How long does it take to learn?
adam at FROSTVILLAGE.COM
Sun Dec 17 18:34:36 UTC 2006
I have to agree. There is more to SW then that which can be learned in
30 minutes. I know because I am still learning new things about it
everyday. And I would love to be able to teach more in depth reading
and writing. But like Val mentioned before, there are so many who are
apprehensive about learning SW. A lot of times I don't even have
thirty minutes to show SW. Often times it is just a couple. So it is
obvious that there is not way that I could teach the finer skills of
SW. It doesn't mean it don't want to, nor does it mean that I think
that "Quick Reading," as Val calls it, is all they need to know. Who
knows, maybe with enough one-on-one Quick Reading lessons people will
be motivated to learn more in depth about SW. (And maybe even become
On 12/17/06, Valerie Sutton <signwriting at mac.com> wrote:
> SignWriting List
> December 17, 2006
> These are two different scenarios...
> Learning to Read in Depth
> and what I call...
> Both are true, both have value, and it is not a question of
> disagreeing that both are needed and both exist...Both styles of
> teaching and learning exist around the world, and there is nothing
> wrong with any of it...
> It just depends on the purpose of the lesson at hand, and the person
> you are teaching, and the environment you are working in...
> I used to teach Quick-Reading courses in DanceWriting. I actually
> called the Courses "Quick-Reading"... It meant that I handed dancers
> who already knew how to dance, a dance fully written in DanceWriting.
> There were no other textbooks or lessons...just the DanceWriting
> score. And I would teach them how to read from that document. Of
> course it was not in depth. They knew they could take lessons in
> depth if they wanted, but they took the Quick-Reading course because
> they needed a quick introduction to the writing system so they could
> at least recognize some things quickly. And it worked very fast.
> There were some professional dancers with the Boston Ballet company,
> who were able to review what they were going to perform that night,
> with only that one Quick-Reading course...They were able to perform
> dances they had barely rehearsed, because of reading the documents
> quickly...it took around a half-hour to an hour and they knew enough
> to be able to function on stage...
> And Quick-Reading courses work in SignWriting too with the following
> 1. The student must be so skilled in Sign Language that it is their
> primary daily language...
> 2....This means they think in a Sign Language, and not a spoken
> language. Usually that means they are native signers, and usually
> they are adults, but there are some children who do well with Quick-
> Reading too...and being a native signer or even being deaf is not
> necessary...it is the fact that Sign Language is their primary
> language that matters...
> 3. Everyone knows, both students and teacher, that Quick-Reading is
> only just that...a brief introduction to give them confidence.
> Obviously more in-depth learning is preferred if they are in a
> school...but most Quick-Reading lessons are used with Deaf adults who
> do not believe their language can be written...that is what Adam and
> I were talking about...that group of people who refuse to look at
> SignWriting, can be impressed by SignWriting, if they see that within
> a half hour they can do Quick-Reading...
> 4. Quick-Reading for primary Sign Language users works best with
> documents written down in vertical columns...I would never use a
> document going from left to right with them personally...but I know
> that is our software's fault that there are not more documents that
> are written in vertical columns...but vertical columns help speed in
> learning to read a document...
> Meanwhile, Jason, for your research...you can mention this
> above...that there are several ways to learn to read SignWriting.
> Learning it in a school as a Deaf child is preferred and then they
> learn to read over a long time and in depth, but Deaf adults who have
> never had SignWriting in school become less skeptical that their
> language can be written, with Quick-Reading courses..
> So everyone is correct! We are simply talking about two different
> kinds of teaching...
> I do not believe personally, that the term Pictogram is the correct
> term for the Quick-Reading experience...I understand why you need a
> name for the experience, Stefan, but I guess I would prefer, from a
> linguistic point of view, not to use the Pictogram term because that
> has another meaning in linguistics I believe...I call it Quick-
> Reading versus learning how to read in depth ;-))
> No matter what we call Quick-Reading, I am proud of the fact that our
> writing system can be learned in different ways for different groups
> of people...
> I will answer your message below shortly -
> Val ;-)
> On Dec 17, 2006, at 3:53 AM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:
> > Hello Jason, Adam, Valerie ... sw-list members,
> > I feel motivated to add a comment.
