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May 24, 2023
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Interpretation and Translation
M.A. in Interpretation: Combined Interpreting Practice and Research
The concentration in Combined Interpreting Practice and Research is designed to prepare and educate Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing persons in working as interpreters in Deaf and hearing communities. The program provides a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to interpretation instruction. The M.A. in Interpretation program consists of a comprehensive, sequenced, and integrated series of courses and experiences in five core areas: education, business and government, medical, mental health, and legal settings. These courses and experiences are intended to provide students with the necessary mastery of knowledge, techniques, and skills required for entry to professional work in the field of interpretation or advanced graduate study. Close interaction among students, mentors, and faculty is provided in a setting that offers a wide array of academic and interpreting experiences. This includes an interpreting practicum and rotation, along with an internship, which is developed on an individual basis for each student. This degree includes an overview research course followed by two semesters of guided research courses in which students conduct original research with the goal of producing a solid study in publishable form. This concentration follows a two-year format, consisting of four semesters followed by a summer internship. The program requires the completion of 48 credit hours of course work. An accelerated program is also available for students with a Gallaudet B.A. in Interpretation degree, requiring the completion of 33 credit hours of course work. The program also is available in a three-year format for students who need an additional year of advanced language classes. Part-time study is also available.
Applicants for the M.A. in Interpretation must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information and a checklist of application requirements.
Program Specific Requirements
NIC Knowledge Exam or CDI Written Exam
Students are required to successfully pass RID’s National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Knowledge Exam or RID’s Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) Written Exam by December 1st during their last academic year in the MA in Interpretation program.
Practicum and Internship
Practical classroom-based experiences are incorporated into each semester of the program. These experiences include directed observation in interpreting events on the university campus and in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Internship experience is designed to provide students with the opportunity to synthesize practical and academic experiences gained during the in-residence portion of the M.A. in Interpretation program. Students and the internship coordinator will agree upon a suitable site, supervision, and plan of activity. Internship sites can be in any state in the U.S. and/or in other countries.
At the end of the first year (in the two-year format), all students must successfully complete a qualifying examination including a conceptual component and a skills component. Students unable to achieve a passing score will be asked either to retake the examination or to withdraw from the program. Failure on this examination will be grounds for dismissal.
During the final year of full-time coursework, all students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination that will include a conceptual component and a skills evaluation. The conceptual component is offered to students in the final fall semester of the program and the skills evaluation in the final spring semester of the program. Students must take the skills exam in the semester immediately preceding internship with enrollment in the internship contingent on passing the skills exam.
Summary of Requirements
Semester I (Fall)
This course focuses on the historical progression of the emerging professional and academic field of interpreting. Beginning with early perceptions of interpreters in both signed and spoken languages, the course includes topics such as the impact of translation research and practice on interpretation, issues of equivalency and accuracy, definitions, approaches to research, professional organizations, working conditions, international perspectives, and working with oppressed groups of people.
Prerequisites: Acceptance into the M.A. in Interpretation program or permission of the instructor.
This course is an introduction to the linguistic structures of ASL and English for interpreters. Topics include phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and sociolinguistics, as well as depiction, bilingualism, language acquisition, and language variation. Students will identify and analyze linguistic features in their own and other peoples' linguistic use, and apply this information and skill to translating and interpreting work.
This course is a broad introduction to the study of language and communication by focusing on discourse analysis. During the course students will analyze language use in spoken English and American Sign Language (ASL) so that features of language use rise to the level of explicit awareness. Students collect, transcribe, and analyze various speech activities while reading and discussing theoretical notions underlying language use. Elements to be analyzed and discussed include but are not limited to: structure, cohesion, coherence, involvement and prosody.
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 how meaning is co-constructed and 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. Students will address theoretical constructs of translation and interpretation, as well as application of strategies and techniques required for effective interpretation. This class focuses on interactive settings with both face-to-face and monologic discourse for Deaf, Deaf/Blind, and non-deaf interpreters.
Semester II (Spring)
This course focuses on translating and interpreting in legal settings. Students will study the American legal system, its history, and its basis for operation, including conventions, expectations, and protocol of the participants involved. Students will critically analyze the social structure of legal events, and discourse analysis of the talk, interaction and strategies that appear in the various stages of the legal process. Students will look at the consequences of modes of interpretation (for example consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation) and qualifications of interpreters while considering the unique and serious responsibilities inherent in interpreting in a legal setting. Students will apply text analysis skills to the translation, sight translation, consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation of discourse in legal interactions.
Prerequisites: INT 701, INT 720 and INT 726 or permission of the instructor.
