RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A CURRICULUM FOR DEAF INTERPRETERS

LEARNING OUTCOMES

(IN INTERNATIONAL SIGN & ENGLISH)

 

INTRODUCTION

 

These learning outcomes are, as the whole curriculum, a recommendation: a suggestion on what kind of skills, knowledge and competencies could be expected during interpreter studies. There are 5 domains: 1) Academic skills, 2) Professionalism, 3) Communication, languages and cultures, 4) Interpreting and 5) Professional expertise. Each domain contains 3–7 Topics. Under each topic you will find several objectives, or learning outcomes. They are based on competencies, written in a way to make them easily measurable.

 

This curriculum is primary planned to fit a 3-year bachelor degree, but the learning outcomes of each topic can be applied in various depths and lengths. There are examples and guidelines for adjusting and scheduling the topics in the Curriculum Guide. You will also find more information, e.g. tips for teaching and assessment in the Curriculum Guide.

DOMAIN 1

ACADEMIC AND GENERAL SKILLS

 

Overview: Studying at a BA-level requires certain skills related to studying, analytical thinking, self-reflection and data acquisition. There are also some skills useful in life after graduation, when seeking employment or proceeding to MA-studies. In this domain students develop a greater understanding of themselves as learners, entrepreneurship in the field of Deaf Interpreters, and research-oriented approach to professional practice.

This domain contains following topics:

  • Topic 1.1 Learning, reflection and self-development

  • Topic 1.2 Entrepreneurship

  • Topic 1.3 Research and methodology

TOPIC 1.1 Learning, reflection & self-development

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • describe the educational system and related institutions of the surrounding society

  • describe different learning theories and learning environments

  • schedule and balance studying with other responsibilities

  • use different reading strategies for academic texts

  • do self-assessment and describe one’s own strengths and needs for improvement as a student

  • adopt suitable working methods and styles for studying

  • carry out independent and goal oriented studying

  • determine competency-based objectives for learning and self-development

  • give, receive and analyse feedback

  • apply necessary ICT-skills related to studying

  • act as a part of a student team

  • utilise different language and culture environments to develop one’s own know-how

  • search

  • search, analyse and share information effectively.

TOPIC 1.2 Entrepreneurship


 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • explain regulations related to entrepreneurship in their own society

  • describe the employment opportunities and the potential of entrepreneurship within the professional field of Deaf Interpreters and Translators

  • explain the requirements of running a business in practice and analyse how it differs from being an employee or freelancer

  • analyse the meaning of customer orientation and marketing as a part of  their practice

  • recognise opportunities, innovate and productize services and products to the professional field of Deaf Interpreters and Translators

  • communicate their ideas clearly and inspire others in value-creating activities.

TOPIC 1.3 Research and methodology

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • discuss the latest national and international research related to interpreting and utilise it with a critical approach

  • discuss the nature of research from an ethical point of view

  • adopt an analytical mind set and development-oriented way of working

  • describe the common principles, approaches and methods of research

  • apply theoretical knowledge to develop their own profession and skills

  • develop their work/action in an analytical, critical and ethically sustainable way

  • produce well formulated text (written/signed) that reflects expertise

  • effectively conduct a small research project on a topic related to interpreting

  • evaluate the ethicality and effectiveness of a small research project.

DOMAIN 2

PROFESSIONALISM
 

 

Overview: This domain focuses on the ethics, knowledge and analysis of the profession and role of the Deaf Interpreter. As insiders of a minority, Deaf Interpreters have a special role which they need to reflect on. Being part of, and working with, a discriminated minority causes challenges connected with power issues. You are expected to make big decisions fast, yet you have to take care of your own well-being, especially on cognitive and psychological level. DI is a young profession, but the work itself has been done for a very long time. Students need to understand the past and present to prepare for the future.

  • This domain contains the following topics:

  • Topic 2.1 Interpreter, society and professionalization

  • Topic 2.2 Deaf studies

  • Topic 2.3 Ethics and decision making

  • Topic 2.4 Deaf Interpreters and cooperation

  • Topic 2.5 Well-being and ergonomics at work

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • describe the background and development of interpreter profession and education

  • describe the legal acts and conventions regulating interpreting (services in their own society)

  • discuss the historical evolution, professional field, domains and settings of DI practise

  • Describe the diverse groups DI’s work with

  • reflect on the work of both the national interpreter association(s) and the international DI associations

  • analyse the role interpreting plays in terms of accessibility and its limits

  • describe interpreter’s typical working settings and responsibilities

  • discuss the interpreter’s scope of practise

  • analyse roles and dynamics in interpreted interaction

  • discuss minority/majority status and power issues in society, marginalisation, and the meaning of participation and accessibility for all

TOPIC 2.1 Interpreter, society & professionalization
 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • describe different approaches to deafness (socio-cultural & linguistic minority, medical approach, disability studies...)

