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Gallaudet University Press

4:2 Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Sign Language in Use

An International Perspective
on Discourse Analysis

Cambridge University Press's Studies in Second Language Acquisition journal congratulates Elizabeth Winston on Storytelling and Conversation: Discourse in Deaf Communities saying, [Winston] offers a fascinating look at the intricate discourse patterns that have evolved in different languages (p. ix). Her work should be required reading for all teachers of sign language as well as teachers of interpreters. This book will also appeal to sociolinguists; language use in the community is clearly the overriding theme. The review goes on to say, The scope of this book is an ambitious undertaking by Winston, and the result is quite enlightening. The issues presented here are universal but the specific approach to discussing these issues, through the eye of a sign language user, is unique.

The fifth volume in the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities Series, Storytelling and Conversation surveys the impact of discourse in sign languages worldwide. Storytelling and Conversation casts new light on discourse analysis and makes a welcome addition to the sociolinguistics canon. Winston also contributed to Innovative Practices for Teaching Sign Language Interpreters edited by Cynthia B. Roy. See Studies in Second Language Acquisition's full review of Storytelling and Conversation and read an excerpt from chapter one, Talking About Space with Space: Describing Environments in ASL. And take advantage of your exclusive 20% subscriber discount when you order Storytelling and Conversation.

Baby's First Signs and More Baby's First Signs, by Kim Votry and Curt Waller, grabbed the attention of School Library Journal: In both titles, a brown-skinned toddler signs elementary words such as ball, sleep, hot, and rain in American Sign Language (ASL). A small box with a clear pencil illustration of the directions for signing the word appears in the corner of each larger picture of the child interacting with Dad and Mom. The bright, simple illustrations outlined in black will be appealing to preschoolers. The note on the back of the books points out, ...a growing number of researchers agree that not only deaf children but also hearing children can benefit from early exposure to sign language, often learning basic signs as early as nine months old, before they learn spoken words. View some of these brightly colored illustrations from Baby's First Signs and More Baby's First Signs and order both Baby's First Signs and More Baby's First Signs today.

Judith Z. Abrams's Judaism and Disability: Portrayals in Ancient Texts from the Tanach through the Bavli received recognition in Religious Studies Review, a publication of the Council of Societies for the Study of Religion. The journal notes: Judaism and Disability offers a quite straightforward historical, literary, and anthropological survey of attitudes toward persons with disabilities in Jewish texts (p. ix). Judaism and Disability focuses on five main areas: the way disabilities affected priests and their functioning in the Temple, how persons with disabilities were used as symbols of collective Israel, how stories about disabled people were used as theological lessons, how the ancient Jewish view of disabled people compared to the views in surrounding cultures, and the way persons with disabilities were grouped in categories and the significance of those categories. Read the introduction and order Judaism and Disability.


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