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American Sign Language/English Interpretation

Be a communications conduit between the hearing and non-hearing worlds – interpreting English in a hearing context and American Sign Language in a Deaf-cultural context.

Two people wearing black practise ASL interpretation on a stage in front of a seated audience.
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
2 Years
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

As an interpreter, you're the crucial link between two very different worlds. You take a message from English, in a hearing-world context, and place it in American Sign Language (ASL) in a Deaf-cultural context. And you do the same in reverse.

As an interpreter, you require excellent social and interpersonal skills, as well as emotional stamina and agility. It's your job to protect the integrity of communication by not changing or influencing its meaning; both audiences depend on you to understand each other.

In your first year, you focus on Deaf culture, advanced-level American Sign Language (ASL), pre-interpretation skills and the theory of interpretation. In second year, you focus on the practice of interpretation.

Choose NSCC

  • NSCC is the only college in the Maritimes to offer this program, and it's one of only four of its kind in Canada.
  • Many of our teaching faculty are Deaf, giving you an authentic, one-on-one experience with Deaf culture.
  • You put your skills to work in real-world environments during your work terms.

2021-22 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus Dartmouth Full time In-class Seats available

Admission requirements

  • Successful completion of the Deaf Studies or American Sign Language (ASL) Studies certificate equivalent.
  • The final stage of the application process includes an in-person interview; the purpose of the interview is to assess your ASL and English skills, as well as your knowledge of Deaf culture. For details on what to expect at the interview, see the ASL Interview Process (PDF 121KB).
  • If you don't respond to your interview invitation, or if you miss a scheduled interview, your application is cancelled.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2021-22 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,620
Tuition (International):
$11,690

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • There's a shortage of qualified interpreters within this province and beyond. Opportunities exist in various sectors, including:

Future study options

  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

AEIP 1007 - English to ASL Interpreting Skills
This is a second semester course designed to build on learners’ learning from first semester ASL courses and the Discourse Analysis and Translation course, where learners practice translating. Learners will critically analyze English texts, the source language, and consecutively produce an equivalent message into ASL, the target language. This correlates with concurrent work in the concurrent course, ASL to English Interpreting Skills. Using a variety of readings, discussions, feedback techniques and isolated subtasks, learners will gradually integrate these component skills through prepared and unprepared consecutive interpretations.

AEIP 1008 - ASL to English Interpreting Skills
This is a second semester course designed to build on learners’ learning from first semester ASL courses and the Discourse Analysis and Translation course. In this course, learners begin to interpret (versus translate). Learners will analyze ASL texts (the source language), and consecutively produce an equivalent message in English (the target language). This correlates with concurrent work in English to ASL Interpreting Skills. Learners practice isolated subtasks and gradually integrate these component skills into consecutive interpretations. Discussion of interpreting issues will be a regular part of the semester's work. Learners are also expected to keep up to date on news and current affairs via a daily national or regional newspaper. News quizzes will be a regular part of our week.

AEIP 2010 - Pre-Interpreting ASL I
This course helps beginning intermediate ASL users in developing skills in comprehending and using expansion linguistic techniques, use of classifiers and locatives, ASL narrative and ASL mouthing. All these elements will be practiced, over the semester in increasingly complex ASL discourse.

AEIP 2012 - Discourse Analysis and Translation
This course provides learners with opportunities to analyze ASL and English texts in order to develop an equivalent translation into the target language. Learners will examine various texts and messages for meaning, identifying speaker/signer intent, individual propositions, cultural influences and other contextual elements. Learners move from analyzing messages for meaning, performing simple translations on to more complex translations.

AEIP 2014 - Introduction to Professional Practice
This course is designed to introduce learners to traditional and contemporary perspectives of interpretation and interpreters. History of the field and its implications for today will be explored. Learners will also be introduced to process models of interpretation as well as the factors that influence those processes.

AEIP 2016 - Professional Practice
This course examines the professional practice of interpretation. Learners will have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the practice and the skills required to work as an interpreter. Learners will develop skills and strategies to support their learning. As well, learners will learn methods for continued personal and professional development.

AEIP 2018 - Language Variation in ASL
This course is a fundamental part of the program. Learners will explore the applications of ASL usage amongst Deaf populations such as children, teen/youth, senior citizens, and other minority groups within the Deaf community.

AEIP 2020 - Pre-Interpreting ASL II
This course helps intermediate ASL users in developing skills in comprehending and using expansion linguistic techniques, use of classifiers and locatives, ASL narrative and ASL mouthing. All these elements will be practiced, over the semester in increasingly complex ASL discourse.

AEIP 2030 - Interpretation Practice and Analysis
This is a third semester course designed to introduce learners to simultaneous interpretation. Unlike consecutive interpretation, simultaneous interpretation requires processing information and transmitting that information into a second language within the same time frame. From this semester on, emphasis will be placed on the importance of being able to work in both modes as learners aim for comfort while switching back and forth, as necessary. Learners will do guided drills in class but also do self-directed interpreting and analysis of interpretations on their own, in small groups. Online discussion of topics on interpretation will also be part of the course.

