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

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Organization and analysis of an interpreted text

  • ASL3350
  • ASL3370
  • ASL
  • English
  • interpretation
  • organization
  • analysis

“Ninety percent of the game is mental. The other half is physical.” (Yogi Berra) Visualizing a text is just as important as interpreting it.

“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:

  • How do we visualize (predict?) a text as we are either preparing to or interpreting the text? How does visually mapping a text help in our work product?
  • What skills are required for me to predict a text?
  • Are there word choices that we can make to help with predicting and interpreting texts?

Textbook chapters

Consecutive Interpreting from English (Patrie)

Unit 4 (pp. 95–115) Required


Content mapping

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

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 Required

The meaning of texts

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.

Discourse mapping: Developing textual coherence skills

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.

Cohesion & Transitional Devices

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. Required

Constructing Meaning: 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.