ASL/English Interpreting (ASL)
Preparing skillful interpreters through interaction and immersion
In the nation’s first accredited interpreting program and one of only 14 accredited programs in the country, you’ll learn American Sign Language and the foundation of ASL/English interpreting from distinguished faculty, all of whom are native ASL signers and/or certified interpreters.
The demand for skilled interpreters is on the rise, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 29 percent growth in the interpreting field between 2014 and 2024. Our program prepares you to work with the Deaf community by teaching you the intricacies of American Sign Language and Deaf culture, as well as the skills you need to pursue a career as an ASL/English interpreter.
Students are integrated with the Deaf community inside and outside the classroom, which is a very unique feature of our ASL/English Interpreting program. During your senior year internship, you will be paired with a nationally certified mentor and use your interpretation and ASL skills within organizations throughout the state.
Our graduates have pursued careers in ASL/English interpreting, deaf education, rehabilitation, healthcare, audiology, social work, counseling and the media. From medicine to law, education to performing arts — your career opportunities as a bilingual and bicultural graduate are vast.
American Sign Language (ASL)
ASL 435 - American Sign Language I
Introduction to American Sign Language with emphasis on visual receptive and expressive use of language, as well as providing opportunities for other forms for visual communication such as facial expression, mime, and gesture. Participants develop their skills through videotapes, classroom participation, and readings that cover issues important to the Deaf community. A weekly, one-hour language laboratory is required as part of this course. Limited to 15 students. Special fee. No credit if credit has been received for COMM 533.
ASL 436 - American Sign Language II
Continuation of ASL 435 and expansion on concepts and principles. Focus on more advanced vocabulary and patterns of grammar; use of space and modulation of signs to denote aspects of time and location; and additional information on Deaf culture. A weekly one-hour language laboratory is required as part of this course. Prereq: ASL 435 or program evaluation. Limited to 15 students. No credit if credit has been received for COMM 733.
ASL 531 - American Sign Language III
Continuation of ASL 436. Expands on groundwork and grammatical principles established in ASL I and II. Introduces the sociolinguistics aspects of ASL as it functions within the deaf cultural context. Limited to 15 students. Prereq: ASL 436 or program evaluation. Lab.
ASL 532 - American Sign Language IV
Continuation of ASL 531. Expands on the groundwork and grammatical principles established in ASL I, II, and III. Introduces the sociolinguistic aspects of ASL as it functions within the deaf cultural context. Areas of investigation include use of formal versus informal sign register; sign variation by region, age, and gender; social factors that give rise to code switching; and political and cultural evolution of the U.S. deaf community. Taught in the target language using the direct experience method. Prereq: ASL 531 or program evaluation. Limited to 15 students. Lab.
ASL 599 - Special Topics in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies
Selected topics related to American Sign Language and deaf studies that vary by semester. Description available in departmental office during preregistration. May be repeated for credit (maximum of 8 credits) if topics differ.
ASL 621 - Advanced American Sign Language Discourse I
Focuses on the use of ASL discourse in formal as well as informal settings. Students explore the genres of public speaking, artistic expression, formal discussion, interview, and narrative. Development of ASL vocabulary in specialized areas not covered in previous courses. Prereq: ASL 532. Lab.
ASL 622 - Advanced American Sign Language Discourse II
In this advanced course, students give two PowerPoint presentations on their research on two selected cutting-edge/current Deaf Studies topics, and are assessed on itemized public speaking skills, grammatical features (linguistics) studies that are a culmination of previous ASL courses, and pragmatic language functions. These presentations are to use high/academic register, appropriate for a large academic audience, demonstrating sensitive awareness of visual acuity and its impact on signing production. Prereq: ASL 621. Lab.
Sign Language Interpreting (INTR)
INTR 430 - Introduction to Interpretation
A survey of traditional and contemporary perspectives on interpretation and interpreters; introduces the cognitive processes involved in interpretation and factors that influence those processes. Several models of interpretation explored. Particular attention given to interpretation as an intercultural, as well as inter-lingual, process. Students engage in a research project related to course content.
