SignWriting Workshop in Japan

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Fri Feb 21 16:16:56 UTC 2003

SignWriting List
February 21, 2003

Dear SW List members, and Mark and Ms. Hagiwara!
Thank you for this outstanding report on your recent SignWriting
workshop in Japan. And congratulations to you both. Isn't it great that
the Parkhursts books from Spain are now being adapted in Japan?! And if
your books in Japan become available, I bet other countries will
benefit from your books too ;-)

A fax in SignWriting after the workshop? Already? - ha! And it is
already spreading to other towns? That certainly is fast...

I would like to ask a question....Do you think lessons on a CD would be
useful in Japan? The reason I ask is that I now have a way to put all
kinds of different textbooks onto a CD...I was thinking of asking
different SignWriting authors if they would like to have their
textbooks on CD? So I asked Antonio Carlos in Brazil yesterday and he
was eager to send me the files immediately! I told him to wait briefly,
until I can catch my breath!

But the question still remains....I know that most people prefer
printed books, but I wonder if CD books, or eBooks, would be useful. It
is cheaper, because of no printing...and less postage to mail to
people...If you like that idea, when your books are finished, I would
be happy to include a Japanese SignWriting textbook on our SignWriting
Instruction CD.... and that goes for other countries too, including the
Norwegian, Spanish, German, and Swiss-German SW textbooks -

Val ;-)


Mark Penner in Japan wrote:
> Thanks to everyone for all the support for the first SW workshop in
> Japan.
> We were right down to the wire, but managed to translate the first four
> chapters of the LSE book and adapt the examples to Japanese Sign
> Language.
> We also benefitted from Parkhurst's "Saturday Seminar Materials", which
> synopsized the book into 30 or so pages for a one-day presentation that
> covers all the material needed to write SW in a handy
> reference/teaching
> format.
> 11 Deaf and 6 hearing attended. Our teacher was a Japanese Deaf lady,
> Ms.
> Hagiwara, who has been studying SW once or twice a week for about 6
> months,
> and she did an excellent job. Students would take turns reading the
> signs.
> Toward the end, our sample stories were still in LSE, and after the
> students had taken their turns, they asked her to read it. I was
> impressed
> at how smoothly she read it, especially as it was in a foreign SL, so
> memorization was not involved at all.
> Response was very enthusiastic. On Monday following, I had a (short)
> fax
> written to me in SignWriting. We had immediate requests to teach the
> material in other towns (some of our students came from far away).
> Some are
> already planning to spread it in their area themselves, so we need to
> get
> the remaining 10 chapters translated as soon as possible, and start
> writing
> stories in Japanese Sign Language.
> Of particular interest to Ms. Hagiwara, who also teaches Japanese Sign
> Language, was that the hearing students who stood up to sign could not
> voice the words (LSE with no sounds associated with the text).  This
> was so
> difficult for some of them that they made up random sounds to go with
> the
> rhythm of the sign, but on the whole, SW seemed an effective way to
> keep
> students in the realm of sight and help break their dependence on
> sound.
> If anyone has ideas or advice on how to teach or disseminate
> SignWriting,
> let us know.
> Thanks again,
> Mark, (for the SW Japan group)
> Mark and Mary Esther Penner
> Tokyo, Japan
> penner at
> __________________________________________________
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