By Bobby Siebert
Our final full day went by in a blur as we worked with our Russian partners Alla and Zoya of Ya Tebya Slyshu and the Russian signer Vera to film the glossary words in the story ‘The Giant Turnip.’ With over seventy words to film, we were in the studio quite a while, capturing every word in the method established by the VL2 storybooks: signing the word and then fingerspelling it, and signing it once more. Eventually, we wrapped up filming and thanked Vera for her hard work and patience in the studio, signing every scene and most of the words multiple times to make sure we got the best take.
With filming wrapped up, we bid farewell. We thanked Alla, Zoya, and Vera for making the long trip and participating wholeheartedly and enthusiastically in our various exchange activities. For their part, Alla and Zoya were thankful for the experience, especially for the research-based information they learned from the VL2 presentation on the cognitive benefits of bilingual education. They hope to bring what they’ve learned over to their communities in Saint Petersburg and Russia.
Next, we look forward to our CSD team’s trip to Russia from November 5 to 14. We’ll visit Saint Petersburg and Moscow and participate in another round of exchange activities, including a roundtable discussion on bilingual education involving educational and medical professionals working with deaf and hard of hearing children in Saint Petersburg, a presentation on the early intervention system in Russia, and filming of the RSL/Russian versions of two current VL2 storybooks, ‘Baobab’ and ‘Blue Lobster.’
We’ll be posting more during our Russia visit—be sure to check back for more updates!