AW: {Spam} Re: AW: [sw-l] Lessons in ISWA Symbols

Stefan Wöhrmann stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Tue Nov 24 22:06:51 UTC 2009

Hi Val and sw-list, 

well you are right - there is quite a number of people who ask for the
chance to get first-hand impression how it looks like to implement
GebaerdenSchrift in the daily routine of teaching. 

Some weeks ago a woman from the US showed up and she got that much
interested. Looking at our documents she understood that her own goal to
become fluent in ASL would be supported with this method. 

Within our facility GebaerdenSchrift is used in the meantime by several
colleagues - starting in the kindergarten with very young deaf and hard of
hearing children up to students of about 17 - 18 years. One of my colleagues
is eager and very much on his way to become an expert in handwriting!!
Others just take advantage of using the SignPuddle Dictionary. That is fine
and I am positive that in time more and more will understand better - smile.
On a regular basis I offer workshops in this field for people of our

In the past I expressed my doubts about the chances that my students will
improve with their own writing GebaerdenSchrift documents. 
I am very happy to report that constant training in writing by hand is
leading to major progress. The attached foto is  typical for what we are
doing right now three times a week in this group. What I learn from this is
that I need to allow and to motivate the students to spend time on copying
well written documents, to become familiar with some difficult to write
movement symbols and most of the often used hand shapes in almost all 96
orientations - Some hand shapes are difficult to write - but repeating this
task several times is a good method to make them feel confident. Just as me
- smile!

I am teaching very young children at the kindergarten and two groups of deaf
and hard of hearing students  (14 to 16 years old) . 
It is so amazing to watch 4year old kids reading the SW Flashcards (sign
names, colours, numbers, animals). 

Both groups of my students developed excellent reading skills and are on
their way to become good SW-writers. This is important to encourage them to
add new entries to the SignPuddle dictionary - smile.

If you are interested I could get their permission to copy some pages from
their exercise booklets. Right now we are working to transcribe a poem in
Signed German and write it down in DGS (German Sign Language) as well.
Afterwards I plan videos of their SL performance.  
Where do we use GebaerdenSchrift at school? Almost everywhere: 
Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Politics, German, Mathematics, Geography,  --
we collect many many vocabularies in our German SignPuddle. 

I understand better that we need a really big dictionary with some thousands
of entries so that it should make sense to search for a given sign.  

Reading all the comments about the reasons to be sceptic about the worth of
SignWriting I have to admit that those people probably do not have to deal
with our problems to explain such a variety of topics to deaf children...
Nobody of these sceptic people would be able to sign our contents without
the support of Steve Slevinskys ingenious software!! 

During school lessons I am writing documents as well with the good old
SignWriter 4.4. And this is a very important support to develop better
Spoken Language skills. For years my deaf students had been in trouble to
write correct German grammar. Now we practice every day to translate German
Sign Language documents in Spoken German. So what is going on is that the
deaf students transform the SL Grammar instantly to Spoken German  grammar
and this is a wonderful experience to see that it is working. 

OK - enough for now. 

All the best 



-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: sw-l-bounces at
[mailto:sw-l-bounces at] Im Auftrag von Valerie Sutton
Gesendet: Dienstag, 24. November 2009 20:24
An: SignWriting List
Betreff: {Spam} Re: AW: [sw-l] Lessons in ISWA Symbols

SignWriting List
November 24, 2009

Hello Stefan -
What is remarkable about your work, is the way you create an  
illustration from your photos...I love your illustrations...this is  
very beautiful -

I hope you will tell us your inspiring stories about your work with  
SignWriting...I know you have visitors from all over the world,  
visiting your classroom, and also other teachers are starting to get  
interested in SignWriting at your school?



On Nov 24, 2009, at 10:59 AM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:

> Hi Val,
> thank you very much for your quick response –
> well it is not my need to copy any photo – I have hundreds of  
> handshape fotos myself – smile – and I need them to create my  
> graphics for the teaching materials
> It is just interesting to compare some of the photos as shown in  
> your collection and perhaps to discuss some designs of the matching  
> ISWA Symbols –
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