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General Interpreting Skill Development:

Improving Sentence Boundaries

This guide enhances general interpreting skills by providing activities to recognize and practice sentence boundaries within a narrative. Resources that include ASL and English narratives are provided below.


Comparing Boundaries

View ASL and English narrative texts.

Stop the text each time a complete thought is conveyed, and a sentence boundary is indicated.

List all the behaviors used to denote sentence boundaries.

Transcribe the narrative texts and highlight all the behaviors that indicate sentence boundaries (ex: dropped or folded hands, head nods, vocal inflection, and pauses).

Generate a recorded interpretation of the text and then transcribe your work.

Highlight your sentence boundaries and compare your boundaries with the boundaries you highlighted on the transcripts of the original texts. 

Your Boundary Use

Record yourself telling a 4-minute story in English of a selected topic (ex: relationships, travels, and details of a hobby.)

Transcribe your text and highlight all the language behaviors you used to create the end of one thought and the beginning of the next thought.

Indicate in a different color the places where a sentence should have been denoted, but was not because of an inappropriate filler, or run-on sentence.

Re-record the story eliminating fillers and run-on sentences.


NOTE: These resources were last updated March 2021.

  • Free Online Materials

    ASL Storytime from the Department of Sign Language and Interpretation at Gallaudet University

    The series included three volumes, each containing stories with a broad variety of ASL features. The series is available on YouTube.

    TerpTalks from the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC)

    The series includes diverse ASL and English texts available for practice interpreting. The series is available on NCIEC's website. There is no charge for accessing these materials, although you may be required to register to access.

  • Purchasable Materials

    The following resources may be available for use from your local interpreter education program or through your public library. If the library does not have them, request that they purchase them for community use.

    American Sign Language: A Teacher’s Resource Text on Grammar and Culture from Sign Media 

    The most comprehensive explanation of ASL grammar currently available. The text is written for those with little or no background in linguistics. The companion DVD features a deaf person illustrating each of the more than 300 examples in the text. 

    This resource can be used by an individual or with a group.

    Interpreter Practice Materials from Sign Media

    A set of 33 DVDs including 12 simultaneous texts, 12 consecutive texts, 7 one-to-one situations, 2 small groups, 6 ASL texts and 6 English texts.

    This resource is excellent for individual, study group, or classroom skill development exercises. 

    The “Green Books” Texts and DVDs from Sign Media

    This set includes 6 one-hour DVDs and five textbooks. The videos explain and demonstrate difficult concepts in ASL and offer practice situations to improve your sign language abilities. Several lessons relate to pronouns and prolocatives. The resource may be ordered as a complete set or as individual books and DVDs. 

    This resource can be used by an individual or with a group. 

Grant Recognition

The contents of the Project CLIMB website was developed under a grant (#H160D160001) from the Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education. Do not assume endorsement by the Federal government.

As of December 31, 2021, this grant project is no longer active or soliciting applications.
This website will remain available as a resource.

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The National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM) website is a central portal for accessing archived and new rehabilitation training resources offering search capabilities, a quality rating system, as well as enhanced usability and accessibility.