deaf older female teacher signing to a classroom in front of a green-colored blackboard

Utah Valley University | Fall 2019 | ASL3370.601 Sign to Spoken English

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Course Assignments

Among other self-reflective assessments you’ll make this semester, based on expected learning outcomes, there are three main tactical categories of learning and assignment goals:

Language and interpretation production

Arguably, the most important technical task new interpreters can practice is the production of interpretation. The process of interpreting has to become familiar in order for it to improve and become more efficacious. So you’ll be doing lots of language. Lots.

  1. In-class participation, presentations, and producing interpreting work. Interpreting necessitates 1) feeling comfortable in front of a group and 2) learning how to create equivalent renderings of topics. Participation in in-class interpreting assignments, exercises, and feedback sessions is, needless to say, mandatory.
  2. In-class presentations. While we will be spending time in developing signed language comprehension, our work together this semester will be primarily focused in advancing spoken language mastery. Following presentation criteria which we’ll determine in class, choose any topic and be prepared (impromptu) to give TED Talks-like presentations for your classmates. Schedule to be determined in class; dates marked in teal.
  3. Creation of a video portfolio. This is a 3:3:1 course; in other words, you get three credits in exchange for three weekly hours of coursework and one hour of lab work. Patrie’s Effective Interpreting Series is formatted as a workbook, perfect for capturing language lab self- and dyad-paced efforts. This semester you’ll be producing five interpretations from the Effective Interpreting Series text and then posting them (with/for commentary) in your GoREACT account. This exercise benefits in two ways: 1) you’re producing work and 2) you get helpful formative commentary on your work. Scary? Maybe. But super helpful. Did I mention you’re producing work? See the class schedule for posting dates identified in green. (Late videos will be penalized if submitted after the due dates/times mentioned on the class schedule.)

Participation grade breakdown

Comes prepared to each class having read all required materials (and may even reference additional non-required materials) and is knowledgeable about discussion unit concepts (preparedness). Actively and substantially participates in-class discussions, class presentations, interpreting work, contributes original insights (interaction/involvement). Provides and takes appropriate non-evaluative feedback (Witter-Merrithew, Colonomos, et al) to/from classmates (attitude/feedback) Comes mostly prepared to almost every class having read several (but not all of the) required materials and is fairly knowledgeable about discussion unit concepts. Participates mostly in-class discussions, class presentations, and interpreting work. Provides mostly appropriate non-evaluative feedback to/from classmates. Comes to most classes having read some of the required materials and kind of knows about the discussion unit concepts. Passively participates in-class discussions, class presentations, and interpreting work every once in a while. Gives mixed evaluative and non-evaluative feedback to/from classmates. Comes to some classes not really reading much of the required materials nor seems knowledgeable about discussion units. Rarely and passively contributes to class activity. Continues to give evaluative feedback to/from classmates.
150–135 points 134–120 points 119–105 points 104–90 points

Critical reading and thinking

An imperative skillset to be developing at this point in your career is becoming familiar with relevant literature, learning how to observe the interpreting environment, and then articulating those observations. You’ll have assignments that provide formative opportunities for these skills.

  1. Unit readings and discussion. There may be additional readings associated with each unit. This list may or may not change as we go through the semester; new and relevant articles are always being published. Readings which are vital to the discussions we have are marked in red. See the class schedule.
  2. Annotated bibliography. In order to keep current on issues facing the interpreting field, you’ll be required to compile an annotated bibliography. Turning in a bibliography indicates that you have actually performed research. If you haven’t done this, don’t turn in a bibliography. Faked work is easily identified, and will result in a failing grade on the assignment. Late bibliographies will be penalized at 10% per day (not class period). See class schedule for due dates and the Writing page (or a sample biblography for requirements and specifications).
  3. Assessments. There will be two performance (interpreted) assessments this semester: an initial pre-assessment and an end-of-semester assessment. There’s only one of these, so unless there’s an exceptional reason, there is no makeup final exam. See the class schedule; dates marked in yellow.

Community exposure

In order to become a contributing member of the professional community in which you’re about to join, you need to become familiar with…well, the professional community. You’ll have at least one opportunity (and more, if you like, for additional credit) to do that this semester.

  1. Community exposure. Based on the criteria described under “Community Experience Projects,” submit a paper containing your experience(s) and observations. In your (at least one-and-a-half-page) paper(s) discuss:
    • Your thoughts during this interaction with people in relation to the interpreting field. Be honest. Be detailed. Were you surprised at what you learned? Did your feelings about interpreting change during this assignment? How? Why? Explain.
    • Other people’s actions and reactions towards you and your reactions to their behavior.
    • Any new awareness and/or insight about interpreting in the community that you had not expected or thought of. Did you gain any new understanding as to the reasons for certain behaviors or cultural morés that Deaf people have? Explain.
    • Any anecdotes or descriptions of events that happened that seemed significant or helpful to your experience.
  2. Field trip. We’ll be making a visit to the local Toastmasters chapter in our area to experience more about public speaking. The date for this is currently TBA and we’ll discuss it in class. The assignment is to submit your observations of the experience as outlined above.
  3. **Deaf Studies *Today*! service and involvement** (when available). While this is not required, if you’re not yet on a planning or service committee for the Deaf Studies Today! conference, arrange your semester schedule so you can assist in this extraordinary opportunity to provide interpreting services in an international conference setting.

