I was thinking about some things the other day.. and I thought that I would ask you guys what you thought....
Suppose you have young students (first few years of school), as the interpreter I am a language model. If other interpreters/TOD (Teachers of the Deaf) sign things differently (not "wrong" per say, just different) while working with student/s should you conform the signs that you are using to match their's or continue to have the variation?
I know how important it is for deaf kids to see variation in signing skills and styles (just as it is for a hearing child to hear many different people talk), however I have also learned that consistency is KEY when working with young children.
SO: My question... Should I change my way/s of signing certain things (even if I know they are correct) when/if another person (whom works with student everyday) has a different way or viewpoint of signing?
I guess my overall question is which take precidence: Signing/language variation or Consistency????
Sounds like a teaching moment to me. Anytime to work in semantics and teach variation. Multiple meaning sits like multiple meaning words. Giving students a variety of choices will only increase their vocabulary. Julie
My understanding is that consistency is important when learning new vocabulary. What I have done when this has occured is match my sign to the TOD (because it's easier for me to change my signing habits than for her to) until the student has mastered the vocabulary word. Once they know the word and are not getting confused on the meaning of that sign, then I start working in other signs that mean the same thing, explaining to the student that they are the same. For the next few weeks I will use both signs, and then phase out to the sign that I am more comfortable with. For example, I started with a student in kindergarten who had a VERY limited vocabulary (maybe 20 words). The sign he used for "bathroom" was an "r" twisted. I used this sign with him for the first 6 months or so, mainly because that was the sign he understood, and there was very little that he understood. Once I got more of a base for communicating with him, I started working in the more common sign with a "t" handshape. I think had I used the "t" handshape from the start it would have caused more confusion and stress than necessary.