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Interpretation and Translation
B.A. in Interpretation
The BA program focuses on face-to-face, interactive, community interpreting, and thus a dialogic approach to interpreting.
Students apply for admission to the BA in Interpretation major as freshmen or after acceptance to Gallaudet University as a transfer student. The students may transfer their interpreting course(s) from another college if they have the grade of B or better, and approved by Gallaudet University Registrar Office. Refer to the department page for details on Requirements for Admission to a Major in Interpretation.
If an applicant has at least 56 transfer credits from other college or university, GSR 110 will be waived. If an applicant has a score of 2+ or 2 in ASL Proficiency Interview (ASLPI), the applicant can be accepted into the BAI program with a conditional status which means that the applicant must pass ASLPI score of 3 prior to enrolling into INT 325 and higher level of INT courses.
To continue in the program, students are required to maintain a B or higher in all INT courses required for the BA in Interpretation major. Students are required to successfully pass RID’s National Interpreter Certification Knowledge written exam or RID’s Certified Deaf Interpreter written exam by December 1st during their last academic year in the Interpretation program.
Summary of Requirements
Required pre-major courses 10 hours
This course addresses human biology through the lens of evaluating scientific claims. Students will learn about select organ systems (reproductive, skeletal and muscular, immune and nervous systems) and about human genetics in a way that helps them make decisions relevant to their daily lives. The course focuses on developing skills that scientists use: basic experimental design, research methods, and scientific writing. It also teaches the language of biology and especially how to critique arguments related to human biology that we encounter in the media. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week.
This course provides an overview of the interpreting profession: roles, responsibilities, and ethics of interpreting; basic principles and practices of translating and interpreting; environment and audience; guidelines for interpreting in a variety of settings; professional associations; and international perspectives.
An introduction to the major features of languages and to the structure, use, and variation in the sign languages and sign systems commonly used in the United States. The course will cover four major topics: (1) Language: The nature and definition of languages, the uniqueness of language, and contrasts between language and other forms of communication; (2) Language and Culture: The role of language in human society, with special focus on language acquisition, language identity, and bilingualism; (3) American Sign Language Structure: A survey of the major features of the linguistic structure of ASL. Topics are: Phonology: the structure of the physical signals; Morphology: the basic structure and composition of meaningful units of ASL; Syntax: word order and nonmanual syntactic signals in ASL sentences; (4) Language Variation: Language variation and language contact in the deaf community, including discussions of contact varieties of signing and systems for representing English.
Qualifying performance on the English assessment or screening and passing ASL screening.
Required major courses 36 hours
This course focuses on the analysis of discourse in dialogic genres of English and American Sign Language (ASL) so that interpreting students become explicitly aware of the features of language use in everyday life. Students transcribe and analyze interaction discourse features of conversations, explanations, interviews, discussions, and other types of dialogue genres while reading and discussing theoretical notions underlying language use.
GSR 102 or the equivalent and GSR 103, INT 101; an ASLPI score of 2+ or higher (the INT Department will verify student ASLPI score before granting course registration permissions) or permission of the instructor.
This course focuses on the foundation skills required for effective translation and interpretation. The course includes critical analysis and application 1) for systematically analyzing interactions and texts in order to ascertain where meaning lies, and 2) of understanding and developing the cognitive skills for translating and interpreting. Students will be introduced to and practice intralingual translation and interpretation text analysis techniques through main point abstraction, summarization, paraphrasing and restructuring a message while retaining its meaning. Discussions will address theoretical aspects of translating and interpreting techniques as well as specific issues related to interpreting skills. This class focuses specifically on analysis and restructuring in interactive settings e.g., ASL-spoken English interaction, ASL-TASL interaction, Intermediary interpreting teams. This course will help students increase their range of proficiency, comprehension and production of the ASL language, and use of contact signing for interpretation and shadowing techniques.
Admission to the program, completion of INT 223 with a grade of B or above, an ASLPI score 3 or higher (the INT Department will verify student ASLPI scores before granting course registration permissions) or permission of the instructor.