> > Well obviously I disagree - I do not believe that it is so easy to
> > learn to
> > read SW -
> > The reason is that I make a difference between understanding some
> > basics (
> > flat hand, palm orientation, double-stemmed movement),
> > understanding to
> > remember the meaning of a given amount of distinct sw-spellings - I
> > call
> > this "Pictogram-reading" and kind of analytic understanding of
> > what is
> > written - the experienced reader should be able to read/peform any
> > given
> > SW-document ( I am not talking about understanding the meaning -
> > just being
> > able to sign what is written- )
> > Now we see, that it is not so easy to read documents which you
> > never have
> > seen before. Often misspellings are a problem - but even if people
> > get the
> > chance to read well-written SW - documents in a not-familiar SL
> > they need
> > some time ( not just a few minutes - smile - ) to get used to the
> > analytic
> > process that is needed to "understand" what is written.
> > The next step would be to ask a person to tanslate that given SW-
> > document or
> > to answer questions about the meaning --
> > Now additional to the performance of the movement you have to
> > connect to the
> > meaning of these signs in the given SL. In some SL the Mundbilder
> > offer an
> > important load of the information - smile - ....
> > From my every day experience I can say that I would not focus on
> > speed but
> > rather on the fact that now we got the chance to write SL in a way
> > that has
> > not been offered before.
> > So what would/can you do, if you do not use SW? I annot think of
> > anything
> > that seems to be an adequate alternative option, if it comes down
> > to be able
> > to document the movements of any given SL-performance at any length.
> > And Jason - yes learning to read is a lot easier compared to
> > learning to
> > write. At our times of computers everybody wants to be quick and
> > quicker ...
> > but from my point of view that cannot be the point.
> > How long did it took an Egyptian to carve the message into stone?
> > And how
> > many people at that time would have been able to read and write these
> > messages?
> > How long doest it take to draw good looking life-like drawings of a
> > given
> > sign - and can you imagine to write whole stories and all the SW-
> > documents
> > with this method? Well I can not!
> > So it is not the speed but the quality and accurateness that counts
> > - from
> > my point of view.
> > Stefan ;-)
> > -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> > Von: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> > [mailto:owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu] Im Auftrag von Adam Frost
> > Gesendet: Freitag, 15. Dezember 2006 22:46
> > An: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> > Betreff: Re: [sw-l] How long does it take to learn?
> > I can only say from my experience as a Deaf user. I have taught a lot
> > of Deafies to read SW, and they all get it in less than 30 minutes.
> > Now that doesn't mean that they can write in SW, but the can read a
> > document without support.
> > Now, for your question about daily users, that will be diffcult to
> > figure as I am sure several others on the list will agree. But I can
> > speak for myself that I have tons of notes to myself in SW. My
> > computer has some, but is limited because of the lack of technology.
> > Which brings me to my next comment, most Deafies I know near me don't
> > use it on a daily bases because there isn't ease to use it. This has
> > brought out my blunt nature of being Deaf (and because I know them
> > well) to say to them it is just an excuse to stay illiterate in their
> > own native language. (I know. Very bold!)
> > I hope this helped you out some.
> > Adam
> > On 12/15/06, Jason Hopkins <codenosher at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >> Hello,
> >> Just so you know, I'm probing a bit for some research I'm doing :)
> >> From your experiences, how long does it take for your average Deaf
> >> person
> > to
> >> learn SW good enough to read most things? I know this is pretty
> >> vague,
> > but
> >> I'd like to know about what you've experienced yourself or in
> >> training
> >> classes.
> >> I'd also like to know how many people are using SW on a daily
> >> basis, and
> > in
> >> what ways. I have seen the cards and a couple of emails, but in
> >> what ways
> >> are you using this on a daily basis for meaningful communication
> >> outside
> > of
> >> the handful of grade schools I've seen listed.
> >> Does anyone leave coworkers notes in SW? Look around your
> >> computer, on a
> >> bulletin board or on your fridge, do you have notes to yourself or
> >> others
> > in
> >> SW? I'd really like to know how the deaf Deaf are using SW on a
> >> daily
> >> basis.
> >> -Jason
> >> __________________________________________________
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