American Sign Language (ASL)/English interpreters have a responsibility to the communities and consumers with whom they work to be ethical and effective interpreters. Being bilingual is part of being an effective interpreter. A student’s level of bilingualism at the point of graduation from an interpreter education program is influenced, in part, by the coursework they are required to take while in college. With this in mind, students’ fluency in both ASL and English should be an essential part of the coursework. This also suggests that faculty should assess their students’ levels of fluency in both languages to insure that true bilingualism has been achieved. The purpose of this thesis is to look at the curriculum of the bachelor’s degrees accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE) as of February 2018 and to review their curriculum related to developing and assessing students’ level of bilingualism. The focus is on the number and types of ASL, English, and linguistic courses, as well as how various programs are assessing their students’ level of bilingualism. This thesis also outlines ways to apply second language acquisition theories and research to ASL and interpreting programs.

Exit Requirement


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies


Deaf Studies/Professional Studies

Committee Chair

Elisa Maroney

Committee Member

Erin Trine

Committee Member

Earl Smith


American Sign Language, ASL, Bilingualism, Second Language Acquisition, Interpreter, Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education, CCIE, Assessment



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Language Interpretation and Translation

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License