American Sign Language — Interpreter Preparation Program — Deaf Studies
- BA degree: ASL — English Interpretation (PDF)
- AA degree: Deaf Studies — American Sign Language (PDF)
- Minor in Deaf Studies — American Sign Language (PDF)
BA Degree in ASL — English Interpretation
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.
The Bachelor of Arts in ASL — English Interpretation requires ASLA 100, 101, 116, 150, 200, 201, 250, 300, 316, and 370; and IPPR 101, 208, 210, 212, 302, 310, 410, and 475.
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 ASL — English Interpreting. This may be a six-year program, although the actual number of credits will vary according to previous hours completed.
AA 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.
In addition to the general education requirements for the Associate of Arts degree, the Deaf Studies program requires ASLA 100, 101, 116, 150, 200, 201, 217, and 250, as well as IPPR 101 and 208.
Minor in Deaf Studies: American Sign Language
A minor in Deaf Studies: American Sign Language is also available. It requires eight courses: ASL 100, 101, 116, 150, 200, 201, 250, and 300.
American Sign Language
MacMurray offers American Sign Language courses in support of its programs in Interpreter Preparation, 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 101. 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: should be taken concurrently with ASLA 100.
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: should be taken concurrently with ASLA 150.
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 or ASL screening test.
ASLA 201. 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 217. 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 200 with a grade of C 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 C 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: ASLA 250 with a grade of C or better.
ASLA 370. 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 250 with a grade of C or better.
Interpreter Preparation Program
IPPR 101. Introduction to Interpreting. (3) This course acquaints the student with an overview of the history and current status of professional interpreting throughout the United States. Topics include the history and evolution of the ASL — English Interpreting profession; terminology used in the profession; information about professional membership and involvement in the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID); communication systems, pertinent laws, and regulations; Code of Ethics Professional Conduct; and occupational setting and situations that are frequently used by interpreters and their clients. No prerequisite.
IPPR 208. Practical and Ethical Applications of Interpreting. (3) This course focuses on the professional and ethical development of the interpreter. Topics covered are decision-making, assignments assessment, environmental management, consumers and professional organizations with which interpreters must work, and seating arrangements for various types of settings. This course will provide an in-depth discussion and application of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Code of Professional Conduct principles and guidelines as they apply to various situations within the religious, legal, performing arts, telephone, mental health, medical, rehabilitation/social services, and business (industry and government) settings. Students will discuss how to implement problem-solving strategies and theories of interpreting. Prerequisite: IPPR 101 and ASLA 150 with a grade of C or better.
IPPR 210. Interpreting I: Etymology and Translation Applications for Interpreters. (3) This course examines the history of language (specifically vocabulary) translation, various process models of interpreting and translation, and as well as equivalence comparisons across languages. Study topics include theories and topics of spoken language interpreting and sign language interpreting. The student will also expand their repertoire of ASL and English vocabulary, including specialized and technical sign terminology, while applying them to appropriate contexts. Theories and topics of basic, practical ethics, and behaviors are explored and applied to the interpreting profession. Prerequisite: IPPR 101 and ASLA 150 with a grade of C or better.
IPPR 212. Interpreting II: Consecutive Interpreting. (3) Students learn the process of taking a spoken message and conveying it into a signed language. Designed to provide in-class experiences of simultaneous sign language interpreting, including interpreting vs. transliterating techniques. Emphasis will be given to the development of signed expressive skills in both interpreting and transliterating as well as the linguistic rules of ASL and spoken English. Prerequisite: IPPR 210 and ASLA 200 with a grade of C or better.
IPPR 302. Interpreting III: Simultaneous Interpreting. (3) This hands-on course will provide in-depth study and practice of the simultaneous mode of interpreting. Students will focus on both individual and team interpreting. Deaf individuals will be invited to class to participate as the "audience" for interpreting practice. Students will continue to do self-analysis, engage in peer feedback activities, and hone their independent learning techniques. Students will also prepare to take the written portion of either a state screening or national certification exam for professional signed language community interpreters. Prerequisite: acceptable level of the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) exam and IPPR 212 with a grade of C or better.
IPPR 310. Interpreting IV: American Sign Language to English Interpreting. (3) This course provides the student an opportunity to build skills in interpreting and transliterating into spoken English from ASL and various contact varieties. Emphases will also include building discourse analysis skills, vocal control, voicing techniques, word choice, vocal expression, and assessing the mode of communication/language preferred by the deaf consumer. Other areas that will be covered are interpreting ASL idioms to spoken English and working with different age groups to determine age-appropriate communication styles and abilities. During the course, students will take the written portion of the interpreter certification exam. Prerequisite: IPPR 302 with a grade of C 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 C or better.
IPPR 410. Interpreting V: Interpreting Accommodations and Specialized Interpreting. (3) This course is designed to help students gain insight and knowledge into the variety of settings in which interpretation occurs. This includes exposure to a variety of specialized interpreting for a variety of audiences and specific populations such as deaf-blind, low vision, and restricted field. Students will have the opportunity to build their interpreting and transliterating skills utilizing their repertoire of advanced signs as related to certain specific settings. Best practices, protocols, and problem-solving for legal, educational, medical, rehabilitation, counseling, employment, and mental health settings will be described and explored as well as the business aspects of interpreting. Prerequisite: pass the written portion of the interpreter certification exam and IPPR 310 with a grade of C or better.
IPPR 475. Internship. (15) This course provides opportunities for students to apply their knowledge, skills, and experience in a variety of interpreting settings in education, business, public service agencies, and as freelance interpreters. Students participate in supervised interpreting field work and receive training on linguistic and ethical questions that may arise during internship assignments. Prerequisite: IPPR 410 with a grade of C or better.