Self Evaluations

  1. Student-teacher contract. Determine the parameters of a contract between you and the instructor that will help determine the evaluation and measurement of your in-class performance this semester. What grade do you want? Why? Thoughtfully include what requirements, stipulations, and conditions you’ll need to satisfy in order to warrant the grade you want to earn from this class. Additionally, explain what you feel the instructor can do/should do to enable your best performance. See the class schedule; this contract is worth ten points. Late submissions will not be accepted.
  2. Midterm evaluation. About halfway through the semester, it’ll be time for a kumbaya of sorts, let the instructor know how you’re doing — “great,” “bored,” “frustrated”: get it out. It’ll be anonymous of course, but it will help you and the instructor do any course correcting if needed. Watch the class schedule for this; this evaluation is worth an easy-peasy ten points. Late submissions will not be accepted. Evaluations are marked in dark blue.
  3. Final evaluation. After the final exam, you’ll have a quick final evaluation that will help me understand how you prepared for the exam as well as answer any final concerns or comments about your experience. While it isn’t graded, it helps me understand if what we practiced was helpful or not. It also helps future classes get the benefit of things in class that you liked or didn’t like.

Due Dates and Missing Exams/Classes

Please adhere to all due dates on your class schedule. Exams are given only on the pre-assigned day. Except for extremely exceptional instances, a make-up exam will not be available. Giving a make-up exam is unfair to those students who have made the effort to complete the exam on time.

Work schedules, out-of-town trips, or dating habits are not valid excuses for missing exams. If you must miss an assignment, please see me before the exam day to discuss your conflict. Final exams cannot be given early or on any other date than what is proscribed by the College. Please don’t ask.

Assignment Breakdown

Along with highly-frequent participation and high assignment scores, the student demonstrates an above-average knowledge of course materials and command of interpreting skills. Along with mostly-frequent participation and good assignment scores, the student demonstrates a satisfactory knowledge of course materials and command of interpreting skills. Along with semi-frequent participation and average assignment scores, the student demonstrates an average knowledge of course materials and command of interpreting skills. Along with minimal participation, the student demonstrates a substandard knowledge of course materials and command of interpreting skills. Along with low-to-no participation, the student demonstrates an unsatisfactory knowledge of course materials and command of interpreting skills.
A 100–93 B+ 89–87 C+ 79–77 D+ 69–67 E 59–0
A- 92–90 B 86–83 C 76–73 D 66–63
B- 82–80 C- 72–70 D- 62–60
Assignment Qty Points each Points total % of grade
Student-teacher contract 1 10 10 2%
Pre assessment 1 50 50 10%
In-class presentation 1 10 10 2%
Video portfolio postings 5 10 50 10%
Midterm evaluation 1 10 10 2%
In-class participation 1 150 150 31%
Annotated bibliography 1 50 50 10%
Community experience 1 50 50 10%
Post assessment 1 100 100 20%
Total*     480 100%

* This may or may not be the final total; scores from impromptu exercises and extra credit assignments will proportionally be figured into your final grade.

Community Experience Project(s)

You want me to do what? For these assignments, you should seek out Deaf Community- or interpreter-related activities. Your best resource is the main gathering place for most of the Deaf and interpreting community in Weber, Salt Lake, and Utah Counties, the Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf in Taylorsville. There are activities constantly taking place here, ranging from athletics to political meetings to interpreting workshops. Check the Center for:

  1. a current list of activities, and
  2. ask if it is appropriate that students may attend a certain activity. Fees may apply.

And, when it comes to privacy, Deaf people are no different than hearing people; ask first before just assuming you can show up to any activity.

Other resources can be found at Salt Lake Community College (Redwood Road campus) or here in Utah County; Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, and Salt Lake Community college have active, on-going, on-campus ASL clubs within an hour of campus; UVU has periodic inservice for its interpreters. You may even have Deaf friends who are students here at UVU or BYU. Explain your assignment to them, and ask what activities may be happening around the area.

Take advantage of your participation to obtain real-life practical experience in relation to interpreting opportunities within the Deaf Community. Interact with people — get involved, ask questions, take opportunities to learn. Make your experience unique and worthwhile. If you need to, ask the instructor for direction and/or clarification. At the end of these experience, write about your interactions.

What this assignment is not

The purpose of this assignment is not to gaze into the proverbial fishbowl nor see how many Deaf people you can hang out and party with (although new social experiences may be a fringe benefit at times.) Your participation in the community in which you may someday provide interpreting services is contingent on your perceived relationship with the community. Instead of looking for “how do you sign that?” opportunities or just hanging out at league volleyball night, look for ways to build reciprocity, learn about and challenge current situations where interpreters are working, and get in tune with the local interpreting community.

Note: Because Utah and Salt Lake Counties are predominantly heavily Latter-day Saint (LDS) populated, many Deaf community activities are also religious activities. It is not an acceptable alternative for this assignment to attend Deaf church services; your involvement and interaction at a church meeting is not indicative of a typical Deaf Community function. If, however, you wish to investigate religious services as one of your assignments, please discuss your intent with the instructor.