Working with these Texts

Suggestions for Working with These Texts

1. Watch texts for language use and comprehension.

In the monologues and dialogues, Ketsi and Joshua talk about many varied topics. Particularly, in the dialogues, it can be a challenge to understand some of what is being said. Use the 3/4 speed video to allow you to see more–and use the outlines for texts to help you in your analysis and comprehension.

2. Watch texts for discourse features.

Because the dialogues include interaction between signers, you can watch the texts for what features you see both with the person who is actively signing, and the person who is giving feedback. Notice how the signers sometimes overlap in what they say. Think about the challenges for interpreting interaction, and how some of these features might be included in interpretations of two hearing people in conversation.

3. Practice interpretations and analyze them for equivalence.

  1. Select a source text—initially one of the monologues (Because of the interactive nature of the dialogues, doing this process with those texts may be more challenging.)
  2. Create and videotape (or audiotape) an interpretation/translation of the text. (This process can happen consecutively, simultaneously, or a as a process of translation, depending on your skill level and area of focus. For a more detailed explanation of this type of “Scaffolded Approach,” download the free study packet for the Life in Parallel CD at
  3. View/listen to your interpretation. (Be sure that you cannot see the source text.)
  4. Create an outline/map of your interpretation. (See sample next page for outlining techniques.)
  5. If necessary, watch interpretation again to complete outline or map.
  6. View/listen to source text.
  7. Create outline/map of that text. (Don?t begin outlining until the entire text is complete.)
  8. If necessary, watch video again to complete outline or map. (At this point, use the outline of the text from CD for support if necessary.)
  9. Write outlines/draw maps side by side to facilitate analysis.
  10. Do analysis of equivalence of interpretation with source text. Begin with these questions in mind:

    a. Is the meaning of the target language the same as that of the source language?
    b. Is the message clearly understood by the audience for whom the message was intended?
    c. Is the form natural?(In assessing, it is important to look for patterns rather than one-time occurrences.)

The outline below is by no means the only way that text could be outlined or mapped. However, it does represent a way in which the main points and supporting details can be organized to show their relationship. The main points begin further to the left on the outline and the details are nested to the right underneath the points which they support. This is an attempt to focus more on the content of the text than on its form. That is, it focuses on meaning, rather than on what individual signs were used. With an outline of an interpretation done in a similar manner, then they can be compared and contrasted to see how equivalent the interpretation really is. In doing these outlines, you can also make notes and comments about the text or interpretation. In some of the outlines, I wasn?t able to tell what was being said. You will see editor?s notes which reflect my lack of clarity. Similarly, you can make notes in outlines for interpretations if there are sections that are unclear.These directions were developed for an Indepdent Study Packet in connection with the CD “Life in Parallel.”

A Sample Outline for Saying the Pledge

  • Back in 5th Grade
    • Start school
    • 8:00 am
    • Bell rings
  • Students pile into classroom
    • Take off their Jackets
  • Beginning Routine
    • Everyday
  • Lineup with Boy leading
    • By the flag
    • Singing
      • Cover my heart
    • I didn’t know what was sung
      • I wondered what it was about
    • Interpreter arrived after that
  • Time went along
    • Got used to routine
  • One Day
    • I was picked
    • Leader with flag
    • All the kids covered their hearts
      • I didn?t know what to do
    • Interpreter showed up
      • I copied from her
      • Wanted to memorize it
        • Kept learning it until I did
    • Next time call on me
      • I was ready to sign it
      • Something I still remember

For more direction, and updated suppport on this prcoess, see for more information. The process itself draws heavily on ideas and work described in two articles:

Ross, L. and Criner, S., “Equivalence Assessments: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice,” in Swabey, ed. (2002) New Designs in Interpreter Education. Conference of Interpreter Trainers.

Winston, E.A. and Monikowski, C., “Discourse Mapping: Developing Textual Coherence Skills,” in Interpreters,” in Roy, ed. (2000) Innovative Practices for Teaching Sign Language Interpreters. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Posted in: She Said ~ He Said