  • identify and use concepts related to Deaf Studies

  • describe the change, history and diversity of Deaf community nationally and internationally

  • analyse what it means to be a member of Deaf community

  • compare and analyse hearing and Deaf culture norms

  • recognize and explain the mechanisms of discrimination, oppression, audism and stereotypes

  • critically discuss sociological perspectives and theories on health and disability

  • explain the importance of preserving and protecting Deaf Culture and Deaf heritage

TOPIC 2.2 Deaf studies

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • describe and analyse the code of ethics of an interpreter

  • analyse the influence of different ethical principles and how they are manifested in different contexts  

  • critically discuss the impacts of interpreter’s decisions (from the ethical point of view)

  • evaluate the impact of different environments, power dynamics, and cultural differences on interpreted events

  • recognize the meaning of reflection as a foundation of ethics and decision making in ethically sensitive professions

  • analyse their own values and attitudes and recognize possible conflicts between them and the codes of ethics

  • consciously examine the interpreting assignment from the consumer’s point of view

  • justify and reason their decision-making process

  • discuss potential choices and impacts arising from addressing ethical dilemmas in interpreting assignments

  • identify the use of power in interpreter’s work and interpreting assignments

TOPIC 2.3 Ethics & decision making

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • discuss the historical context of deaf people working as language mediators and volunteer interpreters/translators (Deaf Gain, oppressed minority)

  • identify the variety of consumer groups of Deaf Interpreter (e.g. regional authorities, [im]migrants and refugees, elders, deafblind)

  • describe and justify the profession of Deaf Interpreters and the meaning of L1 interpreters

  • identify and analyse their own and others reactions caused by majority/minority status

  • outline the range of strategies and techniques that can be drawn on when working as part of an interpreting team, including feeding and relay interpreting

  • critically reflect and describe their professional identity and its boundaries as interpreters also having the role of insiders in the deaf community

  • analyse and develop cooperation with hearing interpreters (e.g. using feeding techniques, acknowledging L2 features)

  • describe and market their know-how as a communication professional.

TOPIC 2.4 Deaf Interpreter & cooperation

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • describe the factors of work related well-being

  • analyse the demands and stress related to interpreting assignments and operational environments

  • identify different ways of controlling their own work

  • demonstrate knowledge of the principles related to collegiality, and giving and receiving constructive feedback

  • demonstrate know-how related to organisational ergonomics (e.g. frames and schedules related to work, design of work)

  • demonstrate know-how related to cognitive ergonomics (e.g. psychological stress and decision making)

  • demonstrate know-how related to physical ergonomics (e.g. maintaining a healthy musculoskeletal system)

  • take responsibility of their own work.

TOPIC 2.5 Well-being & ergonomics at work

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

Overview: It is crucial for an interpreter to be fluent in all working languages. However, there is much more than a narrowly defined “language” in interaction - the interpreter needs to have a broad understanding of multimodality and diversity of all communication. Skills in a working language should be on level C1 of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Getting to a certain level isn’t the only goal – you also need to work with your native tongue. Depending on the working possibilities of Deaf Interpreters in a certain country, there might be different needs to emphasise some of the topics, e.g. International Sign or the written version of a local spoken language(s).

 

This domain contains following topics:

  • Topic 3.1 Multimodal communication

  • Topic 3.2 Cultural and linguistic diversity

  • Topic 3.3 Sign language/s and linguistics

  • Topic 3.4 Written/spoken language/s

  • Topic 3.5 International Sign

DOMAIN 3

COMMUNICATION, LANGUAGES

& CULTURES

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • identify and describe different communication strategies people use to understand others and to be understood (language, gesture, gaze, pictures, objects…)

  • explain the modality differences in languages and communication (signed, tactile, written, spoken…)

  • identify issues regarding power, equality and accessibility in multimodal interaction discourses

  • describe different notions of language

  • discuss the change in interaction regarding new technology and globalisation

  • adapt multimodal resources (gesture, picture, fingerspelling, technology, video, text…) to their own communication repertoire

  • use different methods to be understood (incl. plain language)

  • apply the rules of face-to-face communication in their own culture and in global settings

  • evaluate and develop their own interaction skills in work-related contexts.

TOPIC 3.1 Multimodal communication

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • describe critical periods in language development and acquisition

  • recognise and describe power-related issues related to cultural and linguistic diversity

  • identify their own and others’ cultural and linguistic background and the impact of this in societal participation and accessibility

  • identify and describe minority groups within Deaf community

  • analyse linguistic variation and factors influencing it

  • compare language transmission pathways (and consequences) in minorities, especially in deaf people born in hearing/Deaf families

  • communicate effectively by recognising and negotiating cultural behaviours, values and discourse features

  • adapt their own language to the requirements of the settings and needs of participants.

