teaching the kids
signwriting at MAC.COM
Sun Jan 14 21:26:02 UTC 2007
January 14, 2007
That would be an appropriate question about the kids in Albuquerque,
New Mexico, who learned SignWriting officially for a period of years,
in elementary school...they are now in Middle School...and the same
question could be asked of James Shepard Kegl about the kids who
learned SignWriting for years in Nicaragua, or to Stefan, whose
students have learned SignWriting for years in Germany...
but regarding the children who were introduced to SignWriting by me,
for exactly ONE hour only, back in 1977...I never saw them again! And
their teachers were angry to be interrupted by this weird woman who
wanted to see if ASL-signing Deaf students, who were in a special
class because their English skills were low, would take to writing
ASL quickly or not...Their signing skills were high according to the
principal...it was just their second language English which was a
problem as it would have been for me too, if I were in those
The success was so obvious in just one hour, that it truly astonished
me, and disappointed me, to see how angry the teachers were...they
believed in presenting English without ASL...let alone writing
it...this was back in 1977 when ASL was just becoming more
accepted...and while they saw the excitement in the students...they
were actually jealous of the attention I got...and I would also like
to note that they were all hearing and did not necessarily know ASL
themselves...so the teachers would have been at a disadvantage too,
because they would have had to learn SignWriting to keep up with the
class themselves...so how could they even consider teaching something
they did not know themselves?
Complicated psychology...But that was way back in 1977...
Mainly the point is that even within one hour, signing Deaf children
can become inspired by SignWriting...I am so happy that Cherie and
Donna had that experience two days ago!
And it was that first experience for me, that gave me the courage to
continue working with SignWriting...I could see there might be some
value someday, for someone in the world...
Kimberley Shaw wrote:
> Hello Val:
> out of curiosity ... do you have any way of knowing what these now
> grown-up kids are doing these days?
> Any of them still use SW?
> -- Kim from Boston
> I presented SignWriting to ASL Deaf kids in New Hampshire in 1977,
> for exactly one hour...they were writing in SignWriting all over the
> board themselves, before I barely had a chance to start!
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