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Building ASL Interpreting and Translation Skills: Narratives for Practice (with DVD), 1st edition

  • Nanci A. Scheetz

Published by Pearson (January 14th 2008) - Copyright © 2009

1st edition


Written in a workbook fashion and designed as a teaching / learning vehicle, Building ASL Interpreting and Translation Skills is for students taking courses in American Sign Language (levels I, II or III), as well as students enrolled in interpreting programs.  The written English narratives are designed for translation, interpreting and transliterating with over 80 examples on the companion DVD signed by both native Deaf individuals and nationally certified interpreters.


The book is divided into four parts.

Part I:

The first part of the text consists of 24 chapters that provide readers with an overview of a variety of ASL grammatical features.  Each chapter includes an example glossed into ASL to provide students with a model for translation, each of which are signed on the accompanying DVD, followed by narratives for student practice that gradually increase in length and difficulty.  Part II

The second part of the text consists of 20 chapters covering additional grammatical features.  The selections become increasingly longer in length.  Selections in the first several chapters of Part II are also signed by a Deaf individual on the companion DVD.  As the selections become longer, a nationally certified interpreter interprets selected narratives modeling the ASL principle described in the chapter. 

Part III:

The third part of the text is devoted to exercises that focus on building automaticity when confronting multiple meaning words, idioms, and college level vocabulary.  These selections are longer in length and are designed to provide interpreters with source material that covers a wide variety of topics.  

Part IV:

The fourth part of the text includes narratives, lectures, and passages from texts that might be read in a high school or college class.



  • Part I & Part II include information on ASL grammatical features and provides readers with examples of how to gloss the selections. These examples are also demonstrated on the accompanying DVD as a visual aid to help future interpreters.
  • Readers are taught how to work with multiple meaning words, idioms, and are provided with vocabulary building exercises
  • The workbook design allows students opportunity to compare what their written responses to the exercises with what they see on the accompanying DVD.
  • Enclosed DVD allows students to see some of the narratives signed and interpreted and provides students with visual examples and role models of what the ASL principles look in action.
  • Table of contents


    Transcription Symbols

    Part I:  Selections for Beginning ASL Students

    Chapter One:  Pronouns, Locations, and Use of Sign Space

    Chapter Two:  Directional Verbs
    Chapter Three:  Descriptive Adjectives 
    Chapter Four:  Noun/Verb Pairs 

    Chapter Five:  Topic/Comment  

    Chapter Six:  Negation, Negative Incorporation & Modals    

    Chapter Seven:  Classifiers:  Describing Location and Movement  

    Chapter Eight:  Establishing Tense in ASL   

    Chapter Nine:  Age, Time and Counting Numbers   

    Chapter Ten:  Additional Work with Classifiers   

    Chapter Eleven:  Expressing Negatives using None    

    Chapter Twelve:  Additional Work with Noun/Verb Pairs   

    Chapter Thirteen:  Conditionals  

    Chapter Fourteen:  Use of Finish as a Conjunction

    Chapter Fifteen:  Additional work with Verb Pairs   

    Chapter Sixteen:  Giving Directions in ASL 

    Chapter Seventeen:  Working With Time 

    Chapter Eighteen:  Quantifiers  
    Chapter Nineteen:  Repeatedly, Continually & Reduplication
    Chapter Twenty:  Changing Adjectives to Indicate Repetition
    Chapter Twenty-one:  Rhetorical Questions 
    Chapter Twenty-two:  Additional Ways to Form Negatives 

    Chapter Twenty-three: Additional Work Signing Topics 

    Chapter Twenty-four:  Classifiers that Show Movement and Distance  


    Part II:  Selections for Intermediate ASL Students


    Chapter One:  Additional Work with Topic/Comment  
    Chapter Two:  Using Reference Points to Mark Locations

