Images of Red and white target with arrow in it and map of Australia and New Zealand with words" Moving toward best practice in an interpreted classroom"

25 January 2017
Victorian Deaf Education Institute
Melbourne, Australia

Doug Bowen-Bailey is an interpreter practitioner and educator hailing from Duluth, Minnesota.

Doug will draw on his extensive knowledge and experience in interpreting, interpreting education and interpreting research, to deliver a full day of informative sessions aimed at practitioners working in the field of education.

A multitude of demands are presented in this specialised area. Doug will address many of these by introducing materials and ideas he has developed that are interactive in nature, require reflective thinking and deliberate practice. His use of current research and experiential learning approaches will motivate and challenge interpreters, giving each participant the tools and strategies to enable them to reach the next level of competence.

Learning objectives

The seminar will help participants:
•    Enhance their understanding of the importance of visual information.
•    Learn strategies to implement these theories across the school curriculum.
•    Use information gathered to enhance the quality of support provided to Deaf/HH students across all year levels.
•    Develop strategies to reflect on and improve professional competence
•    Clarify professional values that underlie work in the classroom.
•    Identify professional development resources for on-going practice.

Workshop Presentation & Handout

Click the buttons below to download resources for the presentation or to participate in Online Discussion.  (Directions below for how to sing up for Online Discussion Forum.)

View Presentation Slides Download Handout Online Discussion

Remote Participants

Online Discussion

I created an online discussion forum for you to be able to take part in a chat during regular discussion and a Forum during Group activities (so that you can work in smaller groups.)  To access that forum here’s what you need to do:

  1. Copy this Enrolment Key:  VDEI-2017
  2. Go to the Module for Discussion:  (This link will open in a new tab.)
  3. Create a New Account.  (The system will have you verify that you are human by checking your e-mail and clicking a link.)
  4. To access the course, you will need to enter the enrolment key (VDEI-2017) when prompted.
  5. If you have any issues, please send a text message to:  407568869  (We will do our best to resolve them as quickly as possible.)

Following the Presentation

If you are viewing live stream, you might want to have the stream of the discussion in one window and be able to view the presentation in another.  The slides will show in the LiveStream – but it will be more clear with the text if you are able to view it on your own computer directly.  I will give you cues as to what slide I am on so you can follow along.

Workshop Resources

Workshop Resources

Each of the titles in the list below is a link.  When you click on the title, it will reveal a series of resources contained in that category.

Moving toward Best Practice

BICS & CALP/Academic ASL

Why Academic ASL Matters to Sign Language Interpreters

This is a presentation by Dr. Ben Bahan at StreetLeverage in Fremont, California in 2016.    The video of the presentation is presented as well as an English translation.  Though it takes more time to watch the ASL, I would recommend it is worth it to see such an excellent example of Academic ASL.

Dr. Bahan refers to the work of James Gee who is a social linguist and literary theorist who focuses on “Discourse” – differentiating between the primary Discourse a person learns in their family of origin and the “secondary Discourse” they learn in other settings.  (Which connects to the idea of BICS/CALP described below.  Read more about Gee’s work in his article “What is Literacy?”

Importance of Early Exposure to ASL

Henner et. al.  American Sign Language Syntax and Analogical Reasoning Skills Are Influenced by Early Acquisition and Age of Entry to Signing Schools for the Deaf.  Front. Psychol., 26 December 2016 | 

This article shares research about the impact of the age of acquisition of ASL for students.   Importantly, it points out that early exposure to ASL is a benefit for both signing skills, but also cognitive development – which supports the acqusition of speech skills as well.


More information about Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills & Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency

Learning English as a Second Language



Common Path for Deaf students
The bottom graphic demonstrates what is often attempted for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students – which in part explains such poor results.

Academic ASL

A Video presentation of Dr. Raychelle Harris on Academic Discourse in English and ASL (Provided in ASL with English captioning)
The kick off lecture for the ASL in Academics Lecture Series

Use of Academic ASL in a High School Math Class

See the Mirrored Math resource.

Answers to Math Questions from Veditz

John Brooks, a Deaf math teacher from San Diego, explains how to do a number of different problems and processes in ASL.