AEIP 3000 - ASL for Interpreters I
This course is an opportunity to further learners’ refinement of the grammatical principles of American Sign Language. These principles will be practiced, over the semester, in increasingly difficult ASL discourse. Learners will also build vocabulary pertinent to specific interpreter settings such as business meetings and medical settings.

AEIP 3001 - Interpretation I
This course picks up where the spring semester course, Interpretation Practice and Analysis left off, with simultaneous interpreting practice and specifically, more interactive interpreting practice. Occasionally learners will focus on interpreting in one direction, but for the most part mock interactive situations will be used to practice interpreting while managing the entire process (teaming, explaining role, and interrupting).

AEIP 3002 - Interpretation II
This course picks up where the fall semester course, Interpretation I, left off, continuing to practice interpreting. Occasionally learners will focus on interpreting in one direction, but for the most part mock interactive situation will be used to practice interpreting while managing the entire process (teaming, explaining role, and interrupting).

AEIP 3003 - Role and Ethics
This course provides learners with a thorough understanding of the AVLIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct, and the strategies needed to make values-based decisions. This course fosters the application of critical thinking to real world scenarios enhancing learner's abilities to make ethical and sound professional decisions. Participation in discussions is critical.

AEIP 3004 - Skills Analysis I
This course is designed to develop specific ASL and interpreting skills required for successful interpretation of English into American Sign Language. Using the textbook, its description of seven features of interpretation, and guidance from class discussions, learners will produce relevant interpretation samples on video. The three features focused on in this semester are: Fingerspelling, Vocabulary and Classifiers/Size and Shape Specifiers (SASSes). In small groups, learners watch each other's work and provide feedback on the relevant features.

AEIP 3040 - Applied Interpreting I
This course allows learners to apply their learning and development thus far. Working in a variety of classes on campus, learners have the opportunity to practice interpreting in front of a live audience without being accountable to a Deaf consumer. In addition to this, learners spend time in the community logging time, learning about the Deaf and interpreting communities, as well as themselves. Then later in the semester, learners participate in their first two-week placement, applying their skills and knowledge learned.

AEIP 3050 - Applied Interpreting II
This course provides opportunities for learners to continue practicing professional skills with support and supervision from professional interpreters. Learners will continue to integrate learning and apply what they have been learning in the classroom, while working in real-world situations.

AEIP 4000 - ASL for Interpreters II
This course is designed to refine learners’ use of the grammatical principles of American Sign Language. Learners will have an opportunity to review specific ASL skills. Efforts will go toward increasing comprehension and advancing abilities with ASL structure and non-manual signals. All these elements will be practiced over the semester in increasingly difficult ASL discourse.

AEIP 4004 - Skills Analysis II
This course is designed to further develop the learner's ability to analyze his or her own and other’s work for specific ASL and interpreting features, while practicing English to ASL interpretations. The course picks up where part one left off and focuses on the remaining four interpretation features in Taylor's text: Structuring Space, Grammar, Interpreting and Composure and Appearance. Using the textbook, its descriptions of the relevant features, and guidance from class discussions, learners will produce interpretation samples on video. Learners then apply the assigned features to the task of analyzing their own and other's work. This gives learners an opportunity to practice discussing where an interpretation is effective or unsuccessful. Additional work is aimed at the same kind of analysis in ASL to English work.

AEIP 4007 - Professional and Business Practices
This course is designed to introduce learners to employer expectations and business practices of interpreting practitioners and to assist them in acquisition of skills related to job development, resume preparation, record keeping and reporting, and problem-solving. The function and application of professional standards and ethics as an integral part of business practices will be emphasized. Throughout the semester, a variety of guests will provide specific employment or job-market information. The focus of the course is interpreters as business entities who will need to know and depend on a variety of resources as they graduate into their careers as interpreters. Assignments are designed to further learners' understanding of self in relation to the field.

AEIP 4008 - Presentation Arts
This course is designed to introduce the learner to using their whole body as a tool in communication. Particular attention will be paid to: group dynamics, presentation skills, self-esteem, assertion versus aggression, problem solving as a group, freeing up the body from tension, releasing the individual from the debilitating grip of self conscientiousness, relaxation-observation-focusing-listening skills, constructive versus negative critique, movement and its importance in presentation. This will be accomplished using established theatre games, exercises and techniques.

AEIP 4040 - Interpreting in Educational Settings
This course provides learners with a basic understanding of the complexities of working as an interpreter in Primary (or Kindergarten) to Grade 12 school settings and post-secondary educational settings. Course content will reference the AVLIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Professional Conduct and strategies needed to make values-based decisions in the unique settings of elementary, middle and high schools as well as college and university. Learners will have the opportunity to apply critical thinking skills to real world scenarios enhancing learners' abilities to make ethical and sound professional decisions.

AEIP 4500 - Applied Interpreting III
This course provides opportunities for learners to practice professional skills with support and supervision from professional interpreters. Learners will integrate learning and reflect upon their educational, personal and professional experiences through portfolio development.

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