American Sign Language and Interpreting Program — Deaf Studies
- B.A. degree: American Sign Language and Interpreting (PDF)
- A.A. degree: Deaf Studies — American Sign Language (PDF)
- Minor in Deaf Studies — American Sign Language (PDF)
B.A. Degree in American Sign Language and Interpreting
Sign language interpreters make communication accessible between hearing and Deaf or 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 Program. 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.
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) This course introduces the basics of American Sign Language (ASL) and is for students who have little or no previous knowledge of ASL. Vocabulary, fingerspelling, numbers, questions, commands, and basic sentence structures are introduced to develop rudimentary conversational skills both receptively and expressively in ASL. Culturally-appropriate behaviors in a signing environment and basic ASL grammar will also be introduced. No prerequisite.
ASLA 102. Perspectives in Deafness: Deaf Culture. (3) This course is an introduction to various aspects of the American deaf culture as a linguistic and cultural minority group. Discussions will include historical evolution of deaf people as a whole, oppressions, education, sign language variances, pathological and cultural models, cultural practices, identity, membership, and diversity within the deaf culture/community. Included will be in-depth discussions of cultural differences, conflicts, oppressions, ideologies, and power struggles between the larger culture group and deaf culture, people, and community as a minority. No prerequisite.
ASLA 116. Fingerspelling and Numbers. (3) This course is designed to help students develop expressive and receptive fingerspelling and numbering skills. Receptive skill techniques implemented will enable students to focus on whole word and phrase recognition as well as fingerspelling/number comprehension within signed texts. Expressive fingerspelling and numbering skill techniques focus on the development of accuracy, speed, clarity, and fluency. Prerequisite: ASLA 100 with a grade of C or better.
ASLA 150. American Sign Language II. (3) This course is designed to continue development of American Sign Language (ASL) skills with a primary focus being on refining the expanding use of basic ASL sentence types and vocabulary building. Students will continue to work on improving expressive and receptive skills. Additional information about the ASL grammar and culturally-appropriate features will be included in the context of language learning experiences. Prerequisite: ASLA 100 with a grade of C or better.
ASLA 200. American Sign Language III. (3) This course continues the development of American Sign Language by adding complex ASL sentence structures and vocabulary building. New ASL grammatical rules and features will be introduced while others are reinforced and refined. Students will work on developing communication competencies in signing short stories, narratives, and dialogues. Culturally-appropriate behaviors in the signing environment will be reinforced. 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) Students will be studying gestures as a form of communication and a basis for visual language. Students will develop capabilities in non-verbal communication and visual gestural communication by the use and understanding of facial expressions, gestures, pantomime, and body language. Students will be learning to think in pictures and building on the production and comprehension of more complex communication skills. Prerequisite: ASLA 200 with a grade of B or better.
ASLA 250. American Sign Language IV. (3) This course is a continuation of American Sign Language III by expanding more complex ASL sentence structures and vocabulary building. Variety of ASL grammatical rules and features will be utilized and refined. Students will refine their communication competencies in telling short stories, narratives, and dialogues. Culturally-appropriate behaviors in the signing environment will be emphasized. During the course, students will take the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) exam. 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, improve, and refine students' receptive and expressive proficiency in ASL while expanding sign production and comprehension skills in ASL with specific emphasis in drugs, sexual, health, rehabilitation, employment, and religion vocabularies as well as on common slang and idioms used in the deaf community. 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. 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) This course introduces students to the linguistics of American Sign Language, including phonology, morphology, syntax, and language. Structural aspects of both American Sign Language and English are compared and contrasted. Emphasis will be on the equivalency between American Sign Language and contrasted. 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 continue to develop interpreting skills between American Sign Language and English. This course focuses 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 consecutive 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 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.