Author Topic: Correcting strangers - deaf community  (Read 4357 times)

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snowdragon

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2013, 02:20:15 PM »
I have a Deaf sibling, and spent much of my time growing up around d/Deaf individuals.

There are absolutely different social boundaries and rules surrounding sign language conversations.  It is actually both common and acceptable for an individual to simply enter a conversation that in hearing culture would be considered "private" in a way that, again, hearing culture would see as "intrusive" or "eavesdropping."  It is not considered to be either in sign language conversations - in fact, it's expected behavior.  As a hearing person I do find it to be uncomfortable, and strange, but that's me being hearing.  I would never call someone out on that behavior, as then I would be the one acting strangely.

I think it has a lot to do with the natural differences between the languages - it is simply not possible to have a spoken conversation with five people across a gymnasium-size space.  It's entirely possible, even normal, to do so in sign language (I have in fact been hit on across such a space while my sibling was visiting colleges. That was very strange indeed.)

Now there are "rules" about privacy, but they are different than most of the posters here are expecting.  Two individuals having a conversation in a corner, facing each other and backs to the group, signing close to the body - THAT is a private conversation and you are not supposed to intrude.  Watching a conversation due to nosiness/curiosity and not intending (or being able to) engage, THAT is rude.  Two people talking to each other in the open in a farm?  Clearly exchanging signs in what appears to be a teaching/practicing exercise? Nope, totally okay to enter that interaction - in fact, expected, especially if an error comes up.

As for the questions about "correcting" and is that okay given the variation in signs - yes, it is okay, expected, and in some cases very, VERY important.  I moved across country in adulthood and was chatting with a Deaf colleague who looked horrified and quickly corrected my sign for "work."  In that area (within the same country I grew up in), my sign for "work" was....um, the sign for scrabble-related activities.  My sign for the...activities....in question involved a similar wrist motion but different finger placements.  The idea is to learn the signs that are appropriate for the area you are in, so that you don't wind up telling people that you are going to "Work" when you mean "work"  ;D

Lastly, in thinking about this I do have to say that I think it would be likely that I might have this type of interaction even in a spoken language.  If I noticed someone nearby who was clearly not a native speaker of English, and teaching his/her child the English word for an animal but making an error in pronunciation (not just an accent or something) I would likely offer the correct pronunciation.  Just because...well, I know it, and they clearly seem to want to know it, so why not help out?  I don't think I'd be more or less likely to do this with a man than a woman, though I'd be more likely to do it if their pronunciation was skating close to a word with a different meaning.

Interesting...My experience working wit Developmentally Disabled adults who sign is opposite that.  They would be horrified if someone corrected their signing - and would spare no pain in telling the interloper off.   
  Just goes to show that social mores are different in different groups and the nosy woman had no way of knowing what culture this family came from.  There were too many unknowns in here for this woman to able to make the call that DH was "wrong".  Since these folks were speaking it was obvious that they were not part of the community that the nosy woman was part of - and there for differing rules could and did apply. Really how did this woman know that the OP's DS was not non-neurotypical and this was how his teacher modified the sign for him? 
  There are many, many reason why the sign could be different - the nosy woman should have kept her opinions to herself.

snowdragon

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2013, 02:21:36 PM »
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I would want someone to tell me if I was doing something wrong.

But, again, how is she the person to deem something "wrong"?  As we've just talked about, the sign might not be the one she's used to, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. 

The OP mentioned that her DH had little experience with sign language.
The woman could be wrong but then again she could be right.
For example, say I had taken one Intro to Spanish course. Next week, I decided to eat in a Mexican restaurant and after I order, the waiter corrects my pronunciation  of a meal. Chances are, the waiter is correct because he works there and presumably knows how to pronounce  the restaurant's entrees.

She also said that her DH speak English with an accent - so how is nosy woman to know that that sign was not correct in the area where the DH is from? She doesn't.  She had no business inserting herself into a conversation that had nothing to do with her. the difference between the scenario in the OP and yours is that the waiter has something to do with the conversation - he's serving you and taking orders from you, this woman was a passer by to the conversation - she had nothing to do with anyone involved -she just stuck her nose into a private conversation because she thought she knew better than the parent. She  was very rude.

