This degree is the first of its kind in Canada. 

The Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) uses a combination of classroom theory, research, hands-on practice and professional field experience to prepare graduates to work as qualified interpreters. This degree is unique in Canada.

Overview

Program name
Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English)
Code
C302
Location
Experiential learning
Internship Experience (unpaid)
Duration
4 years (8 semesters) + 420-hour internship experience (equivalent to a 14 week term) (unpaid)
Starting month
September
Credential
Honours Bachelor's Degree
Method of study
FT

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2018 Closed
Jan. 2019 N/A
May 2019 N/A
International students
Sept. 2018 Closed
Jan. 2019 N/A
May 2019 N/A

Full Description

An Inside Look at the Honours Bachelor of Interpretation Program

George Brown College’s Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) is the first degree of its kind in Canada. Developed to address the growing demand for qualified Sign Language Interpreters, this degree helps prepare graduates for work in this dynamic field.

An interpreter is a fluent bilingual-bicultural professional, facilitating communication between those who do not share the same language or culture.

To be a sign language interpreter requires manual dexterity, critical thinking skills, visual-spatial recognition and cognitive processing abilities in order to process information instantaneously at a level of bilingual and bicultural expertise beyond conversational fluency. For non-Deaf interpreters this will also include auditory-processing capabilities.

Over the course of four years, students will continue to improve and hone both their English and American Sign Language proficiencies while studying to become interpreters. This program focuses on seven areas of learning:

  1. Language and Culture
  2. Field Fundamentals
  3. Interpreting Skills
  4. Research Methods/Trends
  5. Ethics and Professionalism
  6. Breadth Electives
  7. Field and Community Experience

For applicants with a diploma or advanced diploma in American Sign Language – English Interpretation, an advanced entry option is available. For details on how to apply, see our How to Qualify and Apply page.

What does it take to be an American Sign Language - English Interpreter?

Is this program right for you?

Interpreting is a very rewarding but demanding field of work. Successful interpreters typically possess the following attributes:

  • a strong command of both English and American Sign Language
  • an excellent memory
  • the ability to concentrate and focus easily and for long periods of time
  • the ability to process and analyze information quickly (cognitive processing skills)
  • multi-tasking ability
  • versatility
  • a willingness to be flexible
  • strong communication skills
  • excellent interpersonal skills

In preparation for field placement, students will be required to work in multiple small and large groups, both in classes and community settings. Attendance and participation are key elements of program success.

Please download the C302 Applicant Questionnaire here.

Experiential Learning

Internship Experience (unpaid)

Your Field Study options

420 Hour Internship Experience (unpaid)

Students wishing to become successful in the field of interpreting should expect to dedicate a significant amount of time to developing their craft outside the classroom.

To help students transition their skills from a controlled classroom environment to the real world, we’ve developed a 420-hour internship program (equivalent to 14 weeks). This senior internship offered between semesters six and seven runs for 420 hours from early June through to late August. During this time, students will work under the close supervision of a professional interpreter and will have the opportunity to provide consecutive and simultaneous interpretation service where appropriate.

Students will be exposed to a variety of situations in which interpretation services may be required. This could include a range of clients in a variety of settings, such as:

  • social service agencies
  • school boards
  • community agencies
  • post-secondary institutions

As most interpreters in Ontario are self-employed independent contractors, these positions are meant to provide a richer learning experience and the chance to strengthen skills, but are typically not paid positions.

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Analyze and critically apply current interpreting research trends as they inform meaning-based interpreting practices.
  2. Analyze the power dynamics that affect human communication including the impact of the interpreter’s decisions and influence.
  3. Respect cross-cultural needs of participants in an interpreted interaction in a professional and ethical manner.
  4. Articulate societal views of Deaf culture, the Deaf community, multiculturalism, oppression, audism, global history of Deaf people, sign language linguistics and language variations.
  5. Use current research literature to analyze key issues relating to the practice and profession of interpreting.
  6. Determine appropriate modes of interpreting using evidence-based practice, effective interpersonal and professional skills.
  7. Perform effectively as an interpreter by incorporating current research and recognizing contextual factors including language and culture.
  8. Perform accurate and effective translations, consecutive and simultaneous interpretations.
  9. Use communicative language abilities in first and second language as required to accommodate specific dialogic interactions.
  10. Use professional and ethical judgment in decision making while respecting diversity, equity, equality and rights of all participants.
  11. Engage in life-long learning and reflective professional development.
  12. Assess personal competencies and limitations in the use of multicultural and multi-contextual approaches to communication.

