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American Sign Language and Interpreting Program — Deaf Studies

Checklists

B.A. Degree in American Sign Language and Interpreting

Sign language interpreters make communication accessible between hearing and Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. Interpreters listen to a spoken message and convert it into a visual message as well as converting the visual message back into a spoken message. A career in interpreting should appeal to those who have a special interest in language and communication and who enjoy working with people.

Four semesters of sign language fulfills the foreign language requirement for the Bachelor of Arts degree.

It is possible to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher Education and American Sign Language Interpreting. This may be a six-year program, although the actual number of credits will vary according to previous hours completed.

A.A. Degree in Deaf Studies: American Sign Language

The Associate of Arts in Deaf Studies: American Sign Language can be applied as underpinning to any major in the College. It provides a strong set of foundational knowledge about the language and culture of deaf people, while adding additional experiences and skill sets that pertain directly to students' major areas of study.

Minor in Deaf Studies: American Sign Language

A minor in Deaf Studies: American Sign Language is also available.

Courses

American Sign Language

MacMurray offers American Sign Language courses in support of its programs in Interpreting, Deaf Studies, and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher Education.

ASLA 100. American Sign Language I. (3) Focuses on the comprehension of American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, and the Deaf Community. Classroom experiences are conducted without voice. Course work includes preparation for visual language learning, including vocabulary, grammar, and cultural information. Interpersonal communication is stressed in everyday interaction. A variety of instructional methods are used to focus on the functions of everyday language. ASL is taught as a second language. The use of culturally appropriate behaviors in a signing environment is stressed. Knowledge of basic sign handshapes, grammar, and syntax is achieved. Required weekly language laboratory. No prerequisite.

ASLA 102. Perspectives in Deafness: Deaf Culture. (3) The heritage of deaf persons and the ways in which their social needs are satisfied through affiliation with each other. Also included will be a description of cultural values, norms, traditions, and identities, as well as criteria for membership. Emphasis will be placed on the various subcultures within the larger culture and other cultures of hard of hearing individuals. No prerequisite.

ASLA 116. Fingerspelling and Numbers. (3) Designed to supplement American Sign Language. The course will focus on aspects of receptive and expressive fingerspelling and numbers. Develops and improves skills in receptive and expressive fingerspelling and numbers. Strongly recommended for prospective teachers, interpreters, and other professionals working with deaf people. Emphasis will be placed on various settings for handshapes whether it is fingerspelling or numbers. Prerequisite: ASLA 100 with a grade of C or better.

ASLA 150. American Sign Language II. (3) Focuses on the continued comprehension of American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, and the Deaf Community. Classroom activities are conducted without voice. Visual learning and cultural appropriateness are stressed. A variety of instructional methods are used to focus on the functions of everyday language and includes the use of a variety of registers in ASL and MCE. The development of conversational skills and presentation skills through interactive contexts is emphasized. Students will observe classroom and extracurricular activities at Illinois School for the Deaf. Required weekly language laboratory. Prerequisite: ASLA 100 with a grade of C or better.

ASLA 200. American Sign Language III. (3) Focuses on the maximum comprehension of American Sign Language and the Deaf Community. Classroom activities are conducted without voice. Visual learning and cultural appropriateness are stressed. Various instructional methods are used to focus on the functions of everyday language, including the use of a variety of registers in ASL. The development of conversational skills and reception skills will be at the maximum through interactive contexts. Students will do ASL presentations on stories or topics from news articles, books, televison shows, etc., related to deafness. Students will make field trips to adult deaf activities. Required weekly language laboratory. Prerequisite: ASLA 150 with a grade of C or better.

ASLA 202. Introduction to the Deaf Community. (3) This course will focus on the development of physical, social, educational, cultural, and legal issues within the Deaf Community implicated by the individual's deafness or hearing loss. Emphasis will be placed on the context of the individual's personal life, family, and community in today's multicultural world. Discussion will introduce the variety of current educational and vocational programs available today, as well as legislation, technology, and other issues that impact individuals with a wide variety of hearing loss. Prerequisite: ASLA 150 with a grade of C or better.

ASLA 215. Visual/Gestural Communication. (3) This course will focus on the development of skills in non-verbal communications with an emphasis on non-manual signals such as facial expressions and body language as well as basic forms of communication including pantomime and gesture. Prerequisite: ASLA 200 with a grade of B or better.