We don't know that she thought she was better than the parent. She could have thought she was doing a good dead.

I never said she though she was better than the parent, I said she thought she KNEW better than the parent - they are two very different concepts. 

snowdragon

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2013, 02:22:58 PM »
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the difference between the scenario in the OP and yours is that the waiter has something to do with the conversation - he's serving you and taking orders from you

Waterwren, somehow I missed this part of your post when I read it the first time.

But (and this is a total tangent to the story in the OP, by the way), but I still maintain that, if a waiter understands what I'm asking for but decides to correct me on the way I ordered it, his tip just went down.  I'm there to have a meal, not to be criticized on the way I ordered it.  I'd be irritated with a waiter who felt the need to do that.
 
If I'm struggling to the point that I can't get my order across to him, I can see a simple, "Oh, you want the Red Wing Bluefish tonight" comment.  Or, if I actually asked him for the correct way of saying it, fine.  But if he's being condescending about correcting me (I'm not sure that that's the tone you mean, so if it's not, disregard), you'd better believe I'm going to be miffed!

My tip would go down too, but the waiter is still part of the conversation, the nosy woman was not.

DottyG

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2013, 02:24:05 PM »
snowdragon, you're right.  I do agree with you on that!


Zilla

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2013, 02:25:13 PM »
I have a Deaf sibling, and spent much of my time growing up around d/Deaf individuals.

There are absolutely different social boundaries and rules surrounding sign language conversations.  It is actually both common and acceptable for an individual to simply enter a conversation that in hearing culture would be considered "private" in a way that, again, hearing culture would see as "intrusive" or "eavesdropping."  It is not considered to be either in sign language conversations - in fact, it's expected behavior.  As a hearing person I do find it to be uncomfortable, and strange, but that's me being hearing.  I would never call someone out on that behavior, as then I would be the one acting strangely.

I think it has a lot to do with the natural differences between the languages - it is simply not possible to have a spoken conversation with five people across a gymnasium-size space.  It's entirely possible, even normal, to do so in sign language (I have in fact been hit on across such a space while my sibling was visiting colleges. That was very strange indeed.)

Now there are "rules" about privacy, but they are different than most of the posters here are expecting.  Two individuals having a conversation in a corner, facing each other and backs to the group, signing close to the body - THAT is a private conversation and you are not supposed to intrude.  Watching a conversation due to nosiness/curiosity and not intending (or being able to) engage, THAT is rude.  Two people talking to each other in the open in a farm?  Clearly exchanging signs in what appears to be a teaching/practicing exercise? Nope, totally okay to enter that interaction - in fact, expected, especially if an error comes up.

As for the questions about "correcting" and is that okay given the variation in signs - yes, it is okay, expected, and in some cases very, VERY important.  I moved across country in adulthood and was chatting with a Deaf colleague who looked horrified and quickly corrected my sign for "work."  In that area (within the same country I grew up in), my sign for "work" was....um, the sign for scrabble-related activities.  My sign for the...activities....in question involved a similar wrist motion but different finger placements.  The idea is to learn the signs that are appropriate for the area you are in, so that you don't wind up telling people that you are going to "Work" when you mean "work"  ;D

Lastly, in thinking about this I do have to say that I think it would be likely that I might have this type of interaction even in a spoken language.  If I noticed someone nearby who was clearly not a native speaker of English, and teaching his/her child the English word for an animal but making an error in pronunciation (not just an accent or something) I would likely offer the correct pronunciation.  Just because...well, I know it, and they clearly seem to want to know it, so why not help out?  I don't think I'd be more or less likely to do this with a man than a woman, though I'd be more likely to do it if their pronunciation was skating close to a word with a different meaning.

