This paper explores discourse features of Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and the need for sign language interpreting students to acquire an understanding of, and skills in, a range of discourse genres in Auslan in order to effectively carry out the work required in their profession. Discourse features of spoken English are outlined and compared with those of signed languages, and an overview of the curriculum and effective teaching approaches used for exploring discourse with sign language interpreting students at Macquarie University is given. The pedagogical process will be detailed in order to convey how Auslan interpreting students analyse, discuss and experience different discourse genres and relate them to their work as interpreters. By engaging in this process, Auslan interpreters are able to develop the necessary skills to effectively negotiate their way in the Deaf community and better understand its language and culture, and provide deaf people using a minority language with access to the majority language and vice versa.
- Contrastive analysis
- Sign language