Posted in: "Interpreting Literature" Resources, "Putting FS on the Map" Resources, "TIPS-Light" Resources, In Service to Literacy, Mentoring Resources, Moving toward Best Practice, Sense of Place, Swiss Army Knife Tools

Educational Interpreting

Resources Related to Educational Interpreting

The National Association of Interpreters in Education

National Association of Interpreters in Education logo
The National Association of Interpreters in Education (NAIE) is a professional organization for interpreters in educational settings established in 2016.

More than Meets the EyeMore than Meets the Eye: Revealing the Complexities of an Interpreted Education

by Melissa B. Smith

View the Ph.D. Dissertation this book is based on here.

Dr. Smith did a lecture at Gallaudet University on this topic.

You can see all of the presentations archived by Gallaudet University Regional Interpreter Education Center here.

Understanding the Impact of Interpretability in Mainstream Classrooms

This chapter by Betsy Winston lays out the limitations for rigid understandings of interpreting in classroom settings.

Winston, B. 2004.  “Interpretability and Accessibility of Mainstream Classrooms,” In Educational Interpreting:  How it Can Succeed.  Gallaudet University Press.  See the article.

Articles about Educational Interpreting

New Paradigms in the Interpreted Classroom:  An article written by Doug Bowen-Bailey for the RID Views -(in press August 2014)

Ethical Choices: Educational Sign Language Interpreters as Change Agents

Perspectives from Gina Oliva

Dr. Oliva is the author of “Alone in the Mainstream” sharing her experience as an “only” going through mainstreamed settings – as well as some of her research about other deaf people who went through the mainstream in a similar way.

  • Sign Language Interpreters in Mainstream Classrooms: Heartbroken and Gagged
    An article  on Street Leverage.  Check it out.
  • K-12 Interpreters:  A Call to Arms for Sign Language Interpreter Programs
    An article on StreetLeverage.  Check it out.

Determining a Student’s Readiness to Successfully Use Interpreting Services

This is an article from Cindy Huff, a teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, about a framework for assessing if students are at a developmental level appropriate for benefiting from an interpreted education.

View the article

Language Acquisition

The link below has a presentation in ASL about the Common Errors of Young Children Acquiring Sign Language, helpful information in seeing what is normal language development.

Common Errors by Young Children Acquiring a Sign Language

Providing Access: New Roles for Educational Interpreters

By Bernhardt E. Jones, Ed.D., C.S.C.

Originally published in the RID VIEWS

Conflicts can, and do, occur when it is unclear as to the interpreter’s role at any given time. This function changes during the day, especially in the lower grades. I am suggesting (as has Winston) that the title, “educational interpreter” is too narrow, and, in fact, this position is a multi-faceted responsibility. If this is true, how do we separate the roles? How do we define what it is that we do and when?

A year ago Winston (Views) did a fine job in delineating educational interpreting responsibilities into three roles: interpreting, tutoring and aiding. Since then, Winston has discussed the notion that consulting is also a role that educational interpreters play. Consulting may be a new area that you had not considered before. But, think about all the times you have given your input in the school situation. How many times have you talked to parents? How many times have you explained “deafness” to others in the school? to students? to administrators? to regular education teachers? You may find that this list is long. Go to the dictionary or, better, go to the Web and search the word, “consulting” or “consultant” and see what you find. Do you fit into this definition during part of the time you are working in the school setting?

The public school educational interpreter is viewed quite often as a paraprofessional and, in fact, is categorized that way in many states. However, we can make the case that, although the interpreter does perform many of the duties of the paraprofessional, she/he also performs a duty that is quite different and requires separate and distinct knowledge and skills: interpreting itself. Are we not, then, more than an educational interpreter? Might we be, to use a term that Winston has expressed, an “Accessibility Specialist?” I don’t want to confuse the issue with additional terms for us, but think about the variety of tasks you perform. Perhaps we are not “just the interpreter,”but we are more than the interpreter.

Take a look at your day (or week or month, if you would like). Make a list of all the duties you perform. Try to think of everything that happens in your job. What do you do? How long do you do it? Make the list as long and comprehensive as you can. You should have a collection of everything you do. You may be surprised to see that you do quite a bit for the school and the students (both deaf/hard of hearing and hearing).

The Windmill Model


Note: The graphic has been updated since the article was written so it does not perfectly correspond to the article.

