I am loving co-teaching this Intro to Interpreting class! As we enter the third week, things are getting more challenging and exciting.
I just started co-teaching an Introduction to Interpreting class at Phoenix College yesterday. It’s a hybrid course, so I’ll be doing both onsite teaching and online teaching. Luckily, I’ve had experience with both kinds of teaching, especially since doing my teaching practica in three different courses last spring at Western Oregon University (WOU), where I taught in the course management system (Moodle) and via videoconference (Skype and Google Hangout).
The next five weeks are a break before my last quarter of grad school, and I’m taking this time to write the first draft of my master’s thesis on vague language (VL). Sometimes I think I need to keep writing this blog so it doesn’t fade into obscurity, and other times I think I’d better let it wait and settle for the delayed gratification of publishing my thesis. I suppose balancing both wouldn’t hurt; in fact, blogging regularly might help writing my thesis regularly and vice versa.
In the course I’m co-teaching, we’re using the books Sign Language Interpreting: Exploring Its Art and Science (Stewart, Schein, & Cartwright, 1998) and So You Want to Be an Interpreter (Humphrey & Alcorn, 2007). In writing my thesis, I’m using the book Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success (Belcher, 2009) as a guide.
“Learning from colleagues via Daniel Greene’s workshop… all from the comfort of my home while my daughter naps. Amazing technology!” — online participant
Yesterday, I included online participants in one of my workshops for the first time. I had used the technology in my teaching practicum last quarter in grad school, but this was the first time I used a Google+ Hangout to give a three-hour workshop as a solo presenter. We had a small turnout for this one, including two participants online and three participants on site. The two online participants connected separately, I had my own connection, and the three onsite participants had two laptops between them, so we had a total of five video connections. A Hangout will hold ten video connections, so we could have had five more Google+ Hangout participants — six more if we had only used one connection for all the onsite participants. And of course we could have had more onsite participants.
I advertised the Google+ Hangout on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and my blog two days before the event. I had online participants register with the site coordinator and pay me directly via PayPal. I had the participants check to see that they had Google+ accounts and send me their Gmail addresses so I could find them on Google+ and add them to a Circle. The site coordinator emailed my handouts and slides to the online participants as PDFs so they could follow along on their screen or print them as they saw fit. She also got the participants’ details so she could process CEUs. The onsite participants had my handouts printed, and I also showed my slideshow on the screen behind me. I conducted the workshop in English, and in addition to using the Hangout for talking, I used the Hangout YouTube app to show a video to the participants. I could have used the Slideshare app to share my slides as well, but I wanted to keep it simple and not “tempt fate” by overloading the system. I told my students I would start a new Hangout and invite them if we all got disconnected; that avoids the problem of people inviting each other and refusing each other’s invitations because each one wants the other to join the Hangout they started.
I was able to harness the technology to extend my teaching, and the students/participants gave me excellent scores and comments on the evaluations. I had hoped for some interpreters of languages other than ASL and English, but as it turned out, we were all ASL/English interpreters. We did experience some packet loss or “freezing video” a couple of times, and the online participants had to reconnect once or twice, but thankfully we never lost the Hangout altogether. We onsite people tended to look at the laptops in front of us more than each other, so it was a bit like we were all online participants. I shared my observation and suggested with some levity those of us in the room “might look at each other once in a while.” We did balance looking at the screens with looking at each other so that all participants felt included.
All-in-all, it was a great experience for all of us. The online/onsite hybrid was a fascinating dynamic with us onsite looking at laptops in front of us, yet I was glad I had participants in front of me onsite as well as online. I’m glad I didn’t cancel the workshop due to low registration, and even though extending the workshop online only brought two extra participants, the small number was cozy and the interaction was rich. It was worth it for what we were all able to learn from each other about getting out of the way and fostering independence.
