Deaf Residential Schools in the US...

CWren at DOE.K12.GA.US CWren at DOE.K12.GA.US
Thu Jan 18 13:08:43 UTC 2007

I've thought about that... trying to develop science materials (I have a 
strong science background) but looking at the size of even elementary 
science textbooks... the project becomes just too daunting.  Even Cat in 
the Hat seems a lot longer now that I am translating it!  ::smile::


Cherie Wren
GSD Staff Interpreter
232 Perry Farm Rd
Cave Spring, GA 30124
706-766-0766 Cell

This message and any included attachments are from the Georgia School for 
the Deaf and are intended only for the addressee(s). The information 
contained herein may include privileged or otherwise confidential 
information. If you have received this message in error, please contact 
the sender immediately, and delete it from your system.

"Stuart Thiessen" <sw at> 
Sent by: owner-sw-l at
01/18/2007 12:48 AM
Please respond to
sw-l at

sw-l at

Re: [sw-l] Deaf Residential Schools in the US...

:) That's great!

I do think that there is a tangental approach that could be equally 
beneficial and worth considering. I think back to when I was in high 
school, I had a deaf friend who was in my 11th-12th grade history 
class. Because English is my first language, I had the regular 
textbook. But she had the 7th grade history book instead. Naturally, 
she did not get the same things out of the class that I could even with 
an interpreter. I don't think it was her fault.

If curriculum for a specific course (history, math, etc.) can be 
developed in ASL at appropriate grade levels and Deaf children can be 
shown to learn equal or superior to their hearing peers using that 
curriculum, that might be equally helpful. Of course, we may have to 
settle for a comparison of traditional Deaf Ed approach versus using SW 
curriculum to show improved learning between the two Deaf test groups. 
I suppose it would depend on the project and how it is set up and the 
willingness of the school or parents.

That process may also help us understand presentation issues as well. 
Fact of the matter probably is that presentation will be equally 
important as content, and that will be something new that will need to 
be considered since we will have to consider how the presentation of 
written material will intersect with the way sign languages naturally 
use directionality. For example, in English, we say, "See Figure 3 for 
a chart of English Kings."  If I write it in ASL, should my Signwriting 
point to the physical location of Figure 3 or what? There may be other 
related issues that could come up. So, even those factors could impact 
the effectiveness of written materials.

Just some thoughts to throw out. :-)


On Jan 17, 2007, at 22:57, K.J. Boal wrote:

> Actually, I'm hoping to do a Ph.D. research project in the near future 
> on exactly that, Cherie!  But it will be a while before any results 
> are in . . . if the project even gets off the ground . . . I'm hoping 
> to get started on the program either this year or next but I don't 
> know when or where I'll be doing it . . . I'll keep you posted on my 
> progress!
> KJ
>> From: "Cherie Wren" <cwterp at YAHOO.COM>
>> Reply-To: sw-l at
>> To: sw-l at
>> Subject: Re: [sw-l] Deaf Residential Schools in the US...
>> Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 15:47:47 -0800 (PST)
>> But in order to get the schools to accept SW, you have to hit them on 
>> what THEY think is important:  and that is English.  Period.  End of 
>> story.  so although SW will have benefits far beyond its limited use 
>> in promoting English literacy, that HAS to be the sell point. 
>> Because that is all Deaf education is about right now.  English 
>> Literacy.  Oh, those other things get done, but English Literacy is 
>> THE goal of Deaf education in the United States, sad to say.  And 
>> although there is no proof, there is research that supports it.  Read 
>> Cummins on bilingual education.  He proposes a theory that In 
>> bilingual education (he is talking about Spanish/English) there are 
>> two ways to get to English Literacy for Spanish speaking students. 
>> One is via spoken English, the other is via Written Spanish.  Apply 
>> that to Deaf kids.  Teh 'via spoken English ' route is not 
>> applicable.  So the route to English Literacy will only come via 
>> written ASL.  There is also research that proves that ASL
>>  proficiency  (Not only in Deaf of Deaf, but in Deaf of hearing with 
>> strong ASL skills)has a very high correlation with English Literacy. 
>> That is to say, if the kid has a strong first language, he will be 
>> able to get the second language easier.  So SW wins again, because 
>> while you teach written signing, you can teach ASL at the same time. 
>> Here at GSD, we hope to get some of that proof that everyone wants to 
>> see...  but you can't get proof till someone does the research , and 
>> you can't do the research till you have proof, at least in our 
>> case...
>> cherie
>> ----- Original Message ----
>> From: "James Shepard-Kegl, Esq." <kegl at MAINE.RR.COM>
>> To: sw-l at
>> Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 5:50:14 PM
>> Subject: Re: [sw-l] Deaf Residential Schools in the US...
>> Re: [sw-l] Deaf Residential Schools in the US...
>> I respectfully submit that when you propose SW as a bridge to English 
>> literacy in the school system, you are missing the point.
>> SW is a valuable tool for giving a Deaf signer metalinguistic skills 
>> in his or her native language (i.e., understanding labels like nouns, 
>> verbs, classifiers, role shifting, shared references, and so forth.) 
>> Having metalinguistic skills in your own language is critical to 
>> learning the grammar and syntax of a foreign (that is, non-native) 
>> language.
>> But, if you are expecting miracle English literacy achievement 
>> through SW, think again.  SW helps, to be sure, and a greater 
>> proponent than I you will not find, but do not oversell the concept, 
>> as proof is scarce.
>> Where SW is really, really beneficial is:  MATH, SCIENCE, HISTORY.
>> Math, to be of any real value in life, is all about applied math, 
>> which we learn through practicing those dreaded verbal problems.  Use 
>> SW to teach them, so that the Deaf child knows what you are talking 
>> about.  Otherwise, the math problem just becomes an English problem, 
>> and if you do not read English, you appear to be moronic.  Try TWO 
>> PLUS TWO in Chinese and see how far you get.
>> My daughter's teachers in Portland, Maine High School are encouraging 
>> her to answer her science tests in SW -- because the goal is 
>> achievement in the material taught in that particular class, not rote 
>> memorization of English without any real comprehension.
>> -- James
>> __________________________________________________
>> Do You Yahoo!?
>> Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> _________________________________________________________________
> -9219-5d7207d94d45&mkt=en-ca

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Sw-l mailing list