SignWriting, Deaf Children, Bilingualism

Valerie Sutton Sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sat Oct 19 18:15:10 UTC 2002

Thank you for this report, James - Quite exciting - and this thread will continue tomorrow...!

Val ;-)

>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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