    Chapter Three:  Using Semantic Classifiers to Mark Location & Movement 

    Chapter Four:  Time 

    Chapter Five:  Listing, Grouping, Prioritizing   

    Chapter Six:  Role Shifting    

    Chapter Seven:  Contrasting and Comparing   

    Chapter Eight:  Instrument Classifiers  

    Chapter Nine:  Characterization    

    Chapter Ten:  More Work with Conjunctions   

    Chapter Eleven:  Active/Passive Voice

    Chapter Twelve:  Sequencing  

    Chapter Thirteen:  Supplemental Selections 

    Chapter Fourteen:  Supplemental Selections 

    Chapter Fifteen:  Supplemental Selections 

    Chapter Sixteen:  Supplemental Selections 

    Chapter Seventeen:  Supplemental Selections 

    Chapter Eighteen:  Supplemental Selections 

    Chapter Nineteen:  Supplemental Selections 

    Chapter Twenty:  Supplemental Selections


      Part III:  Multiple Meaning Words, Idioms, and Vocabulary Building


    Chapter 1:  Run, Down, Call, Make, Look 

    Chapter 2:  Place, Up, Break, Fix, By

    Chapter 3:  Charge, Advance, Around, Back, Right

    Chapter 4:  See, Take, Time, About, Raise 

    Chapter 5:  Short, Bank, Fall, Get Out, Line

    Chapter 6:  Put, Pass, Shake, Pick, On

    Chapter 7:  After, Bare, Cool, Draw, Meet

    Chapter Eight:  Box, Blow, Eat, Ring, Jump 

    Chapter Nine:  Out, Use, Over, Kick, Mind 

    Chapter Ten:  Bone, Miss, Low, Cut, Point 

    Chapter Eleven:  Idioms 

    Chapter Twelve:  Additional Work with Idioms 

    Chapter Thirteen:  Additional Work with Idioms 

    Chapter Fourteen:  Additional Work with Idioms

    Chapter Fifteen:  Working with Idioms 

    Chapter Sixteen:  Vocabulary Building Exercises

    Chapter Seventeen:  Additional Vocabulary Building Activities

    Chapter Eighteen:  Additional Vocabulary Building Activities

    Chapter Nineteen:  Additional Vocabulary Building Activities

    Chapter Twenty:  Additional Vocabulary Building Activities


    Part IV:  Selections for  Interpreting and Transliterating


    Chapter 1

    Selection 1.1:  Reading Recovery

    Selection 1.2:  The Wedding

    Selection 1.3:  Baking Bread

    Selection 1.4:  Applying for a Job

    Selection 1.5:  Traveling to Europe


    Chapter 2

    Selection 2.1:  Award Winners

    Selection 2.2:  Getting Stuck in the Mud

    Selection 2.3:  Drive through Flu Shots

    Selection 2.4:  Displays at the Grocery Store

    Selection 2.5:  Dog Shows


    Chapter Three

    Selection 3.1:  Going Hunting in the Deer Stand

    Selection 3.2:  Ice Skaters at the World Games

    Selection 3.3:  Homes of the Rich and Famous

    Selection 3.4:  Waiting Tables can be Hard Work

    Selection 3.5:  Children’s Games


    Chapter Four

    Selection 4.1:  Slalom on the Ski Slopes

    Selection 4.2:  The Food Pyramid

    Selection 4.3:  Graduating From Gallaudet

    Selection 4.4:  Daisies, Brownies, and Girl Scouts

    Selection 4.5:  Tim’s Trip to the Kennel


    Chapter Five

    Selection 5.1:  Writing a Research Paper

    Selection 5.2:  Using Examples and Illustrations

    Selection 5.3:  Working with Students who Need Speech Therapy

    Selection 5.4:  Comparing and Contrasting

    Selection 5.5:  My First Grade Santa


    Chapter Six

    Selection 6.1:  Down Home Days

    Selection 6.2:  Spinal Injury

    Selection 6.3:  Using All My Smarts

    Selection 6.4:  Main Processes of the Memory System

    Selection 6.5:  My Dog


    Chapter Seven

    Selection 7.1: The Airport

