American Sign Language-English Interpreting

American Sign Language-English Interpreting

Maryville College - Maryville, TN


The Major in American Sign Language-English Interpreting prepares students to work as professional interpreters and transliterators with Deaf and with hard-of-hearing persons in a variety of situations. While American Sign Language serves as a foundation, several other modes of communication used by the Deaf community are introduced as well. Audio-visual materials are accessible for individual study of a broad cross-section of communication methods. Interactions with Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons and regular practice using videotaping equipment are principal means for the development of skills. The curriculum prepares students to interpret between spoken English and American Sign Language and to transliterate between conceptually accurate signed English and spoken English. Success in American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies or American Sign Language-English Interpreting requires being able to perceive signers’ faces, hand movements and body movements and being able to convey and receive ASL through these channels quickly at the natural pace of language. Also essential are ability to perceive and process visual information and eye-hand coordination that allow effective communication. A good foundation in basic ASL is critical to advancing successfully in the ASL and Deaf Studies major as well as the American Sign Language-English Interpreting major. American Sign Language-English Interpreting majors require good auditory perceptual skills as well as good visual skills when working between auditory and signed communications quickly and in real time. One exception is that Deaf people who want to become Deaf interpreters are encouraged to apply to the American Sign Language-English Interpreting program. Such interpreters are often intermediary interpreters who work between signed communications.

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