Conceptual Framework

The following six components define and provide the conceptual framework upon which the Interpreter Education Program curriculum is based. The integration of these components results in a degree program that represents best practices in the training and education of interpreters.

1. American Sign Language Courses

ASL development courses include special lab assignments and community events to ensure that student possess the conversational competence in English and ASL. A core of five courses (ASL I – V) provides students with a sequential and spiral learning model in which to develop competence in ASL. The sequence is a combination of classroom instruction, drill, lab work, and community involvement. INTR 2260 places students in the ASL Community working with Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing individuals to create a service-learning project.

  • INTR 1320 American Sign Language I
  • INTR 1321 American Sign Language II
  • INTR 2320 American Sign Language III
  • INTR 2321 American Sign Language IV
  • INTR 3320 American Sign Language V
  • INTR 2260 Service Learning: ASL Community

2. Foundation Courses

Foundation courses provide students with knowledge about the unique communities and experiences of persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing. One course INTR 1340 is taken simultaneously with the ASL courses and includes the study of the deaf community and culture. INTR 3347 studies the profession of interpreting, the code of ethics, and business practices. Two courses (INTR 2344 and INTR 4346) provides students with information regarding linguistic similarities and differences of ASL and English, and about the specific role and responsibilities of the K-12 educational team (administrators, teachers, interpreters, students) and the function of interpreters in all other types of educational settings. These courses are:

  • INTR 1340 Deaf Culture
  • INTR 2344 Comparative Linguistics
  • INTR 3344 Interpretation Theory and Process
  • INTR 4346 Principles of Educational Interpreting
  • INTR 3347 Introduction to Interpreting
  • INTR 3380 Interpreting Research

3. English-based Sign Language Courses

Three courses provide students with knowledge and skills about contact language varieties and those consumers who may prefer to use English-based sign language systems. Students develop skills in receptive and expressive fingerspelling, and in Signing Exact English as used in educational settings. These courses are:

  • INTR 2280 Fingerspelling
  • INTR 3363 Specialized Terminology
  • INTR 2330 MCE in Educational Settings

4. Interpretation Courses

The basic cognitive processes of interpretation are developed by focusing on consecutive interpretation tasks before focusing on simultaneous interpretation tasks. This developmental sequence allows students to acquire and refine the cognitive skills of interpretation apart from the temporal constraints and pressures imposed by simultaneous interpretation.

The interpretation courses consist of five courses which progressively build upon one another. Students discuss ethical decision making, theories and models of interpretation and progress to development of competencies from consecutive to simultaneous interpretation and transliteration. Beginning courses focus on exercises in dual-tasking, strategies for determining evidence, and reformulating and restructuring messages from within a monolingual context to successively complex inter-lingual tasks. Since the interpretation process is based upon the working languages of the interpreter, by the time students are enrolled in advanced interpretation courses, they are expected to work with each language as both Source Language and Target Language.

  • INTR 3364 Sign to Voice Interpreting/Transliterating
  • INTR 3366 Voice to Sign Interpreting/Transliterating
  • INTR 4370 Ethical Standards & Practices for Interpreters
  • INTR 4380 Advanced Transliteration
  • INTR 4382 Advanced Interpretation

5. Interpretation in Specialized Settings and for Specialized Population Courses

The skill, art, and ethics of interpretation are developed by focusing on participant and consumer interaction paradigms such as one-on-one, small groups, and large groups in a range of realistic discourse settings. A core of six courses is designed with an emphasis on special populations and specialized settings. Students learn to interpret for consumers who prefer oral transliteration and for consumers who are low vision and/or require tactile communication. Specific terminology and strategies are taught for such settings as medical, mental health, legal, rehabilitation, religious, and educational. These courses are:

  • INTR 3350 Artistic Interpreting in Educational Settings
  • INTR 3372 Interpreting for Persons who are Hard of Hearing
  • INTR 4330 Interpreting 1
  • INTR 4332 Interpreting 2
  • INTR 4358 Interpreting for Persons who are Deaf-Blind
  • INTR 4384 Interpreting Academic Subjects

6. Internship

A total of 300 clock hours provides students with field experiences, practicing communication in community-based agencies with persons who are deaf or deaf-blind. Upon completion of interpretation, university core, and minor course work, students are placed in this internship as a capstone experience.

  • INTR 4970 Internship

The Interpreter Education Program abides by UA Little Rock’s diversity policy whereby students are prepared to work with children, adolescents, and adults from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. In addition, efforts are made to ensure the students have opportunities to experience internship placements in settings where diversity is present.

  • Course curricula and classroom materials, including audio/visual media, guest speakers, and community involvement, infuse diversity to ensure exposure to a multicultural learning environment.
  • Structured experiences outside of the traditional classroom setting are incorporated into the curricula exposing students to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind and from multicultural backgrounds.
  • Service-Learning experiences that foster interaction and communication in natural environments giving back to the Deaf community while improving language learning.
  • A model of mentorship promotes student and community collaboration in which students have the opportunity to participate in language development activities by applying language studied in the classroom to a natural home environment with the persons from diverse cultural backgrounds.