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Improvisation for Interpreters (.7 PS CEUs)

  • Gardner Webb University Frank Nanney Hall, Room 101 Boiling Springs, NC (map)


Workshop Description: Interpreters will often hear the phrase “show me, don’t tell me” this workshop is geared to developing the necessary skills to incorporate the use of gestures and visual communication beyond and within the structures of American Sign Language.  Participants will engage in activities that will tap into their communication of concepts beyond language into a visual format.  Participants will be required to use only visual gestural communication while in this workshop and the instructor of the course will model this through the facilitation of the workshop.  Participants will explore alternative ways to incorporate visual gestural communication through improvisational skills in order to convey the interpreted message to meet the concept of “showing” rather than “telling.”  Activities such as improvisation, releasing tensions will be covered in this exciting and fun filled workshop.


Teaching strategies for this course will include lectures, demonstrations, role-playing, student narratives, small group collaborative learning activities, class discussion, and use of audio-visual material.  However, the majority of the class will be taught through interactive discourse with the instructor, classmates, and members of the Deaf Community, using a visual gestural communication style that enhances American Sign Language with correct cultural protocol.


During such discourse, the instructor and students will not be using their voices.  Written English will be used during lectures and class discussions.  This class will have a mixture of students who have already taken ASL classes and those who have not.  Because the focus of this class is gestural communication and the development of improvisational skills, the use of ASL or spoken English will not be allowed during assignments or class activities except during break time.

Presenter: Sam Parker (CSC, ALSTA-Master, MFA, NC Licensed Interpreter) is a child of deaf parents, holds a CSC certification with the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and has worked as a community interpreter across the nation for more than 30 years. Sam is currently a Clinical Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as the coordinator for the Professions in Deafness program. Sam was honored to receive the Teaching Excellence Award from the School of Education at UNCG in 2009. As an instructor Sam is ASLTA certified and has taught courses in ASL and interpreting at UNCG. He has presented many workshops nationally for the past twenty plus years and has taught workshops on Grammar, Classifiers, Ethics, Theatrical Interpreting, and Voice training utilizing the Linklater Technique. Sam has also enjoyed international work and has taught ASL and voicing skills for members of the Italian sign language interpreting and deaf communities in Siena Italy.  Sam has a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in acting with an emphasis on voice. His studies in acting have availed him the opportunity to travel and perform in many cities in the country and has also studied acting at the Royal National Theatre in London. Sam’s passion for theatre and performing has led to his one man show entitled “An Interpreters Life…” which he has performed for audiences deaf and hearing all over. Sam has incorporated his theatrical training with his interpreting experience and has interpreted many theatrical performances in North Carolina, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and New York. He has been teaching the Linklater technique for the past 20 years and has found the technique to be a valuable tool for interpreters to use in their voicing situations.

Earlier Event: February 23
ASL Grammer & Slang (.6 PS CEUs)
Later Event: February 24
EIPA: Breakdown (1.2 PS CEUs)