Goldilocks & The Three Bears,
SW Level 2
Basic ASL Storybook
your students ready for this book,
when they finished SW Level 1? If
not, what was lacking in their knowledge,
that made it too advanced for them?
Yes, the students were ready for this
book. We did not make level 2 too
complicated so it was not too difficult
for them to read it. We discovered
that we can take as much or little
time as we want to work with the level
1 book. So once the children are familiar
with the concept of SignWriting and
how it works, they can concentrate
on actually reading a story in short
sentences. We feel it is important
the children really understand what
SignWriting is and that it’s
purpose is to READ before they start
in the level 2 book.
did the students react to reading
complete sentences in ASL? Was it
hard for them, or was it an easy experience
At first the children mostly focused
on the signs individually. After they
understood each sign we made them
read the sentence again. Because it
is in VGT, their first language, it
was fairly easy for the kids to understand
what they were reading. But as with
learning to read in any given language.
You first learn to read without much
understanding and after a lot of practice
comes the comprehention of what you
What is diffrent for the children
between reading this book or reading
any book in Dutch is that it’s
much easier for them to understand
the Goldilocks books. They know the
signs so well, while a lot of Dutch
words still have to be translated
to a sign before they understand what
If the kids see this word:
They first have to think what it is.
What is the sign for this word? They
have to translate into another language...
from Dutch to VGT.
If they see this sign:
The sign immediately has meaning for
them. It’s a sign they use constantely.
What we noticed was, once the children
got used to reading the signs and
they knew it had meaning... they absolutely
loved reading it. It is so much easier
then reading Dutch. And made them
more proud and aware of their beautiful
first language, Flemish Sign Language
A workbook would be very useful. The
children asked for it, they had the
feeling after reading the sentences
they had earned a drawing to color
or sometimes certain signs needed
to be described in more detail.
We made the sentences this way that
there were a number of classifier
constructions included. So we could
work with this in the grammar lessons.
The level 3 book of Goldilocks will
concentrate more on spatial use in
-Reading the SignWriting in the storybook
-Putting signs in sentences where
they have been left out.
-Reading and understanding.
-Lessons about classifiers and classifier
constructions. (what is the diffrence
between a sign and a classifier? Search
for classifiers in the story book)
a course for the parents ourselves...
We explained to them what SignWriting
is, why and how we use it in our classroom.
Now for those parents who have studied
to become an interpreter, they’ve
already learned SignWriting. So for
some parents it was not new. But I
doubt if the information they got
was sufficient and not related to
educating Deaf children.
In SignWriting Textbook
There is a textbook out in Flemish
how to write SignWriting. People can
order it at www.fevlado.be. Fevlado
is the Flemish Federation for the
Deaf. But we hope to get a more extensive
text on what SignWriting is all about
and how it works in the future.
We have started
to translate pieces of the
SignWriting.org text on ‘what
is SignWriting’ ourselves and
wish to put it on the website of our
very strongly feel
the need to show the importance
of SignWriting to our colleagues and
the parents of our students. There
are a lot of question at the moment
about the value and use of SignWriting
Some parents feel it is a loss of
time, they think we are teaching SignWriting
on it’s own. Without a purpose,
just teaching the kids these symbols
and signs that seem to have no meaning
to them. Why teach them this instead
of teaching them what is important...
written Dutch? They can’t seem
to grasp the notion that SignWriting
might actualy be important and essential
in their child's education. Because
we are the ones bringing this out
to them. Some of the parents want
proof this is an effective tool for
education. Proof from people with
big names in high places.
But... mostly, parents are very positive
about this. They see SignWriting as
something extra their child learns
that other children cannot. They are
amazed their child seems to read this
so easily and they find it difficult.
Kathleen Heylen and Sara Geudens
March 30, 2005