SignWriting, Deaf Children, Bilingualism

Judy A. Kegl kegl at MAINE.RR.COM
Fri Oct 18 20:11:13 UTC 2002


The Bluefields School, notwithstanding its pitifully minimal budget, began
implementation last summer of the second phase of its two-step
bilingual/bicultural literacy program.  The first step involved teaching
literacy in the native sign language (using SW, of course) and involved
several years to produce a fair collection of reading material.  The second
step involves taking sufficiently literate students (literate in their
native language, that is) and introducing them to a second language
(Spanish) using the text book we designed for native Nicaraguan Sign
Languager sigers/readers.

I have from time to time made the rather audacious claim that, at least so
far as I know, no other school program has so thoroughly incorporated SW
into its curriculum -- not just with reading lessons and now with a Spanish
primer, but in teaching applied math verbal skills, as well.  If there are
other educators out there really using SW a very great deal in school,
please let me know.  I do not wish to slight anyone or make false

In terms of researchers, I would invite you to contact me directly,
particularly for purposes of conducting an independent evaluation of the
program (recognizing that we are still in the early stages, deal with
late-language learners, and can only implement the experiment on a part-year

-- James Shepard-Kegl

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