Research & Scholarly Achievement
at Gallaudet University

Deliberate practice in American Sign Language/English interpreting

ID: 2251
Status: Completed
Start date: November 2013
End Date: September 2014


This mixed methods study explores potential deliberate practice activities used by expert ASL-English interpreters. Deliberate practice is an activity designed to maximize opportunities for acquiring knowledge and skills by challenging a practitioner just beyond his/her current performance level. Such activities are responsible for extensive performance improvement in areas such as music, chess, sports, and professional disciplines. The qualitative findings revealed 19 ASL-English interpreting activities that have the potential to improve interpreting performance. The quantitative data identified four of the 19 activities as highly relevant to interpreting improvement and as having characteristics similar to the deliberate practice framework. The quantitative data also revealed that professional development activities recommended in the Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf are not considered highly relevant to interpreting improvement. Further, these CPC activities' characteristics are dissimilar to those of deliberate practice, indicating that they may not result in the greatest interpreting performance improvement. These findings suggest interpreters practice the four highly relevant activities without neglecting the activities recommended in the CPC.

Principal investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources



Adams, K. (2014, May). Deliberate practice in ASL-English interpreting. Presented at the Department of Interpretation Annual Student Research Forum, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

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