im Auftrag von Stuart
Gesendet: Montag, 8. Dezember 2008 18:06
An: SignWriting List
Betreff: Re: [sw-l] Handwriting


Valerie, I understand your point about learning to handprint before doing
cursive, etc.


But I still believe that one of the barriers to acceptance of SignWriting by
some people is the fact that it appears to be slow to write by hand. I know
that there is a long history of writing by hand before the various programs
that we have today. My point simply is that the information that people have
now is focused on the computer program which is a very important element.
But also there is a very important element of having a handwritten form that
is simpler than the printed form and more easily written.


When people can see both styles of writing (printed and written), then that
will open up new arguments for the usefulness of SignWriting in everyday


So, I know the ISWA has been your priority for now, and it is an important
priority. And more is still going on that. This is just something that will
need to be resolved at some point.


One suggestion I have is that maybe at some point you introduce handwritten
forms for each of the ISWA symbols. So a person can look up an ISWA symbol
and see both the printed form and the handwritten form. So as they practice
on the computer or on a piece of paper, they can learn to use and read the
system both ways.


Hebrew, for example, has the same alphabet, but the exact form of the letter
varies depending on which written form of Hebrew you use (Cursive, Rashi, or
the printed form). (See the chart at


Like you've said before, it may be that we will have different "fonts" or
writing styles for SignWriting, but I think it will encourage people to also
write by hand if there is a way to write it simply. Then they start doing
grocery lists and quick notes to family and class notes and eventually it
becomes a part of their everyday handwriting strategies.


I admit for myself that I rarely handwrite SignWriting because the printed
symbols just take longer to handwrite. When I do SignWriting, it is usually
only when I use SignPuddle. I would prefer to handwrite more, but I find my
motivation is lower when I have to invent my own ways of writing the printed
forms faster. So when the time comes to show handwriting, I'm less likely to
convince them on that front.


Just my thoughts.




On Dec 8, 2008, at 10:35 , Valerie Sutton wrote:

SignWriting List

December 8, 2008


Hello Andre -

In a SignWriting curriculum, for children, I would put learning SW
Handwriting in the third year...


Just as it explains on these web pages:




In any written form, writing in a "faster cursive style" takes skill. Plus
SignWriting does not have the documentation ready for teaching formal SW


Therefore, when we were young children learning to write English characters,
we did not start by learning English cursive-handwriting...we started with
hand-printing each English character carefully, writing them in rows and
rows until we became skilled...


Then, after learning how to write in this perfect hand-printing style, after
around the second grade...for me it was in the third grade...I started to
learn to write real handwriting in school (for English) based on that
experience, I suggest that SW handprinting should be taught the first two
years of a SignWriting curriculum, and the SW handwriting starts around the
third year in school...


Stefan has some experience with this...His student, Eduard, who is writing
in the picture on the front page of our web site, is a skilled SignWriting
student, having been in Stefan's classroom for several he started
the handwriting later, after getting familiar with SW in general...


So that is my advice...Your students and teachers are beginners or at least,
in their first year of learning and using SW, so maybe the handwriting
should wait until next year?


But they could try some of these Handprinting techniques right now:


Val ;-)









On Dec 8, 2008, at 8:05 AM, Gagnon et Thibeault wrote:

Hi Val, Anne-Claude and everyone,


 Anny,  I don't ask that you translate a SW handwriting's web pages.   You
translate only two words : handprinting and handwriting.


        I mean that I need only a section "Quick dailly writing". I am
writing a LSQ curriculum for a SW writing.  I understand that you need to
write new books.  No problem.  I am trying  better to describe a SW
handwriting (quick daily writing).


    I believe that Deaf students write a SW handprinting because teachers
don't know about SW handwriting norms (Quick daily writing).


    Hand waving



----- Original Message -----

From:  <mailto:signwriting at> Valerie Sutton

To:  <mailto:sw-l at> SignWriting List

Cc:  <mailto:atg at> Gagnon et Thibeault

Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 10:12 AM

Subject: Re: [sw-l] Handwriting


SignWriting List

December 8, 2008


Hello Andre and Anny -

There is no document to there are web pages.


If you follow all the links on this web page:


SignWriting Handwriting



There are six sections and each section has several web pages...I do not
know if Andre really needs a translation of those web pages into French?


I have nothing else to give you right now, Andre...More books on Handwriting
will have to wait for awhile, since I am so behind on other books that need
to be updated...


Have you seen the front page of our web site? Stefan's Deaf student Eduard
is quite an artist with SW calligraphy, don't you think?


SignWriting HomePage



Stefan will be sending us more photos of the finished art later...i look
forward to seeing them!


And I believe that Kim from Boston has also done some SW calligraphy...


Kim's work



Val ;-)





On Dec 8, 2008, at 6:55 AM, Anne-Claude Prélaz Girod wrote:



what kind of document do you need to get translated from english into french


let me know




Le 8 déc. 08 à 15:43, Gagnon et Thibeault a écrit :

Hi Anne-Claude, Val and everyone,


    Anny, I would like you to translate a handprinting and a handwriting
from English to French?


    Val, I am writing a LSQ curriculum from grade 7th to 8th  including SW
reading and SW writing now.  But, I don't know about handwriting
norms.  I would like you to explain me handwriting norms in general.  You
remember that you gave a handwriting course to some participants one year
ago.  I love learning it.   I don't mean that participants do their homework
but they read only instructions.  Would you give us general explanations or
instructions  of handwriting norms which help me write and explain a LSQ
curriculum including SW writing ? You don't need an explanation of the



    Best regards,










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