Jun 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Linguistics, ASL/English Interpreting Concentration, B.A.

The ASL/English Interpreting Concentration is intended for students who wish to become nationally certified ASL/English interpreters. The goal of this concentration is to provide students with the academic preparation needed for the two-step national credentialing exam offered by the Center for the Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation (CASLI). Students are required to pass the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Knowledge Exam as a prerequisite to entering Practicum, which serves as a Capstone to their concentration. We project that within two years of consistent work experience while working under a “Conditional Interpreter License” from the State of Maine or working within their home states, students should be ready to stand for and pass the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Interview and Performance Exam.

Our interpreting program is unique in offering a full curriculum that is equally geared to both hearing and Deaf interpreting students at all levels of study. The ASL/English Interpreting Program also provides a variety of in-service training opportunities for working educational interpreters throughout Maine. The program has ongoing efforts to provide training opportunities every year for working educational interpreters throughout the state. Students are strongly encouraged to also take the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) Written Test prior to graduation as well as the EIPA Performance Test shortly after graduation.

Finally, our concentration offers an optional three-course series in medical interpreting designed for both advanced students and working medical interpreters, in both signed and spoken languages, with language coaches assigned in each student’s language area. The first two medical interpreting courses involve 72 hours of coursework designed to meet training standards established by the International Medical Interpreter Association (IMIA) and the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC). For advanced students in the program, we offer a hands-on Simulation Lab Peer Professional Training jointly for medical interpreters and medical professionals, i.e., medical students, nursing students, residents and health care professionals.

This interpreter training program has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE) since 2009.

Program Requirements

Total number of credits required for the major: 50 or 53 (depending on choice of LIN 413 , LIN 498 , or 6 credits of LIN 401 , LIN 402 , LIN 403 , LIN 404 , LIN 409 , LIN 425 , LIN 431 , LIN 432 , LIN 433 ; see below)

Required Coursework

Note on Language Component

Students pursuing the English ASL/Interpreting Concentration must have taken four semesters of ASL (ASL 101 -ASL 202 ) or have attained a level of proficiency equivalent to four semesters. These courses (or the equivalent) do not count as credit toward the major but are prerequisites to interpreting courses and upper-level ASL courses.

Note on grade requirement for LIN 185 - Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics

Students must receive a grade of B or higher in LIN 185  before enrolling in certain upper-level LIN courses, including LIN 313 - Syntax . LIN 185  may be repeated at most one time. Students for whom American Sign Language is their first language may consult with the department about alternative pathways for satisfying this requirement.

Honors for ASL/English Interpreting Concentration

Linguistics majors who do outstanding work in the major can graduate with honors in linguistics. Requirements for Honors for students majoring in the ASL/English Interpreting Concentration are the following:

Notes on Core Curriculum Requirements

In addition to completing a major, students must satisfy USM’s Core Curriculum requirements and earn a total of at least 120 credits to graduate. The following information outlines core requirements that overlap with the major in Linguistics with a Concentration in ASL/English Interpreting or core courses recommended for students majoring in this concentration.

Quantitative Reasoning: Students must fulfill this requirement with a statistics or MAT course. One requirement for Honors in Linguistics is LIN 490 - Introduction to Language Research . This course has a statistics course (MAT 120 - Introduction to Statistics  or PSY 201 - Statistics in Psychology ) as a prerequisite. Therefore, students should take a statistics course to meet this requirement if they are considering pursuing Honors in Linguistics. If not, students can take any MAT course in the Quantitative Reasoning category.

Cultural Interpretation: Each of ASL 101 - Beginning American Sign Language I , ASL 102 - Beginning American Sign Language II , ASL 201 - Intermediate American Sign Language I , and ASL 202 - Intermediate American Sign Language II  (as well as other language courses at these levels) fulfills this core requirement.

Socio-Cultural Analysis: LIN 185 - Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics  meets this requirement.

Science Exploration: LIN 185 - Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics  meets this requirement if LIN 186 - Introduction to Linguistics: Lab  (the one-credit lab associated with LIN 185 ) is taken as well.

Writing, Reading, and Inquiry 3: LIN 410 - Ethical Decision Making in ASL/English Interpreting  meets this requirement.

Culture, Power, and Equity: LIN 185 - Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics  also meets this requirement.

Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship: LIN 410 - Ethical Decision Making in ASL/English Interpreting  meets this requirement.

Engaged Learning: ASL 401 - Advanced American Sign Language I , ASL 402 - Advanced American Sign Language II , and LIN 435 - Advanced Interpreting and Practicum I  meet this requirement.

Capstone: LIN 435 - Advanced Interpreting and Practicum I  is a capstone course.

Several linguistics and language courses that are not required for the major fulfill a core requirement:

International: LIN 112 - The Birth of a Language , FRE 202 - Intermediate French II , GER 202 - Intermediate German II , ITA 202 - Intermediate Italian II , SPA 202 - Intermediate Spanish II  

USM Core Requirements

The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements. 

Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fulfilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor.  For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.