SignWriting List Archive 1
October 1997 - May 1998

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February 23, 1998

SUBJECT: Help In Research

Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998
From: Charles Butler <>
Organization: Ecumenicon
Subject: Flash card teaching technique

In the classes I have taught for the DAC, I created a sequential series of classes, using ABC (A Basic Course in Manual Communication) as a guide to vocabulary and keeping the handshapes, movements, and contacts simplified so that the students would learn from context.

For example, the first lesson was the index finger and the flat hand. With these two delimiters there are all the pronouns for English/ASL including possessives, motion forward (you) , back (me), in an arc to the front (yours), to the left and forward (his/hers), wrist turn while in an arc (ours), etc. From that beginning, one can walk through the basics of handshape, orientation, movement, and contact with just a few signs and from the very beginning introduce a way to write as well as sign one's vocabulary.

I have taught this through the mails and have been able to track student progress. Most of the lessons were passed along to Valerie Sutton, so even my own hand outs did have critical supervision and grading.

From the above (albeit brief) description, I can track a student's vocabulary, their observation skill, and their retention, but what they can write, what they can reply too, and their own non-verbal communication skills.

Hope this helps for a very generalized model.

Charles Butler



>Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998
>From: Joe Martin <>
>To: SignWriting <>
>Subject: Re: Help in Research

>Please post to List:


>to: Charles Butler;
>you said,

>>When I teach sign language, I teach
>>transcription as well, so that when I am not present, and a student sees
>>a new sign, they can write it on a flash card, practice it,...

>I am very curious to know exactly how you teach transcription, and any
>strengths or problems with this technique. How's it work? Please expand on
>this for us.

>Joe Martin
>WWU, Bellingham, WA