The Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI:ASL) involves a one-to-one conversation in sign language between an interviewer and candidate/interviewee. Interview content varies according to the background, job responsibilities, schooling, and other interests of each SLPI:ASL candidate/interviewee.
The SLPI:ASL was adapted by Bill Newell and Frank Caccamise from the Language/Oral Proficiency Interview (L/OPI), an interview technique for assessing spoken language communication skills. Just as the L/OPI may be used to assess a variety of spoken languages the SLPI:ASL may be used to assess a variety of sign languages. For example, it is used in Kenya as SLPI:KSL, in South Africa as SLPI:SASL, and in New Zealand as SLPI:NZSL.
SLPI:ASL interviews are recorded and subsequently rated independently by SLPI:ASL raters. The basis for ratings is the SLPI:ASL Rating Scale, a standard scale based on the sign language communication skills of highly skilled, knowledgeable native/native-like signers. In application, a primary use of the SLPI:ASL has been to assess how well people are able to use sign language for communication, and, as appropriate, to use this information to assist people in development of their sign language communication skills. In the Evaluators’ Resources part of this website, Training Workshop Materials Sections 1, 5, 7 and 8 provide additional information about the SLPI Rating Scale, what the SLPI:ASL assesses, and SLPI:ASL use; and Section 10 provides information on connecting sign language instruction and SLPI:ASL results.
For more information about ASL training and evaluation at RIT/NTID, please visit the ASLTE website.
The Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI:ASL) Rating Scale is a standard scale for rating sign language communication skills that is based on highly skilled, knowledgeable native-like signers. Since each SLPI:ASL candidate's performance is compared to this standard scale, not other candidates, the SLPI:ASL is a criterion referenced test.
The SLPI:ASL assesses a person's skills in using a natural sign language for communication (function), and it provides an analysis of a person's sign language vocabulary, production, fluency, grammar, and comprehension skills (form).
In 1980 at the Third National Symposium on Sign Language Research and Teaching in Boston, Protase Woodford from Educational Testing Services, Princeton, NJ, presented information about the Language/Oral Proficiency Interview, an interview technique for assessing spoken language communication skills. Based on Woodford's presentation, several individuals began to explore the application of interview techniques to the assessment of American Sign Language (ASL), including faculty from the College of Staten Island, Gallaudet University (then Gallaudet College), and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). Our application at NTID was originally developed and piloted for evaluating the sign language communication skills of NTID faculty and staff, with the first formal implementation of the SLPI:ASL occurring for residential staff at the Louisiana School for the Deaf.
This sub-section includes three MODEL Annual Sign Language Program Reports based on Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) and South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind (SCSDB) reports:
Annual Sign Language Program Reports are important to determining the fairness of expected sign language entry skill levels and standards/goals.
The MODEL 1 and MODEL 2 Annual Reports include information about SLPI services, the number and percentage of staff that have and have not achieved their sign language skill level standards/goals, and participation and success of staff below their goals in sign language instruction.
In addition, the MODEL 1 Annual Report includes an explanation of how SLPI results are used to help ensure staff members with similar sign language skill levels are placed together in ASL courses. This ASL course placement criteria is designed to help ensure course content is appropriate for the ASL skill levels of staff members and to help avoid the frustration that may arise for both instructors and staff members when staff members taking an ASL course have a wide range of ASL skills. This placement criteria is also helpful to instructors and staff members in making a direct connection between the ASL assessment tool being used, the SLPI, and ASL instruction.
The MODEL 3 annual report, which is based on a quarterly reporting process, includes a narrative summary that refers to two tables that summarize sign language program information for each of the four quarters of the fiscal year (FY) being reported. In addition, comparisons to past FY results and totals over several FYs may be included in the narrative summary.
When interviewing a candidate, it is best to keep the following in mind:
Your goal is to bring out the candidate’s best ASL. You are the candidate’s ally.
Model ASL for the candidate. This means:
Don’t code-switch to more English-based signing.
Mouth movements must match natural ASL signing.
