Instructor and Class Times
Instructor: Doug Stringham
Class Period: MW 7:30–8:45 pm, LA 003f
E-mail: dstringham (at) gmail.com
(You may contact me at any time via e-mail or by arranging a meeting time before or after class. Please no phone calls unless prearranged.)
Please bring your text, handouts, and notetaking materials to class each day.
- (Required) Mindess, A. (2006). Reading Between the Signs: Intercultural Communication for Sign Language Interpreters. Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing/ Intercultural Press. Readings, class discussions, and postings will be taken primarily from this volume. (This text is also available from
Campus Books; compare other prices at
- Student handouts containing resources and instructor-selected supplemental readings. Available at the class web site and/or passed out in class, these may be distributed on an infrequent basis. These handouts are important; examination materials will also come from these resources.
How is my work evaluated? (or, in other words, “How do I get an A?”)
Course final grades are determined by combining both
- scores on all of the submitted assignments and exams
- considering assessed performance on your student-teacher contract.
More importantly, you should remember that making decisions in interpreting situations or producing interpreting work is really all about efficient and fluent problem solving: identifying and then applying knowledge to resolve communication differences.
While some portions of your coursework and quizzes will test for specific factual information (remembering skills), far less important is your ability to regurgitate facts and figures. Instead, assignments and exams are designed to identify how well you internalize principles, cultural and technical knowledge, and process understanding, and then apply them to create solutions to various situations (applying and analyzing skills). Learn more about higher-level learning at the FAQs page.
Scoring criteria are clearly defined on assignment handouts or exams; you’ll know what you need to do to earn the grade you want. Ultimately, your grade is a reflection of personal effort and internalization of concepts learned in the course.
College Policies and Students with Disabilities
- Sorry, college policy prohibits children in the classroom or children unattended in the halls. Make whatever arrangements you must in order to comply with this policy.
- Failure to come to class does not constitute withdrawal from the course. If circumstances make it impossible for you to complete this course, then you must officially withdraw. Otherwise, you may receive a grade at the end of the semester you did not intend.
- If you have any disability which may impair your ability to successfully complete this course, please contact the Accessibility Services Department (LC 312, (801) 863-8747, videophone 1-886-760-1819). Academic accommodations are granted for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the Accessibility Services Department.
Course Requirements and Expectations
These are the instructor’s expectations of you:
- There is a strict NO-Spoken-English policy in and around this class. Each violation of this policy will result in a .5% deduction from your final grade. However, due to the nature of this course, if discussions are conducted in spoken English, you may be permitted to use spoken English (making accommodations to students who do not use spoken English). Understand, though, that spoken English discussions are instituted at the discretion of the instructor. Please respect the importance of maintaining this policy.
- Students take this course for various reasons. Despite the diversity, it is important—especially in a setting that demands criticism in order to better your skills—that we strive to form a community of openness, collegiality, and trust. Our cohesiveness influences how rich the language and idea exchange is in the classroom. Thin skins, quick offense, and missing class makes it difficult to achieve this interactive environment.
- Salient, intelligent, self-expressive, and self-paced skills are requisite for this course. In short, I can help lead you to water, but you have to want to drink. This is a third/fourth-year class; as such, it is assumed that you can maintain a certain level of self-mastery, scholastic discipline, and responsibility. The attitude and success of this course is dependent on your preparation and interactivity. Please come to class on time—not five to ten minutes late—and be prepared. You should read and study the appropriate unit in the text for each class period (see class schedule), submit postings and comments, complete the lab assignments, and be prepared not only to answer questions, but also to ask them. Being ill-prepared sets the class back and undermines our classroom community.
- Become BFF with technology. Current technologies enable our cognition and communication; you’ll need to familiarize yourself with:
- Academic Integrity. Your assignments and classwork are graded on an honor system; completing classwork indicates that you have studied and made a serious attempt to complete an assignment. Note: cheating, plagiarism, or any dishonest work violates this honor system as well as UVU policy will result in the automatic failure of the assignment and/or the course. Further punishment(s) for cheating will also be given by college administrators.
- Class attendance is important and necessary. Because this class is only held for 75 minutes twice a week, it is, of necessity, faster-paced. When you miss a class, you are responsible for all materials presented, i.e. lecture notes, changes in class schedule, and assignments. If you’re unable to sumbmit an assignment or have your labs checked on their due date, I urge you to 1) bring the assignment to me early to avoid late penalties or 2) give the assignment to a classmate for submission.
This is what you may expect of me:
- The instructor will be fair. There are no preconceived notions about the skills, abilities, and knowledge that students individually bring into the class community. Indeed, grades are given based on personal progress up (or down) one’s own scale.
- The instructor will evaluate each student on his or her own merits. As such, grades on curves or comparisons to other students are counterproductive and set false standards. If you earned an 85, you will receive an 85, not someone else’s interpretation of an 85.
- The instructor will treat students with respect. Just as it is demanded of you, so too, you have the right to demand this of the instructor. Belittling, faultfinding, or demeaning student’s thoughts and feelings is inappropriate.
- The instructor will provide honest evaluations and assessments. Interpreting is a emotionally demanding (and sometimes draining) profession; developing a thick skin is a recommended goal at this stage in your training. In the spirit of respectful treatment, this also means that evaluations and/or offline discussions of inaccurate, inequivalent, or substandard performance will not receive an ego stroking or “pat on the back.” This is a great opportunity to receive mentored, unbiased, and professional evaluations of your work.