Cynthia B. Roy (Editor) - Advances in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters

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Picking up where Innovative Practices in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters left off, this new collection presents the best new interpreter teaching techniques proven in action by the eminent contributors assembled here. In the first chapter, Dennis Cokely discusses revising curricula in the new century based upon experiences at Northeastern University. Jeffrey E. Davis delineates how to teach observation techniques to interpreters, while Elizabeth Winston and Christine Monikowski suggest how discourse mapping can be considered the Global Positioning System of translation.In other chapters, Laurie Swabey proposes ways to handle the challenge of referring expressions for interpreting students, and Melanie Metzger describes how to learn and recognize what interpreters do in interaction. Jemina Napier contributes information on training interpreting students to identify omission potential. Robert G. Lee explains how to make the interpreting process come alive in the classroom. Mieke Van Herreweghe discusses turn-taking and turn-yielding in meetings with Deaf and hearing participants in her contribution. Anna-Lena Nilsson defines “false friends,” or how contextually incorrect use of facial expressions with certain signs in Swedish Sign Language can be detrimental influences on interpreters. The final chapter by Kyra Pollitt and Claire Haddon recommends retraining interpreters in the art of telephone interpreting, completing Advances in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters as the new authoritative volume in this vital communication profession.

Text of Cynthia B. Roy (Editor) - Advances in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters

Advances in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters

Cynthia B. Roy, Editor

Advances in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters

C Y N T H I A B . R O Y, Editor

Advances in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters

Gallaudet University Press Washington, D.C.

Interpreter Education A Series Edited by Cynthia B. Roy Gallaudet University Press Washington, D.C. 20002 2005 by Gallaudet University. All rights reserved. Published in 2005 Printed in the United States of America The illustrations on pp. 85 and 87 are from Mercer Mayer, Frog, Where Are You? New York: Pufn, 1969. 1969 by Mercer Mayer. Reproduced by permission. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Advances in teaching sign language interpreters / Cynthia B. Roy, editor. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-56368-320-2 (alk. paper) 1. Interpreters for the deafEducationUnited States. 2. Interpreters for the deaf Training ofUnited States. 3. Sign languageStudy and teachingUnited States. 4. American Sign LanguageStudy and teaching. I. Roy, Cynthia B., 1950 HV2402.A38 2005 419 .70802dc22


The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information SciencesPermanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.


Contributors Curriculum Revision in the Twenty-First Century: Northeasterns ExperienceDENNIS COKELY



Teaching Observation Techniques to InterpretersJEFFREY E. DAVIS




Beyond He Said, She Said: The Challenge of Referring Expressions for Interpreting StudentsLAURIE SWABEY


Interpreted Discourse: Learning and Recognizing What Interpreters Do in InteractionMELANIE METZGER




Teaching Interpreting Students to Identify Omission PotentialJEMINA NAPIER


From Theory to Practice: Making the Interpreting Process Come Alive in the ClassroomROBERT G. LEE


Teaching Turn-Taking and Turn-Yielding in Meetings with Deaf and Hearing ParticipantsMIEKE VAN HERREWEGHE


False Friends and Their Inuence on Sign Language InterpretingANNA-LENA NILSSON







Dennis Cokely Northeastern University Jeffrey E. Davis The University of Tennessee Claire Haddon University of Central Lancashire, England Robert G. Lee Boston University Melanie Metzger Gallaudet University Christine Monikowski National Technical Institute for the Deaf Jemina Napier Macquarie University, Australia

Anna-Lena Nilsson Stockholm University, Institute of Linguistics, Department of Sign Language Kyra Pollitt University of Central Lancashire, England Cynthia B. Roy Gallaudet University Laurie Swabey College of St. Catherine Mieke Van Herreweghe Ghent University, Belgium Elizabeth Winston Northeastern University




Curriculum Revision in the Twenty-First CenturyNortheasterns Experience

In the spring of 2001, Northeastern Universitys board of trustees approved a faculty resolution that the university convert from a quarter system to a semester system. Instead of four 11- or 12-week quarters per academic year, there would be two 15-week semesters and two intensive, 71 2-week summer sessions. Most courses would be four credits, and students would normally carry sixteen credits per full semester. The board determined that the conversion would take place in the fall of 2003. This conversion afforded programs the opportunity to revise their curricula in whole or in part. The American Sign Language Program, already in the process of examining its language curriculum, decided to use this opportunity to revise its interpreting curriculum. The principals involved in the revision of the interpreting curriculum were Cathy Cogen, Robert Lee, and myself. We decided to base our revision on two primary factors, the theoretical and philosophical inuences that had shaped our current curriculum and the extent to which our current curriculum prepared graduates for the types of interpreting situations into which they would be placed.

