October 17, 2011
Hello Stefan -
I just want to say this quickly, from my perspective...
The success of your work speaks for itself...It is not just a theory, it is already successfully in practice in classrooms in Germany... and now with your new software DELEGS.DE from the University of Hamburg it will gain in acceptance
I understand that your students, that you taught for over a decade, have now graduated and moved on to bigger and better things, and they have graduated with success... They have a good understanding of the German spoken language, more so than other Deaf students who did not benefit from having you as their teacher, and your Deaf students are doing well in the spoken language world, because of your invention of using the mouth symbols of SignWriting, and expanding the mouth symbols and adapting them to give them a better understanding of spoken languages...I take my hat off to you - that is a phrase meaning that you have proved your idea through practice, even if there were skeptics, and you are succeeding better than anyone would have guessed - and so by tipping my hat to you, I am saying "I see you have succeeded" ;-)
And of course Deaf adults in other countries are not in the same position - they are no longer students most of them...and they are not using SignWriting for the same purpose. For example, our DAC members here are not trying to teach spoken language, but instead working on writing their native sign language without thinking at all in a spoken language...so it is a totally different focus....and both focuses, whether it be "spoken language literacy" or "signed language literacy" are important to everyone in the long run... and they intertwine as well...
SignWriting can be used in multiple ways and your method is working for Deaf Education. If it works it works. That is all that matters.
I am so happy that SignWriting could play a part in the improvement of your Deaf student's lives. Of course this is only because of you and your vision, that you applied it and expanded it to Woehrmann's SpeechWriting, but I am happy it has happened and look forward to seeing it spread..I understand that other classrooms in Germany are now starting to teach in a similar manner? I hope someday you will come to schools here in the US and present your ideas - if it could be applied to spoken American English, it would be really interesting to see if some teachers might use it as a tool for teaching English to some students -