Required Courses

SEMESTER 1

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
BINT1001American Sign Language I
BINT1002Deaf Studies
BINT1003English Communications for Interpreters
BINT1004Introduction to the Interpreting Profession
 Liberal Studies Elective

SEMESTER 2

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
BINT1101American Sign Language II
BINT1102Cross-Cultural Studies
BINT1103Cognitive Processing Skills
 Liberal Studies Elective

SEMESTER 3

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
BINT2001American Sign Language III
BINT2002Introduction to Research
BINT2003Sociolinguistics for Interpreting
BINT2004Values, Ethics and Professional Practice
BINT2005Introduction to Translation and Discourse Analysis
 Liberal Studies Elective

SEMESTER 4

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
BINT2101American Sign Language IV
BINT2102Interpreting I
BINT2103Interpreting Essentials
BINT2104Service Learning Seminar
 Liberal Studies Elective

SEMESTER 5

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
BINT3001American Sign Language V
BINT3002Interpreting II
BINT3003Interpreting Interaction: Community 
BINT3004Interpreting Practicum Seminar I
BINT3005Interpreting Practicum Field I
 Liberal Studies Elective

SEMESTER 6

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
BINT3102Interpreting III
BINT3105Interpreting Practicum Seminar II
BINT3106Interpreting Practicum Field II
BINT4001American Sign Language VI
BINT4003Interpreting: IPE
 Liberal Studies Elective

SEMESTER 7

semester courses
BINT3104Translation and Discourse Analysis II
BINT4101Interpreting and Technology
BINT4102Situated Learning: Interpreting Collaborations
BINT4004Research in Interpreting Studies I
 Liberal Studies Elective
420 Hours Internship Experience (unpaid) (Fall - Sept)

SEMESTER 8

semester courses
CodeCourse Name
BINT3101Dynamics in the Deaf: Contrastive Analysis
BINT4002Interpreting IV
BINT4104Research in Interpreting Studies II
 Liberal Studies Elective

 

Career Options

If you are interested in a dynamic career that provides meaningful and varied work, then this is the career for you. Graduates of this program will find interpreting opportunities in a variety of sectors and venues as demand for interpreters is increasing in response to national and provincial legislation, including mandated implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Graduates will be prepared to work as interpreters in a number of private and public environments such as:

  • educational settings
  • medical situations
  • legal contexts
  • business interactions
  • social service agencies

A wide range of employment opportunities exist for interpreters. Established interpreters may hold such job titles as:

  • ASL-English Interpreter
  • Designated Interpreter
  • ASL Consultant
  • Conference Interpreter
  • Community Interpreter
  • Translator

Tuition

$8,652.00*+

Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in fall 2017. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in fall 2018 and at later dates.

+ The tuition fee for this program does NOT include the cost of the Work Experience. 

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma with six Grade 12 University (U) or University/College (M) courses, with a combined average of 65% or higher
  • Grade 12 English (U) with a grade of 65% or higher
  • Grade 11 Math (M or U) or Grade 12 Math U or Grade 11 Science (U) or Grade 12 Science (M or U)
  • Supplementary requirements as outlined below

OR

Mature student status: 19 years or older and no OSSD**

  • Grade 12 English U with a grade of 65% or higher
  • Grade 11 Math (M or U) or Grade 12 Math U or Grade 11 Science U or Grade 12 Science (M or U)
  • Combined average of English and Math/Science of 65% or higher
  • Post-secondary credits in English and Math/Science will also be considered (specific courses only)
  • Supplementary requirements as outlined below

** There is no mature student testing in the required credits for degree programs. Mature applicants must have the English, Math and Science credits required. Information on where and how to upgrade can be found on the EnglishMath and Science upgrading pages.