The next step is to draw your own windmill and categorize the duties/tasks that you have listed. Interpreting will include anything you do in the role of an interpreter. Tutoring will include all the tasks you do within that context. Aiding is a large and varied area or responsibility. Think of all the things you do in an aiding capacity. As discussed above, consulting is also an important role of the educational interpreter.

Isn’t this appropriate? A windmill spins in the wind and must be flexible (accommodating) in order to operate effectively and efficiently. If one of the blades is broken or damaged, the windmill will not operate properly. Are we like that?

I suggest that we are. With this model we can delineate our roles. When we are able to do that, we can better understand why dilemmas cause conflict. Conflict arises when we are not sure on which blade to categorize our dilemma. We are better able to handle conflict if we know the rules by which to address the conflict. When conflict arises, we know where it fits and, therefore, we know how to respond (how to “spin” our windmill). [I guess it depends upon who is blowing on our windmill.] The blades of the windmill can be viewed as contexts. When we know the contexts, we know the rules. This is where the Code of Ethics has caused us concerns. When applied to the interpreting blade (role, context) of the model, it is easy to understand the importance of the Code and to adhere to its principles. When we apply those same criteria to the other blades (roles), it becomes cloudy and appears to conflict with the role. The problem is compounded if other professionals do not know our contexts and/or confuse our contexts (roles, blades). We then can apply the “educating others about our role(s)” principle of the Code by explaining our contexts and the roles to others on the educational team. The other members of the educational team will not realize this by themselves. We have a professional obligation to educate our fellow professionals. By doing so, we will be viewed as professionals.

This is only the beginning. When we understand which role we are working within, we can start addressing bigger questions in our field. These questions might involve questions of interpretability in the classroom, accessibility to content, an interpreted education. These questions impact our windmill and, therefore services to students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Information about the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment

This site provides information both about the test and about the expectations for interpreters  working in educational settings.

Guides for Classroom Interpreting for Parents, Professionals, and Students

Dr. Brenda Schick, the co-creator of the EIPA, along with Boys Town, created a series of guides for the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center.

Training in Interpreting Public Schools (TIPS)

TASK12:  This is the organization that led to the development of the Training in Public Schools (TIPS) module. The project serves 14 states and provides both training and assessment with the EIPA.

Post-Secondary  & Transition Resources:

The Minnesota Transition Guide for Teachers of Deaf/Hard of Hearing was created as a pilot project for the school year 2012 – 2013. It is meant to give guidance in the area of transition for Deaf or Hard of Hearing students.  View Transition Guide.

PEPnet:  An organization focused assisting Deaf and hard of hearing students in their transition to post-secondary education.   They have a module, Map It!, that is designed as a support for students in the transition stages.

Article from 2003 RID Views


Posted in: "Exploring Emerging Paradigms" Resources, "Finding Your Place" Resources, "Part of the Team" Resources, "TIPS-Light" Resources, "Turning on the Light" Resources, Case Conferencing Resources, Emerging Paradigm Resources, In Service to Literacy, Mentoring Resources, Moving toward Best Practice, Sense of Place, Swiss Army Knife Tools

Deaf People’s Experiences in Education

Deaf People’s Experiences in Education

Critical in the consideration of interpreters in education is the impact it has on D/deaf and hard of hearing students.  This section is not meant as an all-inclusive resource, but hopefully will be a growing list of resources.

Book cover of Gina Oliva:  Alone in the Mainstream

From the Gallaudet University Press website:

When Gina Oliva first went to school in 1955, she didn’t know that she was “different.” If the kindergarten teacher played a tune on the piano to signal the next exercise, Oliva didn’t react because she couldn’t hear the music. So began her journey as a “solitary,” her term for being the only deaf child in the entire school. Gina felt alone because she couldn’t communicate easily with her classmates, but also because none of them had a hearing loss like hers. It wasn’t until years later at Gallaudet University that she discovered that she wasn’t alone and that her experience was common among mainstreamed deaf students. Alone in the Mainstream recounts Oliva’s story, as well as those of many other solitaries.

In writing this important book, Oliva combined her personal experiences with responses from the Solitary Mainstream Project, a survey that she conducted of deaf and hard of hearing adults who attended public school. Oliva matched her findings with current research on deaf students in public schools and confirmed that hearing teachers are ill-prepared to teach deaf pupils, they don’t know much about hearing loss, and they frequently underestimate deaf children. The collected memories in Alone in the Mainstream add emotional weight to the conviction that students need to be able to communicate freely, and they also need peers to know they are not alone.

