By Susan Schaller
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Additional resources for A Man Without Words
Elena's voice was without emotion, but she looked down at her desk as she spoke. I couldn't make room for this tragedy in my reflections right then, so I quickly moved on. " "That's Ildefonso. He's twenty-seven years old and an illegal resident from southern Mexico. I'm helping with some paperwork so he can stay in this country and go to school. He was raised in a rural area and never exposed to education or sign language. " 30 Susan Schaller Elena synchronized signs with her voice for the last sentence, because signers began to crowd around us and the office door.
Sign students, however, before they learn the most basic 59 A MAN WITHOUT WORDS conversational fluency, hear stories of the history of ASL, the names of favorite dramatic signers and top interpreters, many myths and truths surrounding deafness and signs—and about Ursula Bellugi. Ursula Bellugi is a linguist at the Salk Institute in La Jolla where, among other things, the biological foundations of language are studied. Bellugi studies American Sign Language, working with signers and children of signers.
LuAnn interrupted to ask me to work with Mary Ann, who wanted attention. I had only just returned to Ildefonso. This man had waited so long. I wanted to shout: "Stop, stop, this man needs language. Stop, we need to celebrate his first word. " How could I explain to LuAnn what had happened? LuAnn seemed annoyed by the time I spent with Ildefonso. She herself chose to keep busy wandering from student to student. Explanations were useless, and we had already been interrupted. I went to check on Mary Ann.
A Man Without Words by Susan Schaller