    Selection 7.2:  The Circle

    Selection 7.3:  Classrooms Yesterday and Today

    Selection 7.4:  First Immigration Wave:  Mid-1800s to Early 1900s

    Selection 7.5:  The Smooth


    Chapter Eight

    Selection 8.1:  Terrain and Temperature

    Selection 8.2:  Music:  Originals and Remakes

    Selection 8.3:  Team Sports

    Selection 8.4:  Bailey, Hudson and Taz

    Selection 8.5:  Car Colors


    Chapter Nine

    Selection 9.1:  Coffee Pots versus Single-serving Coffee Containers

    Selection 9.2:  The Traffic Ticket

    Selection 9.3:  Video conferencing Technology

    Selection 9.4:  Candidates for Governor Spout Platforms

    Selection 9.5:  The Soup Bowls


    Chapter Ten

    Selection 10.1:  Banking Services

    Selection 10.2:  The Bridal Show

    Selection 10.3:  Interpreting Math Problems

    Selection 10.4:  What is expected of the Educational Interpreter in the Elementary Setting?

    Selection 10.5:  Literacy and the English Language Learner


    Chapter Eleven

    Selection 11.1:  Earl Warren

    Selection 11.2:  The Solar System

    Selection 11.3:  Time Zones

    Selection 11.4:  Flying Kites

    Selection 11.5:  Rescue from the Third Floor


    Chapter Twelve

    Selection 12.1:  Live versus Automated Phone Customer Service

    Selection 12.2:  Teaching Deaf Studies in Included Classrooms

    Selection 12.3:  Cruise Lines Keep Adding New Attractions

    Selection 12.4:  Teaching Tolerance to Young Children

    Selection 12.5:  Deaf, Deaf World


    Chapter Thirteen

    Selection 13.1:  The Blizzard

    Selection 13.2:  Trying out for the Dance Line

    Selection 13.3:  Bike Across America

    Selection 13.4:  Cat Lovers

    Selection 13.5:  The Hundredth Day of School


    Chapter Fourteen

    Selection 14.1:  A Walk in the Woods

    Selection 14.2:  Barbara the Pig

    Selection 14.3:  Violet’s Tanning Experience

    Selection 14.4:  The Pizza Party

    Selection 14.5:  The U Turn


    Chapter Fifteen

    Selection 15.1:  TTY’s

    Selection 15.2:  Working as a Parking Lot Attendant at Disney World

    Selection 15.3:  Getting Stuck in the Dressing Room

    Selection 15.4:  The Money Pit

    Selection 15.5:  Immersion Weekends for Interpreters


    Chapter Sixteen

    Selection 16.1:  Driving on the Ice

    Selection 16.2:  Instructors

    Selection 16.3:  The Cruise

    Selection 16.4:  Adult Day Care

    Selection 16.5:  Living with Deaf People


    Chapter Seventeen

    Selection 17.1:  Car Shows on MTV

    Selection 17.2:  Levels of Cognitive Functioning

    Selection 17.3:  Seasons of the Year

    Selection 17.4:  How to be a Good Manager

    Selection 17.5:  Local Fast Food Chain Pushes its New Image


    Chapter Eighteen

    Selection 18.1:  Travels by Renee

    Selection 18.2:  My Tropical Fish Hobby

    Selection 18.3:  Jimmy Carter

    Selection 18.4:  Sky Warn for Deaf

    Selection 18.5:  Jamaica


    Chapter Nineteen

    Selection 19.1:  Police Chaplain

    Selection 19.2:  Ham Radio

    Selection 19.3:  Conduct of Police Officers

    Selection 19.4:  Death Notification

    Selection 19.5:  A Story about My Dad


    Chapter Twenty

    Selection 20.1:  Let’s Talk about Wales

    Selection 20.2:  A Lecture regarding Psychosocial Aspects of Deafness

    Selection 20.3:  Feeding the Hungry across America

    Selection 20.4:  My Best Friend Emily

    Selection 20.5:  The Girls 

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