Gina A. Oliva is a former professor in the Department of Physical Education and Recreation at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

Positioned as Bystanders:  Deaf Students’ Experiences and Perceptions of Informal Learning Phenomena

by Dr. Melinda “Mindy” Hopper

This is a dissertation produced from a study that looks at the experiences of two Deaf middle school students and how they had access (or didn’t) to incidental learning and other social encounters.  Very worth the read.

Download the PDF



Posted in: "Exploring Emerging Paradigms" Resources, "TIPS-Light" Resources, Moving toward Best Practice, Sense of Place, Swiss Army Knife Tools

Building Narrative Skills

Here is a series of videos for working on depiction and ASL Narrative skills.

The Roadrunner Wins Again

This clip from Ella Mae Lentz is from Sign Media, Inc. “Tales from the Green Book“.

Posted in: "TIPS-Light" Resources, Moving toward Best Practice, Sense of Place, Swiss Army Knife Tools

Interpreting Literature

Hop on Pop: English version

Hop on Pop: ASL phonemes

The Story of Ferdinand: ASL sample  (From ASL Inside)

To Kill a Mockingbird AudioBook sample

Posted in: "Interpreting Literature" Resources, "TIPS-Light" Resources, Mentoring Resources, Moving toward Best Practice, Sense of Place, Swiss Army Knife Tools

Fingerspelling Resources

On Fingerspelling Tests

Recognizing that the most dynamically equivalent way to represent spoken English in sign language is through rapid fingerspelling, Kevin Williams articulates why this approach is an effective option.  That just as hearing students get phonemic clues that they need to put together to actually spell the word, deaf students can get phonemic clues from rapidly fingerspelled words but need to be able to translate those fingerpselled letters into a written word.


Posted in: "Interpreting Literature" Resources, "TIPS-Light" Resources, Mentoring Resources, Moving toward Best Practice, Sense of Place, Swiss Army Knife Tools

Discourse Mapping Resources

Resources for Discourse Mapping

Discourse mapping is a term used for both the process of analyzing texts in interpreter education and skill development and the features of an interpretation that use linguistic features to create a connected and cohesive product.  These resources are related to both doing the analysis and being able to create more effective discourse mapping in your work.

Analyzing Discourse:  An independent study packet for working with Life in Parallel

This is a packet that takes you through a step by step process for doing discourse analysis.

Navigating Discourse Genres:  Canoeing in the BWCA

This video series features a Deaf woman and a hearing man talking about their experiences canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  There are 6 parallel talks in this topic in the following genres:  narrative, procedural, explanatory, hortatory, and argumentative.

Depiction, Blending, and Constructed Action

Miako Rankin, from Gallaudet University, did a workshop on Depiction that provides a good framework on how space is used, how classifiers are incorporated into that, and how depiction of action and conversation is an important framework for helping to understanding the mapping of space and discourse.

Videos for Discourse Mapping

A Source Text for Discourse Mapping Practice

Source Text with Processing Time

Translations without Mapping

To the best of our ability

With Mapping

Slavery and American Revolution

Source Text

No Mapping

With Mapping


The original lecture

With Commentary on Fingerspelling & Discourse Mapping features

A High School Anatomy Lecture

Posted in: "Cartography for Interpreters" Resources, "TIPS-Light" Resources, Discourse Mapping, In Service to Literacy, Mentoring Resources, Moving toward Best Practice, Putting Theory into Practice, Sense of Place, Swiss Army Knife Tools

Demand-Control Schema


The work by Robyn Dean and Robert Pollard has facilitated a fundamental shift in the interpreting profession from a deontological sense of ethics to a more teleological one. If you are curious about what that means, check out their web site at: Demand-Control Schema

From their web site, you can contact Robyn Dean for the latest information.  It is important to recognize that understandings of the Demand-Control Schema is not static.  Dean & Pollard are continuing to refine the application of DC-S so be sure to look for the most up-to-date publications and materials.

The latest article from Dean and Pollard which contains the most updated formulation of the Demand-Control Schema in an article format.

Dean & Pollard, 2012.  Context-based Ethical Reasoning in Interpreting:  A Demand Control Schema Perspective.  The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 5(1) 2011, 155-82.

You can access more of Dean’s publications here.