Supplemental Requirements:

Non-Deaf applicants: Basic ASL proficiency level equivalent to approximately 200 hours of ASL instruction and practical use***

Deaf Interpreter applicants: Advanced (native) comprehension and articulation of American Sign Language with awareness of connotative levels of meaning, along with idiomatic expressions and colloquialism use

All applicants:

  • Online information session
  • Questionnaire
  • Attend screening Interview that evaluates ASL and pre-interpretation skills*
  • Provide a reference letter** (to be submitted at the interview)

* Screening process comprised of assessments of both proficiency in American Sign Language (comprehension and articulation) and pre-interpretation skills. Applicants are required to demonstrate an understanding of the Deaf community and the field of sign language interpreting.

** The letter of reference from a Deaf person should address the following: your current ASL abilities, your involvement in the Deaf community and their reason for supporting your application to the program. The letter is to be from a Deaf person who is not a family member or a current faculty member of George Brown. The letter must include their signature and their contact information. The letter can be either a type-written letter (Word or PDF document), or an ASL video letter, addressed to the program co-ordinators.

*** These competencies can be acquired through the American Sign Language and Deaf Studies certificate program at George Brown (C114), or an equivalent program, through part-time courses in the community or through regular interaction with Deaf people.

Please note: Subject to competition, applicants may be required to have grades/averages above the minimum.

There is no admissions assessment (test) for the English, Math or Science requirements.

Advanced Entry for Interpreting Diploma Graduates
 
Graduates of George Brown's three-year American Sign Language - English Interpreter advanced diploma program and  Graduates of other ASL-English Interpreting diploma programs across Canada and the US will have a degree completion pathway that enables them to enter directly into the degree program.
Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

Semester 5 Advanced Entry:

  • Graduate of other ASL-English Interpreting diploma programs across Canada and the US with a minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Prior successful completion of a Research Course with minimum passing grade of 65%
  • Prior completion of 2 Liberal Studies courses with minimum passing grade of 65%

 Semester 7 Advanced Entry

  • Graduate of George Brown's three-year American Sign Language - English Interpreter Advanced Diploma Program with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Prior successful completion of a Research Course with minimum passing grade of 65%
  • Prior completion of 2 Liberal Studies courses with minimum passing grade of 65%

 Please contact the program co-ordinators for more details about either degree completion pathway.

English language proficiency required:

George Brown College ESL Level 9; TOEFL 84 overall and 21 in each skill band (Online); IELTS 6.5 overall and 6.0 in each skill band; MELAB 85; CAEL overall 70 (writing 60); Please visit georgebrown.ca/englishproficiency for more details.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit georgebrown.ca/transferguide for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information

George Brown has been granted a consent by the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development to offer this applied degree for a 7–year term starting September 29, 2015. The college shall ensure that all students admitted to the above-named program during the period of consent will have the opportunity to complete the program within a reasonable time frame.

Special Requirements

Special Requirements

Police Reference Check

  • In compliance with requests from our student placement partners, all students in this program must have a police reference check completed before their field placement.
  • These reference checks, which can take up to four months, are done to protect the clientele of these agencies, who are considered “vulnerable persons” under the law.
  • The fees for the reference checks vary and must be paid by the student.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that the check covers appropriateness for "individuals being employed and/or volunteering who will be working with vulnerable person(s)".
  • Students who are unable to provide a clear police reference check may be unable to complete their field placement and, therefore, be unable to complete the program.

Please visit georgebrown.ca/preplacement/record_check for more details.

Apply To

Contact Us

School of Deaf and Deafblind Studies

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2185

Email: deafstudies@georgebrown.ca

Our office hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Corene Kennedy, Program Co-ordinator, Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) ckennedy@georgebrown.ca

Rhondda Reynolds, Program Co-ordinator, Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) rreynolds@georgebrown.ca

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