If candidate doesn’t understand:
Repeat the question just as you signed it the first time.
Repeat, but more slowly.
Re-phrase the question with ASL syntax (don’t change to English syntax).
Rephrase again…slow down.
Do not use more fingerspelling.
Please be aware that the candidate may be anxious, as is normal in a testing context. If you feel frustrated with the candidate, showing it will only increase their anxiety. Never show your frustration, no matter what.
Below is an example of setting up the interview room to make good use of one camera. Notice a few things about this arrangement:
This is for a right-handed candidate; the candidate sits on the right and the interviewer on the left. This is best for viewing the candidate's signing and, especially, fingerspelling.
The camera's main capture is of the candidate; however, it's pointed in such a way that it will also capture the interviewer's facial expressions. This helps the raters judge the quality of the interaction. In particular, it allows the raters to know when the candidate's signing is not clear to the interviewer.
Behind the candidate is a clock. The interviewer can glance at the clock discretely to help judge both the overall length of the interview and the three segments (work/study, family, and leisure activities/hobbies).
There are no alligators anywhere in the interview room.
The documents below provide information and materials important to planning and hosting workshops for training potential SLPI:ASL Team members. It includes both PDF and Word versions of the SLPI:ASL Training Workshop: Planning, Implementation, and Follow-Up document. The PDF version maintains the appropriate format for this document, but it cannot be edited. The Word version can be edited to fit the needs of each program that sponsors an SLPI:ASL Workshop, but the appropriate format may not be maintained when posted in a website. Therefore, programs can refer to the PDF version to assist them with the proper format when they make changes to the Word version to fit their application of the SLPI:ASL.
SLPI Training Workshop Planning, Implementation, and Follow-Up (pdf)(doc)
Support for Local SLPI:ASL Teams and SLPI:ASL Team Training (pdf)
Why Six to Ten SLPI:ASL Training Workshop Participants? (pdf)
May ASL Teachers Serve as SLPI:ASL Interviewers and Raters for People They Have Taught? (pdf)
Options for Conducting and Sharing Results of SLPI:ASL Ratings (pdf)
The National SLPI:ASL Leadership Board (NSLB) members below guide and monitor SLPI teams in the United States. They also provide SLPI evaluator training workshops. Workshops are conducted over four days, and trainers are paid a $4,000 stipend for their work.
Sharon Lott, NSLB Coordinator
and ASL Training and Evaluation Coordinator
National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) firstname.lastname@example.org
(585) 286-3484 VP
Keith M. Cagle, Ph.D.
American Sign Language and Interpreting Education
Rochester, NY email@example.com
This list contains the most current information on all the local SLPI:ASL Coordinators and their contact information.
John Rushton, ASLTE Staff Assistant
National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)
If any corrections to names, locations, or contact information are needed, please let contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emmett Hassen Licensing & Certification Coordinator Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH) 100 N. 15th Avenue, Suite 104 Phoenix, Arizona 85007 602-542-3323 v/tty email@example.com
Joyce Scott, M.Ed. Arkansas Rehabilitation Services 26 Corporate Hill Drive Little Rock, Arkansas 72205 501-686-9688 v/tty 501-686-9685 fax Joyce.Scott@Arkansas.gov
Katie Bechtold Director of Interpreter Services Florida School for the Deaf & the Blind
207 North San Marco Avenue
St. Augustine, Florida 32084 firstname.lastname@example.org
Keri Meeks Georgia School for the Deaf 232 Perry Farm Road, SW Cave Spring, Georgia 30124 706-777-2238, x2200 (main), 800-497-3371, x2204 (Fax) email@example.com
Damita Boyd Sign Language Interpreting Program Georgia Perimeter College Clarkston Campus 555 N. Indian Creek Drive Clarkston, Georgia 30021 678-891-3605 678-8913608 fax Damita.Boyd@gpc.edu
Jimmy Peterson, Executive Director
Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