Webinars & Videos

MARIE Center Webinars

Robyn Dean did a series of webinars in 2014 for the MARIE Center as part of the NCIEC.  These are presented in spoken English with captioning and ASL interpretation.

Videos as Part of NCIEC Mentoring Toolkit

Robyn Dean and Bob Pollard created a series of ASL videos explaining the Demand-Control Schema.  (These are created in ASL without any English translation.)  See those videos under the heading “Robyn Dean.”

Additional Resources

Facebook: get updated information here.

Observation-Supervision: Here’s a blog post from Robyn Dean about the important of developing these groups for observation-supervision.

Text Book:  In 2013, Robyn Dean and Robert Pollard published a textbook on Demand-Control Schema. You can order a copy here.

A Resource on Tacit Schemas for Ethical Decision-Making

Rest, J.R., Navarez, D., Bebeau, M., and Thoma, S.J. (1999).  Postconventional moral thinking:  A neo-Kohlbergian approach.  Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Posted in: "Anatomy of Healthcare Interpreter" Resources, "Anatomy of Medical Interpreter" Resources, "Exploring Emerging Paradigms" Resources, "Finding Your Place" Resources, "Part of the Team" Resources, "TIPS-Light" Resources, "Turning on the Light" Resources, Case Conferencing Resources, Emerging Paradigm Resources, In Service to Literacy, Mentoring Resources, Moving toward Best Practice, Putting Theory into Practice, Sense of Place, Swiss Army Knife Tools, Wisconsin Ed Summit, Workshop Resources


The most complete treatment by Robert Lee and Peter Llwellyn-Jones is in their book:

Re-Defining the Role of the Community Interpreter: The concept of role-space.  2014.  Lincoln, UK:  SLI Press.  View on Amazon.



Posted in: "Exploring Emerging Paradigms" Resources, "Finding Your Place" Resources, "Part of the Team" Resources, "TIPS-Light" Resources, "Turning on the Light" Resources, Case Conferencing Resources, Emerging Paradigm Resources, Mentoring Resources, Moving toward Best Practice, Putting Theory into Practice, Sense of Place, Swiss Army Knife Tools, Wisconsin Ed Summit, Workshop Resources

Auslan-Specific Resources
Resources related specifically to Auslan and interpreting in Australia will be posted in this section.  There are more resources under development.

Auslan Resources

Auslan Videos with English translations

AUSLAN Resources with English Translations

This page contains both some suggestions for how to work with AUSLAN videos with English translations – as well a list of texts that can be used in this way. Scroll down for links to videos.

Possible Activities:

Working from AUSLAN to English:

  1. Interpret the video with sound off and blocking captions.  It is most helpful if you can record your interpretation to review and reflect on – as well as to compare to the original translation in the next step.To block the captions, simply fold up a sheet of paper and lean it against your computer monitor. Here’s an example:
    Original Video
    Woman in dark sheet or video screen signing with blue box and captions below her
    After Covering Captions
    Woman on screen signing with lower 1/4 of screen covered by paper - hiding the captions
  2. Listen to the original translation or read the captioned English version.  Compare this source to your interpretation in step 1.  Note the areas that you were on target as well as the places where your interpretation diverged.  What was happening in the video at those points?  Does that fit with any patterns that you see in your work?
  3. Re-Interpret the video with the sound off and captions blocked.  Try to incorporate what you learned from Step 2 in your new interpretation. (This is not cheating.  This is an opportunity to practice fluency in our work.)

Working from English to  AUSLAN:

  1. Interpret from English to AUSLAN:  Listen to the English translation of the video, but don’t watch the AUSLAN version.  Interpret this into AUSLAN.  Again, it is best to record yourself to assist in analysis and reflection.
  2. Watch the original AUSLAN version.  Compare this source to your interpretation in step 1.  Note the areas that you were on target as well as the places where your interpretation diverged.  What was happening in the video at those points?  Does that fit with any patterns that you see in your work?
  3. Re-Interpret again using the English translation as source.  Try to incorporate what you learned from Step 2 in your new interpretation. (This is not cheating.  This is an opportunity to practice fluency in our work.)

The links below have a variety of topics explained in Auslan, with captioning and English translations. Videos formatted in this way are excellent opportunities to practice interpreting in a variety of ways.