Interesting...My experience working wit Developmentally Disabled adults who sign is opposite that.  They would be horrified if someone corrected their signing - and would spare no pain in telling the interloper off.   
  Just goes to show that social mores are different in different groups and the nosy woman had no way of knowing what culture this family came from.  There were too many unknowns in here for this woman to able to make the call that DH was "wrong".  Since these folks were speaking it was obvious that they were not part of the community that the nosy woman was part of - and there for differing rules could and did apply. Really how did this woman know that the OP's DS was not non-neurotypical and this was how his teacher modified the sign for him? 
  There are many, many reason why the sign could be different - the nosy woman should have kept her opinions to herself.
I worked with the same type of adults and of course they would be ticked off.  It's their language.  Now let's say they were at a field trip there at the farm and saw the dad clearly saying, "Look son a cow.  This is how a cow sign looks." and does a slightly incorrect sign.  I can see any one of them saying oh no it's this way sir.  I have myself seen their exuberance in helping others on many many occasions.  So maybe it boils down to a regional thing.

CuriousParty

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2013, 02:26:53 PM »
Quote
I was just thinking that due to the fact your DH was using sign language that this woman was really "eavesdropping" by actively watching his hand movements.  Instead of looking at the animals she was staring at his hands.

Exactly what I've been saying.  One of the most important lessons we were taught in class is that sign language is no different from any other language.  Yes, it's visual rather than oral.  But it's a language just like any other one a person would speak.  And to "listen in" by watching it is the same as eavesdropping on anyone's conversation that you'd be hearing.  Eavesdropping is that - regardless of the language it's being heard in.

Quote
Hey, 30 seconds later you or DH could have said, "D'oh! I forgot, the sign for goat is actually this" and all would have been settled.

Exactly.
 
ETA:  CP, you were posting at the same time I was, and I overlapped you.  What I've found is different than what you're describing and much different than I was taught.  But when around deaf people, the last thing I want to do is appear to be listening in their conversations.

Dotty, I think the confusion comes in because we are actually talking about two different scenarios that appear to be the same from a hearing-culture perspective, and are actually very different from a deaf culture perspective.

The scenario you are describing above WOULD be considered eavesdropping, and would fall under what I described as "Watching/listening to a conversation with no intention or ability to participate." Many HoH/d/Deaf individuals have found themselves out in public and being stared at (and I mean STARRRREEEDDD at) by others who are not able to/intending to engage the conversation.  Sometimes these are students taking sign language courses, often it's just curious people.  Sometimes people excuse themselves by "I was just watching to try to pick up some signs/practice my sign for class" and THAT is considered rude.  People talking in sign language are not engaging in a performance, or an exhibition in a zoo.

However, the scenario described in the OP, which I understand seems to be the same essential behavior (watching/interrupting someone's conversation) is actually seen very differently in this other culture we're discussing.  In the OP case the person entering the conversation was not eavesdropping (or would not be considered to have been eavesdropping by d/Deaf standards) because she was able and willing to engage in the conversation as an equal partner.

For example, when I am out and about, I generally ignore (studiously so) sign language conversations that are happening around me.  This is my "hearing-ness" coming to play, though.  I am not comfortable entering into conversation with strangers (Barring needs for assistance, obv.  If someone's lost I'll engage and help).  I would be welcome, though, to enter the conversation if I wanted to, because I can.

It is also easier to "see" minor errors in sign if you are a native/fluent signer.  Some posters have been thinking the woman must have been watching the OP's husband's hands very closely, but in fact it becomes second nature to be aware of all of the signing going on in your general area - a lot like you can hear other conversations even while engaged in a primary one, and a mispronounced word will jump out at you.

By the way, Zilla, I keep typing/retyping HoH/d/D trying to stay on the right side of PC, but it's getting ridiculous.  I hope you'll give me credit as an E-Hellion that I mean well even if I forget to type them all out each time.




DottyG

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2013, 02:27:41 PM »
Quote
I can see any one of them saying oh no it's this way sir.  I have myself seen their exuberance in helping others on many many occasions.

Hmmmm....ok, I can see that happening.  You may have a point there, Zilla.
 
ETA:  And CuriousParty, you were posting while I was again!  I went back and read your post, and what you say makes sense.

