Amy Smith brings 26 years of interpreting experience to teach ASL

The world language department at JPII will add American Sign Language when classes resume in August. Amy Smith, who has 26 years of interpreting experience in a variety of community, mental health, medical, and educational settings, looks forward to bringing ASL to our students and expanding their knowledge about a language and culture that many people see every day but do not know much about. “I love being able to connect with a student and seeing them learn and grow in a new language and learn to communicate differently,” she said.

According to Smith, the small class sizes at JPII are perfect for teaching and learning ASL. “ASL is a visual gestural language with its own grammar and syntax, etc. You can not teach by lecturing. I have students actively involved in the process; hands up and moving and voices off while learning to use the language.”

Smith has been an adjunct lecturer for American Sign Language Studies classes at East Carolina University as well as an interpreter, instructor, and assistant director for Disability Support Services at ECU. For the past 15 years she has been a video relay interpreter in addition to freelancing as an interpreter.

Smith earned a bachelor of arts in sociology with a minor in interpreting for the deaf from East Carolina University. She has also completed the basic interpreter training program from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She holds a North Carolina Interpreter/Transliterator license and certificates of interpretation and transliteration from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling to the beach or the mountains. Her youngest child plays travel volleyball so they spend a lot of time at tournaments which they love!