TOPIC 3.2 Cultural & linguistic diversity

LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • describe the central notions and analytical methods of the major areas of general and applied linguistics (phonological, morphological, syntactic and lexical structures, sociolinguistic aspects of language, discourse/text analysis, semantic and pragmatic features of language)

  • explain the characteristic features of Sign Languages (e.g. non-manuals, constructed action, depicting verbs...)

  • compare the phonological, morpho-syntactic and lexical structures of Sign Languages by using appropriate terminology

  • explain the nature of signed lexicon (fixed/depicting) regarding structure and semantics

  • describe the continuum of gesture use in Sign Languages

  • produce clear, coherent, well expressed and idiomatically appropriate texts in their working sign languages utilising a range of registers and styles

  • understand different SL dialects and other sociolinguistic variation

  • analyse signed texts using basic annotation techniques

  • use video recording in analysing their own and others’ language use

  • assess their own language skills and usage on different levels.

TOPIC 3.3 Sign Language(s) & linguistics

LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • identify and analyse differences between written and spoken forms of language

  • identify and analyse different registers and situational and cultural variation of spoken and written language

  • identify the written language power paradigm and analyse its effects

  • produce clearly articulated written text with convenient structure and register for different intents

  • use effective reading strategies

  • use dictionaries and thesauruses for understanding written information (e.g. preparation materials)

  • develop their own and other’s written communication skills with constructive peer review and feedback

  • apply different repertoires of written and spoken language

  • evaluate their own linguistic competence in written language.

TOPIC 3.4 Written/spoken language(s)

LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • explain the controversies concerning the political and linguistic status of International Sign

  • describe the diversity of Sign Languages, home sign and signed systems

  • describe the use, possibilities and limitations of International Sign in different interpreting purposes

  • communicate in international settings by using conventional lexical signs, structures and strategies commonly used by Deaf people in international conferences

  • adjust their signing using context based visual signing, plain signing and elaborating the linguistic message

  • produce a realistic learning plan to enhance skills in International Sign

  • use English as a resource in International Sign communication.

TOPIC 3.5 International sign

LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

Overview: Interpreting is much more than just delivering a message. It is a highly demanding cognitive process that requires e.g. preparation, evaluation, understanding environmental factors and motivations of participants. All of this should be discussed, processed and practised in specific settings: interpreting in healthcare, education, sports, media, and institutional (e.g. religious, juridical...) settings. It is crucial to have a chance to practise these skills during an internship. Skills in interpreting in a variety of settings can be evaluated via a proficiency test or skills demonstration.

 

This domain contains the following topics:

  • Topic 4.1 Introduction to interpreting

  • Topic 4.2 Translation

  • Topic 4.3 Interpreting theory and practice

  • Topic 4.4 Preparation and evaluation

  • Topic 4.5 Consumer assessment

  • Topic 4.6 Interpreting skills in specific settings

DOMAIN 4

INTERPRETING

 

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • critically discuss and apply the main concepts, models and methodological approaches in the field of Interpreting Studies

  • outline the main features of the interpreting process

  • describe the tasks involved in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting in different settings (e.g. conference interpreting, community interpreting, remote interpreting)

  • analyse multimodality and linguistic & cultural diversity in interpreted interactions

  • describe and analyse different communication strategies in interpreted interactions

  • parse and re-formulate the essential content of interaction

  • interpret prepared texts in familiar topics

  • master strategies for training their memory.

TOPIC 4.1 Introduction to interpreting

LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • critically discuss and apply the main concepts, models and methodological approaches in the field of Translation Studies

  • describe in detail the notion of equivalence at different levels (word, clause, sentence, grammatical  and discourse level)

  • outline the main principles of intralingual and interlingual translation (models, strategies, techniques and theories)

  • compare written, video and sight/text translation

  • describe the main principles of generating glossaries

  • produce culturally appropriate translations to target language

  • work effectively as a part of a translating team

  • prepare texts and make scripts for translation.  

TOPIC 4.2 Translation

LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • apply information from Interpreting studies and summarise it by using their working languages

  • analyse interpreted interaction and evaluate which would be the most effective method to use in each case (consecutive or simultaneous interpreting, or a blend of them)

  • describe means to enhance the fluency of interpreted interaction/communication

  • effectively apply different modes and techniques of interpreting in practice (e.g. simultaneous & consecutive interpreting, mirroring, sight translation, feeding and relay interpreting) in familiar scenarios

  • analyse their own interpreting process and interpreted assignment by using a theoretical framework

  • give and receive constructive feedback.