This is a good thread. :)  I'm learning a lot from the different points of view.

 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 02:29:42 PM by DottyG »

CaptainObvious

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2013, 02:28:13 PM »
Quote
I would want someone to tell me if I was doing something wrong.

But, again, how is she the person to deem something "wrong"?  As we've just talked about, the sign might not be the one she's used to, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. 

The OP mentioned that her DH had little experience with sign language.
The woman could be wrong but then again she could be right.
For example, say I had taken one Intro to Spanish course. Next week, I decided to eat in a Mexican restaurant and after I order, the waiter corrects my pronunciation  of a meal. Chances are, the waiter is correct because he works there and presumably knows how to pronounce  the restaurant's entrees.

She also said that her DH speak English with an accent - so how is nosy woman to know that that sign was not correct in the area where the DH is from? She doesn't.  She had no business inserting herself into a conversation that had nothing to do with her. the difference between the scenario in the OP and yours is that the waiter has something to do with the conversation - he's serving you and taking orders from you, this woman was a passer by to the conversation - she had nothing to do with anyone involved -she just stuck her nose into a private conversation because she thought she knew better than the parent. She  was very rude.

We don't know that she thought she was better than the parent. She could have thought she was doing a good dead.

I never said she though she was better than the parent, I said she thought she KNEW better than the parent - they are two very different concepts.

Her comment was directed towards Waterwren's post.

snowdragon

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2013, 02:29:00 PM »
I have a Deaf sibling, and spent much of my time growing up around d/Deaf individuals.

There are absolutely different social boundaries and rules surrounding sign language conversations.  It is actually both common and acceptable for an individual to simply enter a conversation that in hearing culture would be considered "private" in a way that, again, hearing culture would see as "intrusive" or "eavesdropping."  It is not considered to be either in sign language conversations - in fact, it's expected behavior.  As a hearing person I do find it to be uncomfortable, and strange, but that's me being hearing.  I would never call someone out on that behavior, as then I would be the one acting strangely.

I think it has a lot to do with the natural differences between the languages - it is simply not possible to have a spoken conversation with five people across a gymnasium-size space.  It's entirely possible, even normal, to do so in sign language (I have in fact been hit on across such a space while my sibling was visiting colleges. That was very strange indeed.)

Now there are "rules" about privacy, but they are different than most of the posters here are expecting.  Two individuals having a conversation in a corner, facing each other and backs to the group, signing close to the body - THAT is a private conversation and you are not supposed to intrude.  Watching a conversation due to nosiness/curiosity and not intending (or being able to) engage, THAT is rude.  Two people talking to each other in the open in a farm?  Clearly exchanging signs in what appears to be a teaching/practicing exercise? Nope, totally okay to enter that interaction - in fact, expected, especially if an error comes up.

As for the questions about "correcting" and is that okay given the variation in signs - yes, it is okay, expected, and in some cases very, VERY important.  I moved across country in adulthood and was chatting with a Deaf colleague who looked horrified and quickly corrected my sign for "work."  In that area (within the same country I grew up in), my sign for "work" was....um, the sign for scrabble-related activities.  My sign for the...activities....in question involved a similar wrist motion but different finger placements.  The idea is to learn the signs that are appropriate for the area you are in, so that you don't wind up telling people that you are going to "Work" when you mean "work"  ;D

Lastly, in thinking about this I do have to say that I think it would be likely that I might have this type of interaction even in a spoken language.  If I noticed someone nearby who was clearly not a native speaker of English, and teaching his/her child the English word for an animal but making an error in pronunciation (not just an accent or something) I would likely offer the correct pronunciation.  Just because...well, I know it, and they clearly seem to want to know it, so why not help out?  I don't think I'd be more or less likely to do this with a man than a woman, though I'd be more likely to do it if their pronunciation was skating close to a word with a different meaning.

