Select Course Reflections
Introduction to the Field of Interpreting
This course provided a rich analysis and discussion on a variety of topics related to ASL interpreting. We covered issues ranging from the history of interpreting, philosophies and theories to apply to our work, cultural and environmental impacts, and understanding our community of practice. My vocabulary with which to discuss this field has grown immensely. Our assignments where supported with in class discourse, group work and panel discussions. Our journal assignments challenged us to delve more deeply into our work and apply critical analysis to not just the work, but also ourselves. This course has provided a strong foundation for which we will continue to build on throughout the program.
Interpreting II was one of my favorite classes thus far. We covered a range of work projects, from reading, journaling and translating. Our readings and journals cultivated deep thought and reflection on a range of topics and perspectives. We touched on the intersectionality of all cultures, including the Deaf culture and how as interpreters we must approach each assignment with all of these considerations in mind. Dennis Cokely’s research in Interpreting Culturally Rich Realities, in particular struck a cord deep within me in regard to how our language, word choice and individual associations to a concept can have profound influence over the understanding of conversation. The discussions born from these readings and writings were rich and insightful.
Our translation work was incredibly eye opening and challenging. Each project shed light on a different aspect of my skill set and my unique approach to the work. The lessons and growth from each project influenced and advanced my understanding and development of the next. I had several "ah-ha!" moments which have given me a deeper understanding of myself and our work. I am excited for our next trimester and the new challenges and insights I will gain as we push deeper into what it means to be an interpreter.
This course was incredibly enlightening and has helped to shape my understanding of not only ASL, but English as well. Perhaps if I knew other languages, it would influence my specific understanding of each of those. However, the information we have learned can apply broadly to languages as a whole. I have never been one who was attracted to the study of linguistics, but Christine Monikowski’s class last semester and this one with you, have dramatically changed that. There is so much to unpack and explore within a language, and it is not dry and tedious unpacking like I had always imagined it to be! The study of linguistics has helped me to more fully understand the structures of English that I have used everyday for the last 30 years, but it has also opened my eyes to the plethora of structure in ASL. As a second language learner, much of this discovery has helped me to observe the language more critically and more dynamically than I was previously capable. This course has given me the tools to examine my own language development more thoroughly and I have been excited as I’ve begun applying these concepts to my everyday interactions.
I saw immense growth in my interpreting skills and my ability to manage situations from our course work in this class. The "hands on" interpreting work that we did was great. We had a range of opportunities with a diverse collection of consumers in both real or hypothetical scenarios, which enabled us, as students, to develop many strategies for improving our interpreting work and to recognize areas of weakness in which we need to focus. Our assignments related to Interpersonal Competencies gave me the capacity to more fully recognize not only who I am as a person, but also how to engage more readily, openly, and compassionately with a diverse population. At the time of this writing, I am aware that I have grown by leaps and bounds this semester, but I do not yet have the distance from the growth to full look back and articulate it fully. However, I am energized and excited for what has transpired and eager for the next chapter!
Deaf Education in Bilingual Communities