[sw-l] Re: Thesis -- more than anecdotal- research on SW as a tool to learn

Ingvild Roald iroald at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 26 19:45:59 UTC 2005

As you say, to do a proper scientific study we would need lots of time, not
only to prepare material, but also to get a large enough student body here
in Norway. The grants that are available, will only run for three to four
years. So we will have ot settle for less than a conclusivie study - but
neverthe less it would be possible to draw some conclusions.

What we have in mind are:

1: Use SignWriting of NSL as the first writing/ language in one of the
schools, and wait for a few months/ half a year before giving them Norwegian
reading and writing. We then plan to match the students there with students
attending other schools using different methods (matching as for language
used at home and in school, hearing status, gender, general abilities etc.)

2: We plan to assess the language proficiency in Norwegian spoken/ written
language only, by classroom observations and foramlly after year two, when
all Norwegian students are supposed to be so assesed.

3: As for material, we know we have alot to do. The material tha tis used
for teaching Norwegian to deaf students in the school we are thinking of,
already exist in Norwegian Sign language, and can be transcribed into
SignWriting. There also exist a small body of 'games' where one handshape is
used for different signs to make up a story. Goldlylocks is also recorded in
Norwegian SIgn Language. But we will have to work hard both to do the
transcribing, to evaluate the material as for fitness for the purpose, and
to teach the teachers SignWriting.

Even if we can do this, the student number will be small ( a maximum of ten
in the experiment group), and no firm conclusions can be drawn from such a
small number. But it will be somewhere to start, and by doing a research
such as this we are showing the parents, the Deaf community, and the
authorities that we are taking the goal of true bi-lingualism seriously, and
that we will not enter into a new way of doing things without any real
knowledge basis.


>From: "James Shepard-Kegl, Esq." <kegl at MAINE.RR.COM>
>Reply-To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
>To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
>Subject: Re: [sw-l] Re: Thesis -- more than anecdotal
>Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 13:18:04 -0500
>  But it may well be that in order for us to be
> > sucessfull in that argument, we will have to show that this system also
> > gives deaf chioldren better literacy in the majority language. - We are
> > plannin gto do a study in Norway along those lines, but I do not know if
> > will be able to get the funding yet.
>In order to do this study, it seems to me that some Deaf students will need
>to master SignWriting, then use their skills to learn Norwegian.  You will
>then need to objectively compare their abilities with those of
>educated Deaf students.
>In Bluefields, Nicaragua, it took us years to produce sufficient literature
>in SignWriting and to develop Spanish grammar books and reading lessons
>intended for Deaf students who are literate in their native sign language.
>In addition to designing our curriculum from nothing, we then had to train
>our teachers (recruited from our students), before working with the younger
>This study you are proposing in Norway -- what did you have in mind for a
>On an overlooked tangent -- SW is integral to teaching math, as well.  This
>assumes that someone has taken the time to design math textbooks with
>problems presented in sign language.
>-- James

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