Interesting...My experience working wit Developmentally Disabled adults who sign is opposite that.  They would be horrified if someone corrected their signing - and would spare no pain in telling the interloper off.   
  Just goes to show that social mores are different in different groups and the nosy woman had no way of knowing what culture this family came from.  There were too many unknowns in here for this woman to able to make the call that DH was "wrong".  Since these folks were speaking it was obvious that they were not part of the community that the nosy woman was part of - and there for differing rules could and did apply. Really how did this woman know that the OP's DS was not non-neurotypical and this was how his teacher modified the sign for him? 
  There are many, many reason why the sign could be different - the nosy woman should have kept her opinions to herself.
I worked with the same type of adults and of course they would be ticked off.  It's their language.  Now let's say they were at a field trip there at the farm and saw the dad clearly saying, "Look son a cow.  This is how a cow sign looks." and does a slightly incorrect sign.  I can see any one of them saying oh no it's this way sir.  I have myself seen their exuberance in helping others on many many occasions.  So maybe it boils down to a regional thing.

My folks would not interfere, unless asked.  If one of their number saw something "wrong" they MIGHt ask if the family were from out of town, or such but not tell someone they were doing it "wrong"

CaptainObvious

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2013, 02:31:16 PM »
Quote
I would want someone to tell me if I was doing something wrong.

But, again, how is she the person to deem something "wrong"?  As we've just talked about, the sign might not be the one she's used to, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. 

The OP mentioned that her DH had little experience with sign language.
The woman could be wrong but then again she could be right.
For example, say I had taken one Intro to Spanish course. Next week, I decided to eat in a Mexican restaurant and after I order, the waiter corrects my pronunciation  of a meal. Chances are, the waiter is correct because he works there and presumably knows how to pronounce  the restaurant's entrees.

She also said that her DH speak English with an accent - so how is nosy woman to know that that sign was not correct in the area where the DH is from? She doesn't.  She had no business inserting herself into a conversation that had nothing to do with her. the difference between the scenario in the OP and yours is that the waiter has something to do with the conversation - he's serving you and taking orders from you, this woman was a passer by to the conversation - she had nothing to do with anyone involved -she just stuck her nose into a private conversation because she thought she knew better than the parent. She  was very rude.

We don't know that she thought she was better than the parent. She could have thought she was doing a good dead.

I never said she though she was better than the parent, I said she thought she KNEW better than the parent - they are two very different concepts.


Quote
the difference between the scenario in the OP and yours is that the waiter has something to do with the conversation - he's serving you and taking orders from you

Waterwren, somehow I missed this part of your post when I read it the first time.

But (and this is a total tangent to the story in the OP, by the way), but I still maintain that, if a waiter understands what I'm asking for but decides to correct me on the way I ordered it, his tip just went down.  I'm there to have a meal, not to be criticized on the way I ordered it.  I'd be irritated with a waiter who felt the need to do that.
 
If I'm struggling to the point that I can't get my order across to him, I can see a simple, "Oh, you want the Red Wing Bluefish tonight" comment.  Or, if I actually asked him for the correct way of saying it, fine.  But if he's being condescending about correcting me (I'm not sure that that's the tone you mean, so if it's not, disregard), you'd better believe I'm going to be miffed!

My tip would go down too, but the waiter is still part of the conversation, the nosy woman was not.

Wait, I'm confused, is waterwren snowdragon? Because both names are coming up as having written the same thing and it doesn't make much sense.

I'm confused too, I couldn't understand why Snowdragon was answering to Waterwren's comment.

snowdragon

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2013, 02:31:27 PM »
Quote
the difference between the scenario in the OP and yours is that the waiter has something to do with the conversation - he's serving you and taking orders from you

Waterwren, somehow I missed this part of your post when I read it the first time.

But (and this is a total tangent to the story in the OP, by the way), but I still maintain that, if a waiter understands what I'm asking for but decides to correct me on the way I ordered it, his tip just went down.  I'm there to have a meal, not to be criticized on the way I ordered it.  I'd be irritated with a waiter who felt the need to do that.
 