Theoretical and Philosophical InfluencesIn 1983 the biennial Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) in Monterey, California, invited educators from college and university1


Dennis Cokely

spoken-language-interpretation programs to share their experiences and perspectives on curriculum sequencing and assessment. This CIT, as well as presentations by spoken-language-interpreter educators at subsequent CIT and Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) conventions (see McIntire 1984, 1987), has had signicant impact on the design and implementation of sign language interpreter training and education programs in the United States. It is ironic that in 1965 the rst organization of sign language interpreting, the National Registry of Professional Interpreters and Translators for the Deaf, when searching for a new name, rejected suggestions from spoken-language interpreters that the name reect the languages being worked with and instead changed the organizational name to RID. Among the signicant new foci for signlanguage-interpreter curricula after 1983 was the recognition of the usefulness and importance of translation and consecutive interpretation in enabling students to isolate and hone certain skill sets before they encountered the time pressures imposed by simultaneous interpretation. This recognition has led to a quite commonly accepted sequence of skill-set development (translation consecutive interpretation simultaneous interpretation) that in many programs takes the form of separate courses. The organizing principle underpinning this skill-set sequence is the gradual introduction of the pressures of real-time interpreting. In translation courses the production of the translation is fully separated in time (time shifted) from the production of the original. In interactions in which consecutive interpretation is used, the production of the interpretation is partially time shifted, and in simultaneous interpretation the production of the interpretation is in real time. Of course, because simultaneous interpretation is never temporally synchronous, there is a sense in which simultaneous interpretation is time shifted, at least at a micro, or phrasal or sentential, level. At a macro level, however, simultaneous interpreters create the illusion of temporal synchrony by striving not to alter the initial and terminal boundaries of interactions. The focus on temporal synchrony was, in fact, at the core of the sequence of courses followed in Northeasterns interpreting

Curriculum Revision in the Twenty-First Century


curriculum before the year 2003. Specically, our primary skill-development courses were American Sign Language (ASL) 1505, Translation; ASL 1506, Consecutive Interpretation; and ASL 1507 and 1508, Simultaneous Interpretation. However, twenty years and a new millennium after the 1983 CIT conference, emboldened by the opportunity to revise our interpreting curriculum, we determined that it was time to question whether the general organizing principles and sequencing of skill sets that resulted from the 1983 conference and that were widely accepted in sign-languageinterpreting training and education programs remained meaningful for our curriculum and for the eld. Another characteristic of the curricula that grew out of the 1983 conference, perhaps inuenced subtly by the experience of spokenlanguage interpreters, was a focus on monologue interpreting. Given that the ultimate goal of those spoken-language programs represented at CIT and RID conferences wasand remainsto produce graduates able to interpret simultaneously at international conferences, the focus of their curricula would logically be monologues. The extensive (indeed, almost exclusive) use of monologues in interpreter training programs in the decade preceding the 1983 CIT was also conditioned in large measure by several pragmatic realities of the time. First, the national certication test of the RID consisted exclusively of monologues (narratives and expository lectures). Not only was the RID evaluation composed strictly of monologues, but states focused almost exclusively on monologues as they began to develop their own screening processes. Because the goal of training programs was to produce graduates who would be judged qualied by RID or state screening bodies, programs responded accordingly. Curricula were shaped less by the actual communicative needs of d/Deaf people and more by the composition of the assessment instruments. In effect, this curricular focus on monologues was tantamount to teaching to the test rather than teaching to the task. Granting this much inuence and control to testing procedures not rooted in basic research is highly problematic and has negative consequences for the Deaf community, as I have discussed elsewhere (Cokely forthcoming).


Dennis Cokely

The second factor that contributed to establishing monologues as the norm in programs was economic. Before 1985 there were no commercially available materials developed specically for sign language interpreting. (Sign Medias Interpreter Models Series would be the rst videotapes commercially available for developing interpreting competencies.) Although the RID did release some of its older testing materials, they were not designed for instructional purposes and also were