These videos were created to be a part of workshops delivered by Doug in Australia

Source without Captions

Original Video (with English captions)

A Visit to Gallaudet

Thanks to Sherrie Beaver for her willingness to share this video.  You can see more from Sherrie on her Facebook page, I Sign I Wander.

Visit to Gallaudet – English Translation

This translation was created by Jen Blyth. It is not designed to be the exemplary way to translate the source text, but one approach to be used as a resource for considering how you can create a more effective interpretation than your first attempt.

I am at Gallaudet University, wow, it is beautiful. Me and my friend Pip have had a tour of this university, and it is really beautiful. There is so much history here. Gallaudet is now 152 years old, so much history. I had a look at the buildings and met Gallaudet’s President, Bobbi, I forgot her last name. It was nice to meet her finally, she was a nice woman, we met coincidentally. We also saw the Deaf Space, wow, such an amazing concept. So much history, so many stories. We met an old man who told us about his experience at Gallaudet twenty or forty years ago. While on our tour we saw so many Deaf people around, socialising and talking. This is truly a Deaf space – a ‘Deaf Mecca’, truly wonderful. I always envisioned studying here one day, but I need money! Perhaps I should go to the bank or marry an American person! Look behind me…

A Visit to Gallaudet – Slow Motion

The video has been slowed down to provide a better opportunity for analysis and practice.  (It is 80% speed of original video.)

Resources from the Deaf Society New South Wales

These video resources were created to share information in the Deaf community. Because they are formatted with both AUSLAN and English versions, they allow for interpreter skill development similar to practiced in the workshops.

Posted in: Auslan Resources

Storytelling Resources: AUSLAN – English

Fairytales from Auslan Storybooks

Spoken English Versions

You can use these as a source text if you want to practice from English to AUSLAN – working to incorporate what you saw in the storytelling from Auslan Storybooks.


Posted in: Auslan Resources

Discourse Mapping – Auslan

This series of videos is designed to both learn about the features of discourse mapping and practice incorporating them in your work.

A Lesson on Weather and Climate in Australia

The video above was captioned for accessibility. The original video is at:

Lesson Plan for This Video

Objectives: Successful students will be able to:

  • Identify the difference between weather and climate
  • Compare and contrast Tropical and Temperate climate zones
  • Explain the difference between weather and climate at Uluru in central Australia.
    Image of Uluru, a large red rock formation rising out of a grassy, plainclose up of Uluru rock face with water streaming down the sides

Example Video without Discourse Mapping

This video was created with an attempt to not have discourse mapping feature – which is a significant challenge.

Example Video with Discourse Mapping

This video was created with a more complete range of discourse mapping features.

Year 11 Lecture on Anatomy of a Neuron

You can see a similar process in this post with a lecture on the anatomy of a Neuron.

Posted in: Auslan Resources

Body Language – Auslan

A man in black shirt signs about blood pressure in front of a teal backgroundBody Language – Auslan Style

With the assistance of James Blyth and ASLIA  Victoria, vicdeaf and Sign Language Video Productions, we have created a professional development module based on the CATIE Center at St. Catherine University’s successful series of Body Language modules.

The ASL Series has the following topics:

  • The Cardiovascular System
  • The Digestive System
  • The Respiratory System
  • The Muscular-Skeletal System
  • Dealing with Diabetes

The Auslan version provides a sample activity from each of these 5 modules.  Check it out here.  We hope that this will be the start of a series of professional development opportunities that can be offered in Australia.

View “Body Language: Auslan” modules

Posted in: Auslan Resources

Parallel Texts – Auslan & English

The following texts are modeled after a resource created by Amy Williamson.  She is a heritage signer, growing up with Deaf parents and natively speaking both ASL and English.  You can check out Life in Parallel here. In addition, there is a free downloadable study packet entitled Analyzing Discourse.  Though designed for an ASL – English resource, the same activities could easily be applied to Auslan-English work.

Australian Parallels

Gratitude to Julie Judd and Michelle Ashley for agreeing to create texts to model this process.

Introductions for Michelle

In this text, Michelle Ashley introduces herself in Auslan and shares some of her professional journey.

In this text, Michelle Ashley introduces herself in spoken English and shares some of her professional journey.

Introductions for Julie

In this text, Julie Judd introduces herself in spoken English and shares some of her professional journey.