This course focuses on translating and interpreting skills in one-on-one and small groups interactions with a focus on source materials with legal implications in education, medical, business and government settings. Students will analyze co-constructed meaning in light of interactive discourse strategies that participants employ. Also, students will practice translation and consecutive interpreting skills as viable modes of interpretation, as precursors to simultaneous interpretation and as a blending of consecutive and simultaneous interpretation. Students will incorporate the activities of planning and preparation for interpreting assignments and incorporate ethical practices in their work.
Successful completion of INT 325 with a grade of B or above and an ASLPI score of 3 or higher (the INT Department will verify student ASLPI score before granting course registration permissions) or permission of the instructor.
This course focuses on interpreting on one-on-one and small group interaction in medical settings. Students will explore the U.S. healthcare system and its participants, characteristics of the healthcare setting, and biomedical culture. The course includes a critical analysis of medical discourse, such as doctor-patient communication and medical terminology with an emphasis on common medical conditions, treatments, and procedures. Students will apply text analysis skills to the translation, consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation of texts geared to medical encounters.
Successful completion of INT 325 with a grade of B or above, and an ASLPI score of 3 or higher (the INT Department will verify student ASLPI score before granting course registration permissions) or permission of the instructor.
Directed observation of English-only, ASL-only, and interpreted encounters along with a focused analysis of the ethics and role of the interpreter in various settings. Observations will be accompanied by in-class discussion and analysis including logistical and environmental factors as well as discourse-based and ethically constrained decision-making issues common to these encounters. Students will be exposed to an analytical framework for planning for and observing what happens in these interactions.
Admission to the program, successful completion of INT 325 with a grade of B or above, ASLPI score of 3 or higher or permission of the instructor.
The course focuses on interpreting one-on-one and small group interaction in educational settings. Students will explore the perspectives, goals, history, political, and social influences that contribute to educational culture. The course includes a critical analysis of the structure and content of educational discourse, the ways in which language attitudes and language policy affect participants in the educational setting, and issues of appropriate ethical behavior. Students will apply text analysis skills to the translation, consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation of texts geared to educational interaction.
Admission to the program, successful completion of INT 340, 344, 346 with a grade of B or above, or permission of instructor.
The course focuses on interpreting one-on-one and small group interaction in business and government settings. Students will explore the perspective, goals, and social dynamics that contribute to business and government organizational culture. The course includes a critical analysis of the structure and content of business and government discourse, the ways in which power asymmetries, gender, and other social factors affect participants in business and government settings, and issues common to these settings such as the use of acronyms, telephone extension sequencing, and other-related socio-political and technical considerations. Students will apply text analysis skills to the translation, consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation of texts geared to business and government encounters.
Admission to the program, successful completion of INT 340, 344, 346 with a grade of B or above, or permission of the instructor.
This course is a sequel to INT 346 Field Experience I: Discourse and Application, and emphasizes the continued development of ethical behavior and the ability to analyze situations in accordance with principled reasoning. Students spend a significant amount of time in the field in this course as they begin providing pro-bono interpreting services in appropriate settings in the community and meet with a professional interpreter mentor. Observation, mentoring, and pro-bono interpreting will be supplemented by extensive in-class discussion and analysis.
In this course, students will integrate interpretation theory with practice. Students will complete a substantial Senior Seminar Project in which they will investigate an interpretation topic of their choosing and will present their findings in an ASL presentation and written paper.
Admission to the program, successful completion of INT 443, INT 453, INT 455 with a grade of B or above, or permission of the instructor.
As the final course in the Field Experience series, this course provides students with a supervised interpreting internship and weekly class seminars. The internship gives students an opportunity to work alongside professionals in the field. This experience allows students to hone professional skills, gain additional information and experience about the practices of the profession, consider and advance toward their future professional goals, and practice skills and knowledge learned during earlier coursework. In weekly class seminars students have the opportunity to address theoretical and practical aspects of interpretation as they pertain to class reading assignments and interpreting internship experiences.
Admission to the program, successful completion of INT 443, 453, and 455 with a grade of B or above, or permission of the instructor.
Required related courses 6 hours
This course examines various forms of oppression by looking across different cultures and communities, then examines possible parallels occurring within the deaf community.
DST 101 or GSR 103
This course provides an introductory overview of the major linguistic structures of American Sign Language. Major topics are: phonology, morphology, syntax, language use, and linguistic applications. Some comparisons with English and other spoken and signed languages will be examined.
