Young children learning SignWriting?

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Fri Jun 16 15:54:15 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
June 16, 2006

Hello everyone -
Thank you, Nana, for taking the time from your busy move, to answer  
this question and thanks to everyone else who answered! It seems that  
teaching young children is not a problem...

I think Nana brought up an important point...keeping it relaxed...

Juliette...I understand what you mean may be that formal  
training needs to be for older children, but younger children, in a  
relaxed atmosphere can certainly see the writing and get familiar  
with it a little ;-)

I suspect it varies from child to child, what is best for them, but  
no matter what, introducing SignWriting at a young age does not seem  
to hurt anyone...So age is not a barrier...


Juliette - how is it going in your school with the young ones? Your  
animation is charming and I bet it helps the kids get used to SW?...

Val ;-)

On Jun 15, 2006, at 11:00 PM, owner-sw-l- 
digest at wrote:

> Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2006 07:13:11 +0800
> From: "Nana Dumitra" <nana.dumitra at SCHLOSSKLAUS.AT>
> Subject: RE: [sw-l] Young children learning SignWriting?
> Dear Val and List,
> Even though we are moving - today (grin) - I could not resist  
> writing an
> answer to this question:
> We do not have experience with a formal school or kindergarten  
> setting,
> but from our family (4 kids, 4 - 10 years old) I can tell you, that  
> you
> can start introducing some SW VERY early. My 4 year old knows  
> enough FSL
> to communicate on a normal level for his age ("child structures", some
> invented signs, but can be understood well and in all situations by  
> users - he grew up with FSL from day 1). We just used SW for the  
> past 2
> 1/2 years in our house, he was around and picked it up. He cannot  
> write
> as much as he can read, but he can read almost any sign he can sign.
> So my answer would be, yes, you can introduce SW to very young  
> children,
> especially for them to get familiarized with the hand shapes and  
> some of
> the easier movement and the contact symbols. They will be able to read
> it even before a hearing child would be able to read English or so  
> (our
> above mentioned son is just starting to read capital letters, he  
> cannot
> yet sound out words in German or English). As long as you keep it fun,
> interesting and - if there need to be "formal" lessons - short, I  
> don't
> see a problem introducing SW as soon as possible.
> Greetings from the Philippines (one last time),
> Nana

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