ASLA 250. American Sign Language IV. (3) Reviews all the previous ASL courses. Instruction will stress the understanding and use of non-manual aspects of ASL (mouth morphemes) as well as head and body movements. Learning of ASL/English idioms and their translations, as well as incorporating idiomatic expressions within ASL and medical, drugs, and sexual vocabulary. Segments of comprehension and appreciation of ASL literature, as well as focus on common ASL linguistic features. This course allows the students to become fluent in the use of ASL. Students will do ASL presentations on stories or topics from news articles, books, television shows, etc., related to deafness. Students will make field trips to adult deaf activities. During the course, students will take the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) exam. Required weekly language laboratory. Prerequisite: ASLA 200 with a grade of B or better.

ASLA 300. American Sign Language V. (3) This course is designed as the last course in the ASL series that continues to develop students' receptive and expressive proficiency in ASL while expanding sign production and comprehension skills in ASL with specific emphasis in legal, education, medical, rehabilitation, mental health, and religion vocabularies. The vocabulary building specific to those areas will help students deal with complex related concepts and vocabularies unique to certain settings and enable students to engage in meaningful conversations in variety of settings. This class will also address slang and idioms used in the Deaf Community. Prerequisite: American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) Level 1 or better and ASLA 250 with a grade of B or better.

ASLA 316. Linguistics and Structure of American Sign Language. (3) Instruction for the continued development of communication skills for American Sign Language — English Interpreting and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher Education majors. This course is designed to improve and increase vocabulary and ASL morphological and grammatical concepts used when teaching and interpreting. Students will also explore and model the creative works of professional and experienced sign language performers and the effectiveness of their techniques. Prerequisite: ASLA 300 with a grade of B or better.

Interpreter Preparation Program

IPPR 101. Introduction to Interpreting. (3) This course provides an introduction to interpreting as an occupation. The role, functions, and responsibilities of an interpreter will be explored. Topics include the history and evolution of the interpreting profession, terminology used in the profession, communication systems, various interpreting models, cross-cultural mediation, employment options and various settings, and pertinent laws and regulations regarding interpreting, professional ethics, and interpreter certification systems. No prerequisite.

IPPR 102. Pre-Interpreting Skills Development. (3) This course is a pre-interpreting class that focuses on the mental processing skills of interpretation and sight translation. The course will discuss interpreting models and students will be provided with various skill development activities that include visualization, listening/watching and comprehension, memory, chunking/organizing information, text analysis, paraphrasing and summarization, clozer skills, self-monitoring for message accuracy, and processing time. Students will begin basic interpreting skills from English to American Sign Language. Students will be doing sight translation activities where they will develop the ability to produce an equivalent message in the target language from the source language. Students will do in-class drills and activities of rehearsed and spontaneous texts. Prerequisite: IPPR 101 and ASLA 100 with a grade of C or better.

IPPR 208. Practical and Ethical Applications of Interpreting. (3) This course focuses on the professional and ethical development of the interpreter which will challenge student's values and morals when it comes to interpreting. Students will learn how the profession's principles and ethical behaviors were developed. There will be in-depth discussions of the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct; EIPA Guidelines for Professional Conduct and its application to the various situations and settings; various models for decision-making, problem-solving strategies, assignments, assessment, and environmental management; and preparation for assignments. Various interpreting scenarios presenting ethical dilemmas will be explored. Prerequisite: IPPR 102 and ASLA 150 with a grade of C or better.

IPPR 210. Interpreting I. (3) This course introduces students to interpreting principles. Students will develop basic interpreting skills between American Sign Language and English. This course will focus on sight translation and consecutive interpreting. Students will develop the ability to produce an equivalent message from the source language into the target language, interpreting between English to ASL or ASL to English. Students will do in-class drills and activities of rehearsed and spontaneous texts and videos. The texts and videos will increase in length and complexity. At the end of the course, the student must successfully perform ASL to English and English to ASL for approximately five (5) minutes each. Prerequisites: IPPR 102 and ASLA 150 with a grade of C or better.

