AW: SW as a bridge between hearing and deaf students

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sat May 22 17:19:19 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
May 22, 2004

Dear Nana, Stefan, and SW List Members:

Great to hear from you again, Nana!

Nana Dumitra wrote:
> It has been a long time since I posted on the list, but I have been 
> trying
> to read the posts and keep up with most of it - the history part was
> especially interesting, thanks, Val.

That is good to know. I am looking forward to writing a true history of 
the writing system in one big document, told from the beginning to the 
present...after I finish the IMWA, version 1.0 - ha!

> I really enjoyed reading about your experience with hearing and deaf
> students in your class room. It sounds really neat. We will be 
> starting a
> parents' sign language class in June (that is when the new school year
> starts here). And we are just working with two deaf college students 
> to put
> all the materials in SW. Both of the students have not been exposed to 
> much
> SW before, but they are catching on real fast and I have learned so 
> many new
> signs since then. I think it is really improtant to "give" SW not only 
> to
> the deaf but also to the hearing people if we want to enhance 
> communication.
> So, Stefan, I think that was great, thanks for sharing with us.

Yes. Thank you, Stefan! And thanks to you, Nana, SignWriting is 
starting to be used in the Philippines...

It is wonderful that you are giving it freely to both deaf and 
hearing...writing systems need to be free and open, if they are to be 

> We are looking forward to seeing the parents' reaction to SW. My 
> husband
> will also be teaching some sign language at a college for caregivers 
> and we
> plan to use SW there also. We will let you know how it goes.

Maybe your experiences will be similar to Quebec?!...Where the hearing 
parents were open to SignWriting quickly...

> Have a good day,
> Nana from the Philippines

You too, Nana!

Val ;-)


> -----Urspr ÿÿ gliche Nachricht-----
> Von: Stefan Woehrmann [mailto:stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE]
> Gesendet: Donnerstag, 20. Mai 2004 16:35
> Betreff: SW as a bridge between hearing and deaf students
> Hi friends, -
> just would like to share a nice experience-
> Last Friday a group of hearing pupils 3rd grade visited our class. They
> showed interest in how DEAF children communicate, learn, behave...
> They stayed for 90 minutes !
> While asking them for their names and age -  we learned that a written 
> form
> of a language is very important if you cannot communicate otherwise.;-)
> The hearing children enjoyed watching us communicating in SL.
> Then we involved (!) them into a small fun-oriented math-competition 
> 1x1 -
> just write only the results as fast as possible -
> (Wow - you should know that my Deaf students can write these numbers 
> with an
> incredible speed) -
> so no chance for the astonished hearing children - and they understood 
> -
> Deaf students are not stupid (smile)
> Afterwards - within a 45 min sequence - we showed eight
> GebaerdenSchrift-sentences to them - kind of repeated questions - ( 
> Where is
> the bike? Where is ...?) so that they only had to learn about 13 
> different
> signs. Nevertheless - they did a brilliant job. After 45 minutes all 
> of  the
> hearing children who never ever before had had any contact with deaf
> children or Sign language were able to read, sign and translate the 
> printed
> GebaerdenSchrift Document. My deaf students assisted as special 
> instructors
> and the hearing children shared their experience in German grammar - 
> all
> students wrote the translation of the GebaerdenSchrift- document in 
> German
> So in the end - SW again could be used as a wonderful bridge to reach 
> out to
> the unknown of the other respected culture!! I bet that the parents of 
> the
> hearing children will get the information that there is a written form 
> for
> SL - It is simply a fact and nobody wonders - smile!
> Stefan;-))

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