A white woman with blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail wearing a black, button down shirt and a black coat signs in front of a blue/grey background. The CATIE Center logo is in the lower right corner of the video screenDeveloped by ASL Flurry 

Competencies Addressed

  • spatial structuring/discourse mapping
  • depiction in ASL
  • semantic equivalence
  • cultural competency
  • Taylor – Major Features
    • Major Feature: Use of Space
      • Key Skill 5.1: Structure space accurately in relation to the environment that is referred to in the communication event (p. 131)
      • Key Skill 5.2: Use referencing accurately when the referent is not present (p. 134)
      • Key Skill 5.4: Use accurate spatial agreement (p. 141)
      • Key Skill 5.6: Use accurate non-manual signals when structuring space (p. 146)
    • Major Feature:  Grammar
      • Key Skill 6.4: Use prominalization in dialogue accurately(p. 171)
    • Major Feature: Interpreting
      • Key Skill 7.5: Reflect the speaker’s attitudes, preferences and emotions accurately

Time Required for Activity: 30-45 mins (You can add a day’s pause between Step 5 & 6 to add some desirable difficulty.)


Interpreters will:

  1. Use space correctly when referent is not present.
  2. Use space correctly when referencing more than one person.
  3. Use space correctly when interpreting reported speech (conversations).
  4. Accurately convey the speaker’s tone and affect.


Taylor, M. (2017) Interpretation Skills: English to American Sign Language. Edmonton:  Interpreting Consolidated.

Step One: Preparation

In this video, Missy Keast tells a story about the mysteries of sound and making noise as a Deaf person.

View the source video

Step 2: Identification of depiction and structuring space

Choose a 30-second segment of the video. View it several times, paying close attention to facial expressions, body movements, mouth movements and use of space. By the third time, shadow the video while Missy is signing. Then, practice signing the segment yourself, incorporating the non-manual markers and space you see in the video.

Step 3: Retell with depiction and assess

Now that you have practiced telling some parts of the Making Noise story using depiction, try putting it all together and retell the entire 30-second segment you chose from the Making Noise story. Retell the story as if it were your own, telling the story using “I” and “my” instead of “she” or “her”. Try to produce it in a manner as similar to the speaker’s as possible. Record your work.

Step 4: Assess Your Work

Watch the recording of your work. How well did you incorporate the depiction from the source text? Assess your use of:

  • Facial expression used for tone and affect
  • Body movements
  • Mouth movements
  • Use of space

Do they look similar to Missy’s use of them in the source text?

Step 5: Watch the Source Video Again

Re-Watch the Source Video

Now that you have watched the source video again, did you notice anything new in Missy’s signing that you did not include in your first re-telling?  Make note of that and practice including those features in your signing.

Step 6: Retell the section one more time

Before leaving this text, re-tell the story one more time.  You may choose to wait a day before doing it to increase the difficulty which can contribute to making the learning more durable.