IPPR 212. Interpreting II. (3) This course introduces students to real-time simultaneous interpreting. Students will practice simultaneous English to ASL and ASL to English interpreting situations through rehearsed and spontaneous materials which will increase in length and complexity. Students will develop instant real time skills in critical listening, analyzing the information, constructing the interpretation, and generating the equivalent interpretation within the appropriate lag time for an effective interaction between two or more individuals. At the end of the course, the student must successfully perform simultaneous ASL to English and English to ASL for approximately eight (8) minutes each. Prerequisite: IPPR 210 and ASLA 200 with a grade of B or better.

IPPR 302. Interpreting III. (3) This course is designed to introduce students to interactive interpreting skills that are frequently used in the profession. Students will focus on interactive ASL to English and English to ASL skills. Students will do message analysis of the source language and equivalent message in the target language through rehearsed and spontaneous materials which will increase in length and complexity. The emphasis will be on the fluency, clarity, speed/pace, word choices, and message equivalents in the interpreting process. At the end of the course, the student must successfully perform interactive ASL to English and English to ASL for approximately twelve (12) minutes each. Prerequisite: American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) Level 1 or better, IPPR 212 and ASLA 250 with a grade of B or better.

IPPR 310. Interpreting IV. (3) This course provides the continued development of interpreting skills. The students will continue to improve on ASL to English and English to ASL interpreting skills. Students will also be introduced to frozen texts interpreting. Student will do message analysis of the source language and equivalent message in the target language through rehearsed and spontaneous materials which will increase in length and complexity. The emphasis will be on the fluency, clarity, speed/pace, word choices and message equivalents in the interpreting process. The Demand-Control Schema of interpreting will be discussed. At the end of the course, the student must successfully perform interactive ASL to English and English to ASL for approximately fifteen (15) minutes each. Prerequisite: IPPR 302 and ASLA 300 with a grade of B or better.

IPPR 316. Educational Interpreting and Certification Preparation. (3) This course introduces students to transliterating skills. Students will practice transliterating from rehearsed and spontaneous texts and video materials which will increase in length and complexity. The emphasis will be on the fluency, clarity, speed/pace, word choices, and message equivalents in the transliterating process. In addition, the role, responsibilities, skills, certification and ethics of educational interpreters in elementary, secondary and postsecondary settings will be discussed along with various communication modalities. This course will familiarize students with various written and performance interpreter certification exams both currently available on both a local and national level. During the course, students will be required to take the written portion of a local or national interpreter certification exam of their choice. Prerequisites: IPPR 302 and ASLA 300 with a grade of B or better.

IPPR 399. Topics in Interpreting. (3) Focuses on specialized interpreting situations such as medical, legal, education, theatrical, and deaf-blind, addressing linguistic and ethical concerns for each of the specialty areas. It will reinforce sign language skills and interpreting principles while looking at the interpreter's role and responsibility in each setting. Specialty areas vary depending on material and topics most recently studied. Prerequisite: IPPR 302 with a grade of B or better.

IPPR 410. Interpreting V. (3) This course introduces students to in-depth insight and knowledge into a variety of settings: religious, rehabilitation, employment, video relay service/video remote interpreting, and performing arts that require certain skills and techniques. Students will discuss terminology used in those settings. This includes exposure to specialized communication when interpreting for specific populations such as deaf-blind/low vision, hard of hearing and individuals with minimal language skills. In addition, there will be discussions on several certain advanced specialized interpreting settings that may require further training, knowledge, experience, certifications, and/or skills. At the end of the course, the student must successfully perform interactive ASL to English and English to ASL interpretations for approximately twenty (20) minutes each. Prerequisite: IPPR 310 and with a grade of B or better.

IPPR 475. Internship. (15) This course provides students with the opportunity to be guided and supervised on the field under the immediate supervision of a certified and/or licensed professional interpreter who functions as the student's mentor and the internship supervisor. The practicum consists of a minimum of 300 hours and will allow students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills as an interpreter. Students will be involved in activities such as observing the mentor and other interpreters at work, preparing for an assignment, interpreting under the supervision of the mentor, and meeting frequently with the mentor to discuss the practicum experience. The goal is to increase students' responsibility as interpreters in a variety of settings and situations. Additionally, students will do job-related assignments as assigned by the internship supervisor. Students are expected to work on and complete the portfolio at the end of internship. Prerequisite: pass the written portion of an interpreter certification exam and IPPR 410 with a grade of B or better.