The course focuses on interpreting interaction in mental health settings. Students will be exposed to an overview of the mental health professions and the various roles of practitioners (counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc), including the interpreter's role as a member of the professional team. Students will explore the theoretical approaches used by mental health practitioners and the conventions, expectations and culture in which these services are provided. The course includes a critical analysis of therapeutic discourse based on a variety of commonly available services such as the interactive aspects of peer support groups, drug and alcohol screenings, individual, couple, and group counseling, intake interviews, case conferences and hospital staffing, psychological testing and psychiatric evaluations. Students will apply text analysis skills to the translation, consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation of discourse in therapeutic encounters.
This course provides a focused analysis of the ethics and role of the interpreter in various settings, along with opportunities for directed observation of various encounters. Observations will be accompanied by in-class discussions and analysis including logistical and environmental factors as well as discourse-based and ethically constrained decision-making issues common to these types of encounters. Students will be exposed to an analytical framework for planning for and observing what happens in these types of interactions.
The course surveys both quantitative and qualitative research methods that have been successfully applied to the analysis of interpretation. Building from previous coursework, the course emphasizes the development of research design and implementation skills through a variety of activities including the critical analysis of research articles and the preparation of a guided research project examining some aspects of interpretation, conduct a literature review, gather data, perform analyses of the data, prepare a formal written report, and present findings in ASL. Either replication studies or original work may be accepted and students will be required to include abstracts, follow style guidelines, and to prepare their final paper as they would a submission to a refereed journal.
Semester III (Fall)
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, and the ways in which language attitudes and language policy affect participants in the educational setting. Students will apply text analysis skills to the translation, consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation of discourse in educational interactions.
Prerequisites: INT 734, INT 735, INT 736, skills component qualifying exam pass, or permission of the instructor.
The course focuses on interpreting one-on-one and small group interaction in business and government settings. Students will explore the perspectives, 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 discourse in business and government encounters.
This course is a sequel to INT 736, Professional Practice I, and emphasizes the continued development of ethical behavior and the ability to analyze situations in accordance with principled reasoning. Observations will be accompanied by in-class discussions and analysis including logistical and environmental factors as well as discourse-based and ethically constrained decision-making issues common to these types of encounters. Students will be exposed to an analytical framework for planning for and observing what happens in these types of interactions.
Prerequisites: INT 736, skills component qualifying exam pass
This course is the first course of the two courses, which will provide students with experience in gathering and analyzing interpretation data. In this course, students will select their methodology, conduct a literature review, gather data, and perform analyses of the data. Either replication studies or original work may be accepted and students will be required to include abstracts, follow style guidelines in preparation of their work for submitting it to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.
Prerequisites: INT 750, conceptual component qualifying exam pass
RID NIC Knowledge Exam or CDI Written Exam
Semester IV (Spring)
The course focuses on interpreting interaction in medical settings. Students will explore the US 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 discourse in medical encounters.
Prerequisites: INT 744, 746, 749, or permission of the instructor
This course is sequential to INT 777 Guided Research Project I. In this course, students will continue their work from INT 777 Guided Research Project I by completing their analyses of the data, preparing a final written report, and presenting their findings in ASL. Students will be required to include an abstract, follow style guidelines, and prepare their final paper for publication to submit to a peer-reviewed journal.
Prerequisites: INT 777
Field experience in an approved setting provides students with supervised experience at an introductory level. Students will be placed with deaf professionals and/or professional interpreting practitioners in at least two of the five setting areas studied and engage in both observations and supervised interpretation. This is an intensive field-based rotation experience for students to expand their interpreting skills with a consumer-based perspective. Minimum of 15 hours of practicum interpreting per credit hour.
Prerequisites: INT 744, INT 746, INT 749
Semester V (Summer)
The internship provides a valuable capstone experience in an occupational setting related to the student's specific professional goals. The experience is designed to provide students with the opportunity to synthesize practical and academic experiences gained during the in-residence portion of the program. Students and instructors will agree upon a suitable site, supervision, and plan of activity before the semester begins. Students must prepare a written account of their practicum activities in a term paper that synthesizes the experience, keep a professional journal, and submit videotapes of interpreting done at the internship site. The internship is ordinarily undertaken during the summer semester following completion of all course work and satisfactory completion of the written and performance portions of the comprehensive exam.
Prerequisites: Permission of the department
Graduates of the MA in Interpretation Program will be able to:
Completed application form. A non-refundable application fee of $75. A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a four-point scale) in all previous undergraduate and graduate study. (Occasionally, applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be admitted conditionally upon the recommendation of the department.) Official transcripts...
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.
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The employment of Interpreters and Translators is expected to grow by a 46% rate from 2019-2029, with an average annual salary of $51,830.
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