Investigations in the Interpretation of STEM Discourse

ID: 3533
Status: Completed
Start date: November 2017
End Date: May 2018


Currently, a dearth of resources exists for ASL-English interpreters to learn scientific language in either ASL or English. Compounding the issue is a simple lack of understanding of how interpreters ought to approach this time of assignment to maximize the effectiveness of preparation. As a result, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) professionals and students face significant barriers, necessitating research of potential ways for interpreters to improve the accessibility of STEM discourse. In this study, three ASL-English interpreters will be recorded producing simultaneous interpretations into ASL of 10-15 minute lectures on various scientific topics. In advance of rendering the lectures into ASL, the interpreters will be given two types of preparatory materials: 1) textual and 2) visual. Their interpretations will be shown to six Deaf college students whose comprehension will be evaluated after each viewing. My hypothesis is that visual preparation materials will lead to the inclusion of more depictive elements in the target text, increasing the target audience comprehension. The results may impact how ASL-English interpreters prepare to work in STEM discourse settings specifically in terms of the strategies they employ to convey STEM concepts.

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