Speaking through sign language

Carolin Marsh and Connie Rowland were two of the 22 participants in the Sign Language Workshop held Sept. 23-25 at Jubilee School in Meadow Lake. One of the many things learned throughout the weekend was how to sign O Canada.

By Rhonda Cooper

Talking with your hands took on an entirely new dimension Sept. 23-25 during a weekend sign language workshop in Meadow Lake.

Education professionals were joined by family and friends of Dolan Lennea to learn how to communicate with the seven year old. Lennea is a hearing impaired Grade 1 student at Jubilee Elementary School.

“We did baby sign with him when he was two and by the time he was five we were using signed English,” said his mother Kim Lennea.

Last year, Lennea, her husband Trevor and an educational team travelled to Warman and Saskatoon to observe the usage of sign in the classroom.

“We wanted to see how everything worked and how the interpreters worked in the classroom,” said Lennea.

Jerri-Lea Kardal’s effectiveness in her Saskatoon classroom, prompted Lennea to stay in contact and eventually a time was worked out for a weekend workshop to take place in Meadow Lake.

“I am extremely happy with the turnout,” said Lennea. “It has been extremely helpful. The book is good, but you need to see it done.”

Kardal explained the goal of the workshop is to teach hearing impaired students to read and write.

“Signed English follows the order of written and spoken English,” she said.
Kardal, who has been working in the field for 12 years, was impressed with the group.

“Even the beginners who were a little nervous Friday did very well,” she said.

Judy Cubbon, Jubilee’s kindergarten teacher, is hoping to establish a signing club during the noon hour for those who wish to learn.

“I thought it was a very good workshop,” she said. “It’s a language and you have to keep practising in order to get good at it.”


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