INTR 438 - A Socio-cultural Perspective on the Deaf Community
Introduction to the deaf community and deaf culture. Discussion of similarities to, and differences from, mainstream hearing culture. Supplemental videotapes focus on aspects of culture including deaf education, autobiographical sketches, deaf norms and values, and deaf literature and folklore. Theoretical issues of culture and linguistics applied to deaf culture, American Sign Language, and the variety of cultural perspectives of the deaf community. Students engage in a research project related to course content. Pre- or Coreq: ENGL 401. Writing intensive.
Attributes: Social Science (Discovery); Foreign Culture GP 5; Writing Intensive Course
INTR 439 - Ethics and Professional Standards for Interpreters
Seminar course using readings, theory, and discussion of hypothetical situations and role plays to explore ethical standards and dilemmas in ASL-English interpretation. Covers personal and professional values, ethics, and morality; professional principles; power, responsibility, and group dynamics; the interpreter's role; cross-cultural issues; and the decision-making process. Students engage in a research project related to course content. Prereq: INTR 430. Writing intensive.
Attributes: Writing Intensive Course
INTR 539 - Comparative Linguistic Analysis for Interpreters
Examines the basic similarities and differences between the linguistic structure of American Sign Language and spoken English; focuses on each language's communication functions and how they serve these functions. Students engage in a research project related to course content. Prereq: ENGL 505; Pre-or Coreq: ASL 532.
INTR 540 - Translation
Introduction to theory and practice of translation. Students analyze pre-prepared interpretations and translations to discover how expert interpreters and translators construct meaning in the alternate language. Particular attention paid to the form/meaning distinction. Students prepare translations from texts of their choosing. Pre- or Coreq: ASL 532. Lab.
INTR 599 - Special Topics
Occasional offerings dependent on availability and interest of faculty. Barring duplication of subject, may be repeated up to a maximum of 8 credits.
INTR 630 - Consecutive Interpretation I
Introduction to the theory and practice of consecutive interpretation. Analyzes and integrates specific subtasks of the interpreting process culminating in the performance of prepared and spontaneous consecutive interpretations. Students work with a variety of texts, language models, and settings with the goal of engaging in the consecutive interpreting process by chunking information and constructing meaning in the alternate language. Prereq: INTR 540. Lab.
INTR 636 - Consecutive Interpretation II
Continues and advances the theory and practice of consecutive interpretation and introduces simultaneous interpretation. The focus of this course is on interactive discourse (dialogues). Particular attention is given to processes involved in the transition from consecutive to simultaneous interpreting, and determining when to use each mode of interpretation. The advantages and limitations of both types of interpreting are compared. Students apply theoretical information to the process of simultaneous interpreting. Students also engage in a reasearch project related to course content. Prereq: INTR 630. Lab.
INTR 732 - Simultaneous Interpretation
Focuses on simultaneous interpretation of expository discourse (presentations). Students further explore and appy theory learned in INTR 636 to a variety of texts, language models, and settings. Students engage in a research project related to course content. Prereq: INTR 636. Lab. Writing intensive.
Attributes: Writing Intensive Course
INTR 734 - Field Experience and Seminar I
Gives students the opportunity to observe professional working interpreters, with some direct interpreting experience as deemed appropriate. Students integrate knowledge, theoretical understanding, and skills acquired in the interpreting program by working closely with on-site supervisors (interpreters) in addition to attending a bi-weekly seminar with the UNHM field experience coordinator. Pre- or Coreq: INTR 732.
INTR 735 - Field Experience and Seminar II
Gives students the opportunity to gain supervised interpreting experience. Students engage in actual interpreting assignments and receive support and mentorship from a professional interpreter, enabling them to integrate knowledge, theoretical understanding, and skills acquired in the interpreting program. Students work closely with on-site supervisors (interpreters) in addition to attending a biweekly seminar with the UNHM field coordinator. Prereq: INTR 734.
INTR 798 - Special Topics
Selected topics that vary by semester. Possible course topics are interpreting in educational settings, working with specific populations, or other topics of importance to interpretation. Descriptions available in departmental office during preregistration. Students engage in a research project related to course credit. Prereq: INTR 636; permission. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.