LIN 101 or permission of the instructor
Recommended elective courses
BUS 211, COM 290, DST 204 and EDU 250: or comparable course
This course covers areas of vocabulary, semantics, grammar and organization of ASL and English. Students look at the linguistic aspects of both languages and compare the two. The class also covers word classes and sentence structure of both languages. To assist students in understanding the structure of both languages, discussion of how languages work is included.
LIN 101, ENG 102 and ASL 125 or equivalent
This comprehensive course covers major body systems including the musculoskeletal, nervous, digestive, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. One or more field trips that have direct applications may be arranged, dependent on availability. This course is designed to give Physical Education and Recreation majors a strong foundation for PER 341 Kinesiology. Biology majors should instead enroll in BIO 233 Human Anatomy & Physiology I and BIO 333 Human Anatomy & Physiology II. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory per week.
This course explores the major functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Within these four functions are subjects such as self-management, organizational structure and culture, leadership, motivating employees, teamwork, human resource management, self-management, change management, and planning and decision-making tools and techniques. This course takes an inside out approach, where the student learns first about themselves and then develops their ability to manage progressively larger and more diverse groups of people and projects.
B or better in BUS 101
The course emphasizes the principles involved in the selection and organization of ideas and their effective presentation to a group.
GSR 102/ENG 102 and GSR 103/ASL 125; or permission of the instructor
This course will begin with developing an understanding of the concept of 'culture' and then will focus on the complexities and varieties of Deaf cultural experiences. Students will be asked to engage course materials through multi-disciplinary approaches in order to gain a critical appreciation of Deaf lives within historical, political and global contexts.
Grade of C or better in DST 203 or ASL 270 or permission of the instructor.
An overview and study of contemporary trends, problems, and issues in general education in terms of educational philosophies, types of educational programs, the relation of education to the individual and society, and curriculum and instruction. Some consideration of the relevance of regular education to special education and education of deaf and hard of hearing students. Discussion of organizations and agencies related to education.
This course is designed for Deaf and hearing interpretation students to expand their capacity to use critical ASL discourse elements in their interpretation and translation work. The course develops English to ASL translation skills by honing students' visualization abilities. Hearing and Deaf interpreting students will learn to focus on meaning rather than form, apply the use of depiction, constructed action, depicting verbs, conversational skills and visual spatial aspects of ASL to their translations. The course will explore the difference in how English and ASL convey ideas to produce messages in different settings (business, medical, and education), in ASL discourse and Deaf culture.
This course is designed for interpretation students to continue expanding their capacity to create ASL-English translations. Students will apply the use of more depiction, constructed action, depicting verbs, conversational skills and visual spatial aspects of ASL to their translations. The course will continue exploring the differential in how English and ASL convey ideas differently to produce messages in different settings.
INT 501 and permission of the department
This course is designed to prepare to introduce students to cultural and communication aspects of working with individuals who are DeafBlind. This course will provide survey information for students serving as paraprofessionals working with DeafBlind individuals. Topics include cultural sensitivity, historical perspectives of the DeafBlind population in USA, ethical and role considerations, close-vision and tactile communication methods.
This course is designed to prepare and support Paraprofessional communication facilitators. The course will introduce students to DeafBlind interpreting/translating aspect of working with individuals who are DeafBlind. This course will provide interpreting processing skills for students serving as DeafBlind interpreter working with DeafBlind individuals. Topics include interpreting process, pro-tactile usage, linguistic aspect of Tactile Sign Language (TSL), RID ethical and role considerations, close-vision and tactile communication methods.
INT 503 and permission of the department
Graduates of the Interpretation Program apply academic, professional, and world knowledge to the choices and decisions they make while interpreting.
We are the only university in the world that offers both an undergraduate and a graduate degree in American Sign Language (ASL) - English Interpretation. Our BAI Program provides a unique opportunity for interpretation majors to fully immerse themselves in deaf culture and community as...
The employment for Interpreters is set to grow at a 20% rate between 2019 to 2029, with a median annual salary of $51,830. Learn more here.
The employment of Media and Communications is expected to grow by a 4% rate from 2019-2029, with an average annual salary of $61,310.
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