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I have been interpreting, teaching, and preaching in sign language both in the USA and in other countries since 1976. Over the years I have learned many principles which have helped me. I hope these will also help you.

● Never sign faster than 80% of the speed you are able to sign.

● Allow plenty of processing time. Think before you sign.

● Fingerspelling should always be slow, accurate, and clear.

Look at your hand when fingerspelling. This draws attention and helps you sign more slowly and deliberately.

Repeat important information. Watch for understanding. Repeat important information. Watch for understanding. Understand?

A nod does not always mean “I understand.” It might mean, “Keep going. Hopefully I will understand you soon.”

● Remember to use appropriate face and mouth expression.

Video yourself signing or interpreting. Wait a few days. Turn off the sound, then evaluate how well you understand your own signing. Make notes and get help with your weaknesses.

Invest time being around Deaf people. You will learn ASL better and you will love Deaf people more.

Come early to and stay late after Deaf gatherings, even if they are at church. Ministry opportunities often happen before and after these times together.

Critique yourself more harshly than you critique others. But don’t let your shortcomings stop you. Every more skilled interpreter was once at the interpreting level you are now.

● Arrange your critique of others beforehand. Hold your thoughts until they are ready to receive. Ask before you speak.

Ask for constructive criticism from more skilled interpreters.

Attend workshops to improve your signing skills.

Come to ASLI to improve your signing skills. SilentWord.org/ASLI

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