I am not currently teaching ASL3350: Consecutive Interpreting.

Please note: All information currently available on this site represents work and due dates relevant to a previous semester/course. Please check back during later semesters for updated information on this course. Thank you.

Organization and analysis of an interpreted text

“Which road do I take?,” Alice asked.
“Where do you want to go?,” the Chesire Cat replied.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the Cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
(Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)

Cognitive organization of a text can help interpreters mentally plan out (roadmap and signpost, p. 224; Mindess, 2006) and know where the intent of a text or discourse is going.

Here are some bullet points/learning outcomes of which we might want to be aware:


Patrie, Consecutive Interpreting from English
Unit 4 (pp. 95–115) Required

Content Mapping (Witter-Merithew) Required

This excellent article explains a cognitive exercise called content mapping, which can be used to visualize a text.

The Meaning of Texts (Witter-Merithew) Required

Reprinted from Witter-Merithew, A. (2001). Understanding the meaning of texts and reinforcing foundation skills through discourse analysis. In C. Nettles (Ed.), Tapestry of Our Worlds, Proceedings of the 17th National Conference of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, p. 177-192.

Topic Maps: From Information to Discourse Architecture

A non-SL interpreting related and slightly more academic discussion of information as “discourse architecture.” From the literature in information architecture, ‘topic maps’ visually demonstrate cohesion and the semantic organization of topics. Discourse architecture is a helpful framework for organizing interpreted texts. (Citation: Johnsen, L. (2010). Topic Maps: From Information to Discourse Architecture. Journal of Information Architecture. 2(1). Retrieved from http://journalofia.org/volume2/issue1/02-johnsen.)

Cohesion & Transitional Devices (Spoken English) Required

This two-page handout taxonomizes four types of spoken English cohesion and transitional devices: additive, adversative, causal, and sequential transitions. Helpful in organizing mind/discoursal maps.

Discourse mapping: Developing textual coherence skills (Winston & Monikowski)

Although written for interpreter educators, this article by Winston & Monikowski, along with the Content Mapping article above, represent seminal works in ASL interpreter education. The concept of discourse mapping (see also advance organizers [Ausubel] and concept mapping [Novak & Gowin]) has become an important tool in helping interpreters cognitively map (peg, chunk, link, self-monitor) ideas in discoursal texts.

Constructing Meaning (Colonomos): Discourse Analysis/Notetaking Tool

Colonomos’ “orange sheet.” This diagram helps to explain where, how, and what meaning is derived in a speaker’s/signer’s discourse. All of these constituent domains add up to a speaker’s/signer’s intention. (Don’t download this unless you lose the orange copy handed out in class.)

Prediction Skills

GRE Sentence Completion Exercises
GRE Sentence Completion Exercises (from ETS Tests)
GKAcademy GRE Sentence Completion Exercises

Mindmapping User Tasks

Again, another article from the world of design and user experience, “mind maps enable association-based thinking in a non-linear (think: ”non-English”) way.” What principles in this article about design are applicable to interpreter thinking?

(Five) Models for Making Sense of Complex Systems

Designers and data scientists use a variety of ways to visualize ‘data discourse.’ Do any of these approaches apply to visualizing and predicting a potential interpreted text?

How UVU students use mindmapping in their work

Rebecca Halls (UVU ’10) shows us how she prepared for this assignment. Great job, Becca. Making us proud.