ASL “Expansion appears to be one of the missing links in acquiring native-like competency in ASL.” – Shelley Lawrence
ASL interpreters must consider much more than the words they hear and the signs they see. Interpreting (and even simple communication) from low context English into high context ASL requires several techniques now called ASL Expansion. The seven expansion techniques are:
Contrasting – Clarifying or emphasizing something by saying what it IS and what it IS NOT. – Ex: Large, not medium, large
Faceting – Signing a series of synonyms (parts) to narrow the focus. Ex: Careful (Phil. 4:6) = Worry, fear, legs-tremble, panic
Reiteration – Repeating signs exactly for emphasis – Ex: Me not-mad, me – Can drive far, sleepy not, can.
Utilizing 3D Space – Using space to show physical relationships (people/objects) – Ex: God 3 person(L)/person(C)/person(R) Trinity
Explaining by Examples – Listing examples of who or what – Ex: World Religions = Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity…
Contexting – Providing context by giving a description, an analogy, or a function – Ex: Grace (Eph. 2:8) = Me sinner. I not worthy (for) God bless me. I bad. // But, God bless me. God give me free. Grace.
Describe, then Do – Action described, then acted out in first person – Ex: Go to church = Sunday morning I wake-up early. Excited. Shower. Eat. Put-on-clothes. Get-in-car. Drive. Arrive. Walk-in-church. Hug-people. Church. Happy.
Church interpreters need to learn and use these techniques so their interpreting for songs, announcements, and sermons become very clear. ASL Expansion will be the main topic at this summer’s SWM ASL Institute. Come join us for the in-depth workshop. Also bring your deaf ministry to the Deaf Bible Conference, which will happen at the same time, same locations, but different rooms.