- Webshop Wednesday – Fostering independence: How interpreters can get out of the way when consumers don’t need us (terptrans.com)
- Google+ Hangouts Get Closed Captioning, Transcripts (mashable.com)
- The Best Google Features You’re Probably Not Using [Google] (lifehacker.com)
- How to Navigate Google+ Hangouts (sixestate.com)
- 5 Ways Every Business Should Use Google+ Hangouts (ducttapemarketing.com)
- Google to merge Hangouts, Talk & Messenger (gigaom.com)
- 5 Reasons Google Hangouts Are Cooler Than Skype For Video Chats (makeuseof.com)
Here’s the complete schedule & registration form for the four workshops I’m presenting in July in Phoenix, Arizona. As you will see, several other presenters are offering multiple workshops as well, and it promises to be a great month for learning. I hope to see you there!
If you didn’t notice it before ( ), here’s the link:
July Workshops Flier
Here are all the details about the workshops I am offering in July, including date, time, title, and description. I will be teaching Vague Language (VL), Genre Recognition, Oral & Sign Transliteration, and Voice Interpreting / Vocal Technique at the Desert Valley Regional Cooperative, 8055 N 24th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021. You may register by calling 602-771-5225 or emailing Amerigo.Berdeski@asdb.az.gov. The suggested donation for each workshop is $20. Here are the four workshops in detail:
- July 6 5p-9p Vague Language— Why people use it and how to interpret it
- Participants will study and explore the use of vague language (VL) in both English and ASL, the communicative purposes and social meanings of VL, the importance of retaining ambiguity when conveying vague messages from one language to another, the benefits of leaving language vague instead of interrupting to request clarifications, and specific strategies for conveying VL in both ASL and English. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
- Define VL and name at least five communicative purposes that VL serves.
- Distinguish between language that needs to be clarified and language that is better conveyed as uttered.
- Have strategies for conveying VL in English and ASL without interrupting for clarification.
- Give a dozen examples of words, phrases, signs, classifiers, and mouth morphemes used in VL.
- July 7 5p-9p Genre Recognition
- This workshop introduces attendees to genre theory and teaches the skill of genre recognition. Attendees will be guided in the recognition of generic elements of discourse and will be empowered to enhance their predictive skills, thus increasing their self-confidence and composure while improving the accuracy and effectiveness of their interpretations. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
- Name five narrative genres.
- Name at least five elements of genre, including setting, plot, character, conflict, tone, intent, and moral.
- Describe the generic characteristics of at least five speech events.
- Identify their strengths and weaknesses in their abilities to recognize genres; know resources to strengthen weaknesses.
- July 19 5p-9p Transliteration— Put the English on your mouth and hands
- This workshop provides an overview of transliteration and teaches the skills of spoken English–to–PSE and spoken English–to–Oral transliteration. Attendees will learn the signs and mouth/body movements they need to produce when transliterating in order to convey messages in the language most readily understood by English–oriented deaf consumers. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
- Define transliteration as it pertains to all languages and contrast it with interpretation.
- Demonstrate at least three signs that may be used for the word “of” and at least two signs for the word “which.”
- Distinguish between active and passive voice and explain how to transliterate each grammatical form.
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses in their transliteration skills and where to find resources for improvement.
- July 21 5p-9p Voice Interpreting— Trippingly on the Tongue
- This is a sign–to–voice interpreting workshop with a twist. In addition to learning logistical and processing strategies for voice interpreting, participants will learn the vocal techniques that singers and actors use so that they can enliven their sign-to-voice interpreting, convey affect, and improve audibility. Participants will learn how to enunciate, maintain vocal health, and inflect for affect, and meaning. Participants who take this workshop will leave as better interpreters and speakers. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
- Outline strategies that can be used before and during an ASL–to–English interpreting assignment.
- Demonstrate improved control of the volume and pitch of their voice.
- Vocalize the same phrase five different ways for meaning and affect.
- Use a microphone effectively, self-monitoring for volume, plosives and sibilants.
- Know how to relax their bodies and vocal apparatus for vocal health.
To learn more about the workshops I offer, see my Interpreting Workshops Page.