If I'm struggling to the point that I can't get my order across to him, I can see a simple, "Oh, you want the Red Wing Bluefish tonight" comment.  Or, if I actually asked him for the correct way of saying it, fine.  But if he's being condescending about correcting me (I'm not sure that that's the tone you mean, so if it's not, disregard), you'd better believe I'm going to be miffed!

Why is the board logging me as Waterwren, I am snowdragon...there is something seriously wrong here.  I've read many of Waterwren's posts and I am not her, nor do I share her attitudes about oh. so many things.

Zilla

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2013, 02:31:57 PM »
Slight threadjack:
CuriousParty, heck even I have trouble trying to figure out which PC term to use.  I use HI for Hearing Impaired as that seem to be the "common" term of today's world.  But I grew up with HoH Or Deaf. :)

DottyG

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2013, 02:32:34 PM »
Did one of the quote tree limbs get messed up somehow?  That's possible and could be the confusion.

Zilla, I've been wondering what HI meant!  I couldn't figure out why you were talking about Hawaii all of a sudden, but I didn't ask you! :D
 
 

sourwolf

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2013, 02:36:14 PM »
Quote
the difference between the scenario in the OP and yours is that the waiter has something to do with the conversation - he's serving you and taking orders from you

Waterwren, somehow I missed this part of your post when I read it the first time.

But (and this is a total tangent to the story in the OP, by the way), but I still maintain that, if a waiter understands what I'm asking for but decides to correct me on the way I ordered it, his tip just went down.  I'm there to have a meal, not to be criticized on the way I ordered it.  I'd be irritated with a waiter who felt the need to do that.
 
If I'm struggling to the point that I can't get my order across to him, I can see a simple, "Oh, you want the Red Wing Bluefish tonight" comment.  Or, if I actually asked him for the correct way of saying it, fine.  But if he's being condescending about correcting me (I'm not sure that that's the tone you mean, so if it's not, disregard), you'd better believe I'm going to be miffed!

Why is the board logging me as Waterwren, I am snowdragon...there is something seriously wrong here.  I've read many of Waterwren's posts and I am not her, nor do I share her attitudes about oh. so many things.

Wow, that's strange.  I'm no tech person but I wouldn't think that would be possible unless both accounts were on the same computer.  Bizarre to say the least.

And no, Dotty, if you click on "waterwren's" post it brings you back to what snowdragon wrote.

sevenday

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2013, 02:38:46 PM »
I am Deaf, and I have gently corrected signs before, but only in cases where the incorrect sign would be offensive in the area I was in.  Another person described the "scrabble sign" problem previously.  Only once did I correct a non-offensive sign, and it was also a parent with a small child.  A set of foster parents hired me for a time to babysit their deaf foster daughter, who was around age six or seven.  She had better signing skills than her carers did, but they were learning.  Anyway,  one afternoon, I saw the mother correct the daughter's use of a particular set of words (complicated to explain) - let's say the daughter said "they all listen to music."  The woman told her she should say the equivalent of "all those people heard music."  I explained to her that the first instance was conceptually correct in ASL, though it looked "off" when you tried to translate it to English.  I further explained that as the girl grew and began to participate in the Deaf community more, she'd begin picking up ASL language concepts and behaviors, and it would do them all a world of good to watch and learn from her as well. 

If you are hearing and learning sign language for the first time, and your mentor is also hearing and not fully fluent in the language, both of you may pick up habits that will do you disservice as you go on.  It can be hard to break ingrained habits once you get started.  My father, despite being given lessons when I was a baby, still forms his letters incorrectly when he tries to fingerspell, since no-one corrected him when he was new.  That may be the impetus behind correcting someone trying to teach a child.  They may be trying to spare the child from mis-communication issues and the social issues that may follow (embarrassment, etc).  The Deaf are often willing to teach others their language, thus many that I know would readily correct others if they saw something that bothered them.  It is also a language that is, by its nature, easy to "eavesdrop" on, though there are ways to convey "private" vs "public."  I have seen Deaf parents yell at their children "privately" in the middle of a crowded room, while on the other side of the coin if a child stated intention to another to misbehave, every adult in "eyeshot" immediately took them to task for their intended misbehavior.