4151 Memorial Drive, Suite 103-B
Decatur, GA 30032
404-292-5312 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gcdhh.org
Craig Kuhn SLPI:ASL Coordinator Illinois School for the Deaf
125 Webster Ave
Jacksonville, Il 62650
VP (217)303-8201 Craig.Kuhn@illinois.gov
Alla Tarasyuk SLPI Coordinator Louisiana School for the Deaf
2888 Brightside Lane
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821
VP (225)341-6528 email@example.com
Paul Schreyer SLPI Coordinator Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing 150 Mt. Vernon Street, Suite 550 Boston, Massachusetts firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Berrigan SLPI Coordinator Michigan Department of Education-Low Incidence Outreach 702 W Kalamazoo Street PO Box 30742 Lansing, Michigan 48909 VP/Voice: 970 515 7737 Text Number: (517) 897-3943 Fax Number: (517) 335-1632 E-Mail: email@example.com http://mde-lio.cenmi.org
Mary Cashman-Bakken Director/Specialist Minnesota Resource Center: Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing
Division of Special Education
615 Olof Hanson Drive
Fairbault, Minnesota 55021-0308
866-575-1105 (VP), 507-332-5494 (Fax) firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Amundsen SLPI Coordinator/Interpreter Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf
615 Olof Hanson Drive
Faribault Minnesota 55021
507-384-6665 V; 507.412.5082 email@example.com
Sharon Egbert Communication Supervisor Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD)
505 East 5th Avenue
Fulton, Missouri 65251
(866) 412-0497 (VP)
(573) 592-2522 (V)
(573) 592-2570 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Arrigo Staff Interpreter New Jersey School for the Deaf
320 Sullivan Way
West Trenton, New Jersey 08628 email@example.com
609 498 7948 VP
609 530 2332 voice
New York (alphabetical by city)
Jessica Valenti St. Francis De Sales Sign Language Dept. 260 Eastern Pkwy Brooklyn, New York 11225 718-636-4573 ext. 112 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Marjorie Harrington, Chair Department of Deaf Education Canisius College 2001 Main Street Buffalo, New York 14208-1098 email@example.com 716-888-2261, 716-888-3142 (Fax)
Pam Rohring St. Mary's School for the Deaf
2253 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14214
(716) 335-9380 firstname.lastname@example.org
Adele Agin, LCSW Executive Director, SCPI Coordinator Lexington Vocational Services Center, Inc.
Lexington Center for Mental Health Services
30th Avenue & 75th Street
Jackson Heights, New York 11370
718-350-3110 (V/T), x3072 (Fax), x3031 (VP) email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Lott ASLTE Coordinator National Technical Institute for the Deaf Rochester Institute of Technology
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623-5604
585-286-3484 (VP) email@example.com
Cindy J. Decker-Pickell, Coordinator National SLPI:ASL Services 1711 W. Hornes Church Road Bailey, North Carolina 27807-9144 252-281-2369 (W) 252-281-2344 (H) firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Piedmont Community College Cato campus, Room 214 Box 35009 Charlotte, North Carolina 28235 VP: 704.469.5910 Fax: 704-330-4850
Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf
1311 U.S. HWY 301 South
Wilson, NC 27893
Bob Donaldson-Pirc, Interim SLPI: ASL coordinator
The Ohio School for the Deaf
500 Morse Road
Chad A. Ludwig, MSW, ADAC, DI Director, Research and Resource Center with Deaf communities (RRCD)
Richard Woodcock Education Center
Western Oregon University
(503) 468-5724 Fax-(503) 838-8228 email@example.com www.WOU.edu/rrcd/rsla
Todd Behanna Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD)
300 Swissvale Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15218-1469 firstname.lastname@example.org
(570) 309-0173 - VP; (412) 244-4211 - Fax
Michelle Swaney Administrative Coordinator/Technology Specialist Center on Deafness/PEPNet-South University of Tennessee
239 Bailey Education Complex
1122 Volunteer Blvd.
Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-3442
(865) 238-0722 email@example.com
Kathy Campbell CI & CT Interpreter Coordinator/SLPI:ASL Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org ASL Instructor/Specialist Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind
PO Box 2069 Staunton, Virginia 24441