Advanced American Sign Language for Interpreters

Applied Community Studies
Child, Family & Community Studies
Course Code
INTR 3161
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This advanced ASL course for students in the second year of the interpreting program supports their preparedness for their final term of practicum placements. Students will expand their ASL vocabulary and hone their proficiency in applying ASL’s visual-spatial techniques to make clear visual sense. Emphasis will be on developing versatility and range in order to participate in contextualized discourse that respects the needs and goals of specific ASL users in specific situations, considering parameters of setting, topic, register, user demographics, etc.
Course Content

Course content will be guided by research, empirical knowledge, professional standards and best practice.

Enhancing effective use of space: 

  • Setting up referents with clarity and consistency
  • Expanding use of bigger signing space in all 3 dimensions
  • Fully employing directionality of verbs and movements
  • Versatility in using all types of classifiers 
  • Constructed dialogue and constructed action
  • Visual Vernacular and cinematic narrative techniques
  • Spatial depiction of timelines and other abstract concepts

Enhancing expressive use of the face: 

  • Appropriate syntactical and sentence type markers (e.g. with eyebrow movements)
  • Versatile range of adverbial functions (e.g. with mouth morphemes)
  • Emotional affective components
  • Depictions of characterization and personification
  • Appropriate shifts in eye gaze location, direction and movement

Dialogue skills:

  • Understanding and using reciprocal signals in conversation
  • Using closure and context to aid comprehension
  • Discerning when and what type of clarification is needed
  • Appropriate interruption and turn-taking techniques
  • Recognizing and adapting to differences/similarities between self and others that impact co-construction of meaning 

Expanding ASL vocabulary on specific topics:

  • Health – individual/family/society, physical/mental/emotional health
  • Education – typical academic subject areas in the arts and sciences
  • Finances – continuing to increase versatility in ASL number depictions
  • Systems – talking about abstract structures of organizations, workplaces, agendas 
  • Government – levels, departments, functions, processes

Increasing adaptability to diverse ASL users:

  • Language use across the ASL-Contact-English continuum
  • Variations due to age and language development
  • Variations due to intersectional identities, cultural backgrounds
  • Variations due to specific settings and situational goals
Methods Of Instruction

Methods of instruction will include some or all of the following:

  • lectures
  • language lab
  • demonstration/modelling
  • dialogue and small group conversational practice
  • course readings/videos
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to the Douglas College Evaluation Policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation may include a combination of:

•           Quizzes to evaluate receptive ASL skills

•           Demonstration of expressive ASL skills

•           Assigned dialogues and interaction

•           Attendance and participation

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate fluent, advanced ASL narration skills to:
    • make full, clear use of face and space
    • use a variety of contextualization and storytelling techniques
    • construct cohesive narrative discourse with appropriate discourse markers
    • produce discourse with comfortable prosody and flow
    • use a rich, diverse, setting-specific ASL vocabulary, including classifiers
  • Demonstrate fluent, advanced ASL dialogue skills to:
    • use and respond to reciprocal signals in conversation
    • use appropriate interruption and turn-taking techniques
    • adjust to particular characteristics of ASL user, topic, setting, situation
  • Analyze and critique recordings of one’s own ASL usage
  • Use ASL to engage in advanced analysis and feedback with instructor and peers
  • Identify one’s own focus areas for ongoing development and practice
  • Show versatility in adapting ASL usage to a variety of signed language users’ preferences and needs
Textbook Materials

The instructor may select from current curriculum materials and online videos/resources, adapting them for advanced ASL learners.




No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Winter 2022

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.