TOPIC 4.3 Interpreting theory & practice

LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • justify the meaning of preparation and describe various preparation techniques

  • evaluate the knowledge and preparation necessary for different assignments

  • identify their own strengths and areas for improvement (self-assessment)

  • analyse an interpreting assignment in detail

  • prepare effectively and appropriately for an assignment

  • generate working glossaries of terms and concepts for interpreting assignments

  • analyse interpretation and identify possible underlying causes for success/breakdowns in interpretation

  • assess and reflect on their own interpreting skills

  • select the appropriate interpreting mode in specific contexts, taking into account the function and the context of the event

TOPIC 4.4 Preparation & evaluation

LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • describe basic information on trauma and other psychological phenomena affecting interaction

  • explain the importance of flexible cooperation, patience and trust in customer relations

  • identify a range of possible consumers and their demands related to interpreting

  • compare the communication of different consumers, e.g. deafblind, migrants, people with minimal language skills

  • find and describe different tools for adjusting own language and communication

  • adapt their own language to the consumer’s language and needs (e.g. visual motivation, depiction, gesture, creative solutions)

  • analyse and solve challenges related to power relations, language & social status

  • critically evaluate their own language and cultural competencies and contrast it to the consumer's language, communication and cognitive skills, and cultural background

TOPIC 4.5 Consumer assessment

LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • conduct multi-professional collaboration with consumers, Deaf/hearing interpreters, consumer associations and other professionals in an ethically sustainable way

  • analyse professional demands and characteristics of interpreting for different consumer groups in different situations (e.g. institutional interaction and everyday conversation)

  • analyse, plan and describe interpreting arrangements for different operational environments

  • adapt ethical thinking into problem solving and decision making

  • prepare and work effectively as an interpreter in a variety of settings

  • use preparation, feedback and self-assessment to develop one’s own performance as an interpreter

  • work flexibly across a range of registers, genres and variations of working languages

  • efficiently manage and correct communication in interpreting settings using a range of interpreting techniques

  • compose target language interpretations that are culturally & linguistically appropriate.

TOPIC 4.6 Interpreting skills in specific settings

LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

Overview: The study domain Professional expertise should be at the end of the studies, and it can consist of a longer period of internship with independent work guided by lecturers and/or mentors. Deaf Interpreters are needed in a variety of domains, e.g. conference interpreting, community interpreting for Deafblind people and consumers with minimal language skills, text-to-sign interpreting and translation. Depending on the length of education, needs of the society, prior knowledge and goals of a student, it would be possible to achieve a “novice level of expertise” in one, two or even three of these domains.

 

Working languages and/or communication methods can be individually defined with the students, but they also need to further develop their communication skills related to the chosen option. Learning demands not only familiarising oneself with related research but also practising interpreting or translating in authentic settings. There are some general learning outcomes that can be applied to all domains. To have an idea of additional learning outcomes of a certain domain, see below an example of Community interpreting for Deafblind people.

DOMAIN 5

PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE

 

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • work as an interpreter/translator with a “research and developmental -minded” approach

  • analyse the impacts of interpreter’s/translator’s decisions from an ethical point of view

  • apply appropriate interpreting and translating strategies when dealing with incongruence between language pairs

  • interpret/translate adequately and also analyse their own action in different situations

  • communicate as an expert in their own professional field

  • define the scope of practice of the interpreter/translator and identify the issues (different settings, consumers, etc.) that have an impact on it

  • accumulate and share expertise (shared expertise)

  • demonstrate critical and professional reflection skills

  • solve problems related to interpreting/translating assignments in an ethically sustainable way

  • effectively work in a team of professionals with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds

  • recognise the presence of different power statuses in interpreting and support and respect the consumer’s right of self-determination.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE:

(GENERAL) LEARNING OUTCOMES

 

On successful completion of the studies, graduates should be able to

  • provide safe guidance in a range of environments

  • use a range of methods and embodied messages (non-verbal communication methods) when guiding

  • provide description of physical (e.g. place, landmarks) and social environments (e.g. gestures, reactions) and changes in them

  • describe multimodal and multisensory description methods

  • identify the principles and possibilities of social haptic communication in interpreting

  • use social haptic communication methods effectively

  • name causes of deafblindness and analyse their effects on communication and interpreting

  • identify the role of the consumer’s functional vision and its effect on the situation  

  • produce tactile signing in interaction situations  

  • produce tactile interpreting

  • demonstrate knowledge of the principles of signing to a person with a restricted field of vision  

  • interpret for consumers with a restricted field of vision  

  • identify individual needs of Deafblind people and offer different alternatives while interpreting.

AN EXAMPLE OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE:

COMMUNITY INTERPRETING FOR DEAFBLIND PEOPLE

ADDITIONAL LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

 

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