In this text, Julie Judd introduces herself in Auslan and shares some of her professional journey.

Julie’s Favourite Thing

In this text, Julie explains in spoken English what her favourite pastime is.

In this text, Julie explains in Auslan what her favourite pastime is.

Michelle’s Favourite Thing

In this text, Michelle explains in spoken English what her favourite pastime is.

In this text, Michelle explains in Auslan what her favourite pastime is.

Posted in: Auslan Resources

Coyotes, Quidditch and Auslan

The following texts are designed to help incorporate narrative and depiction skills in Auslan.  Thanks to James Blyth for sharing his storytelling talents.

Suggested Process

Based on Vygotskyan principles, use three steps.

  1. Create an Auslan explanation of the video clip.  (Imagine that you are re-telling what you saw to a Deaf person.)  If possible, video your Auslan version.  Reflect on what parts went well and what sections were more challenging.  Use that reflection to focus your attention in the second step.
  2. Watch Auslan example of how to convey the video clip.  You may want to watch it more than once.  On the second time, try copy signing or signing along with the signer to be able to not just see what the signer is doing, but physically incorporate some of the new ideas.
  3. Re-tell the video’s narrative in Auslan.  Think about what you saw in Step 2.  Work on incorporating features that you thought were particularly effective.  Some might call this “stealing.”  In professional development, we call this “learning.”

Talking About Coyotes


Auslan Example


Auslan Example

Posted in: Auslan Resources

7th Year Lecture: How the Bear Got Its Tail

This original video comes from a project called “Goats, Trolls and Numbskulls: A Middle School Lecture on Folklore Genres.”  Thanks to James Blyth for sharing his talents in Auslan.


Source Lecture

Lise explains about this genre and tells the story of “How the Bear Got His Tail.”(3:46)

Auslan Interpretation

Posted in: Auslan Resources

11th Year Lecture: Anatomy of a Cell

This original video was created by a federal grant project. Thanks to James Blyth for sharing his talents in Auslan.


  • For maximum benefit, use Vygotskyan framework of three step process:
    • Work with object
    • Work with Resource
    • Work with Self
  • Also take time to preview lesson
    • Think about the significant features that can contribute to literacy
    • Identification of key vocabulary that should be fingerspelled
    • Consider what depiction strategies you might use

Preparation Material

line drawing of cell with dendrites, cell body, nucleus, mylin sheath, axon, and Axon terminals labeled. An arrow shows direction of impulse moves toward the Axon terminals


Key Vocabulary

In a high school anatomy class, this lesson is focusing on helping students to understand the basic anatomy of a cells and how impulses are relayed within that structure.  Included in the lesson are the key vocabulary of:

  • cell body
  • dendrites
  • axon


Source Lecture

This excerpt of the lecture is 1:46.

Auslan Rendition without Discourse Mapping

This version was created for the purpose of showing how a lack of discourse mapping features contributes to a less intelligible text.  Thanks for Karen Bontempo for doing the best job possible in removing those features.  (As I shared at the workshop in Perth, Karen’s example here is of what not to do – which a participant came up to me and shared how ironic that is because Karen’s work is often lifted up as the model to follow.  So grateful that she was also able to provide a model NOT to follow but to learn from in understanding the importance of discourse mapping features.)  You can see more on Discourse Mapping in Auslan here.

Auslan Interpretation

See an ASL Version of this activity.

Posted in: Auslan Resources

Healthcare Resources

Here are some resources specific to interpreting in healthcare for Auslan.

  • Video Resources from the NABS:  This page has a series of videos related to Anatomy and different body systems.  Some of the material is in both English and Auslan.

Posted in: Auslan Resources

Linguistics of Auslan

These three videos come from The Linguistics of Auslan page created by deaf CONNECTEd.

The videos use information drawn from the following text:

Johnston, T. & Schembri, A. (2007). Australian Sign Language: An introduction to sign language linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Posted in: Auslan Resources

 In Gratitude

Grey and green hands in interpreter sign with words "ASLIA Victoria - Australian Sign Language Interpreter Association"

Thanks to ASLIA-Victoria for their support and coordination in making this workshop vicdeaf-ausconn_2logos-01-pngpossible, as well as the vicdeaf and their SLVP team that assisted with filming and editing of new Auslan resources.

SLVP logo

Contact Digiterp About Workshop

6 + 9 =