Judith Labath

Lecturer of American Sign Language



M. A. in Applied Linguistics (Boston University)
B. A. in Liberal Studies (Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, IL)
A. A. in Communications Arts—Interpreter Training (St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, MO)

Research/ Teaching Interests

  • American Sign Language linguistics
  • Interpreting
  • Second-language acquisition
  • Second-language instruction
  • The integration of culture in the foreign language classroom

Personal Statement

Although for over thirty years I have considered myself professionally as a sign language interpreter, I have spent many of those years teaching American Sign Language and Interpreting classes at six universities between Illinois, Alabama, and North Carolina.  I am delighted to be teaching at a university that houses the American Sign Language classes in the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department along with other world languages.

As an instructor, my aim is to share my enthusiasm and interest in American Sign Language as well as my passion and respect for the Deaf community with my students.  To assist my students to reach their potential as sign language users, I believe it is essential to teach in the target language. To meet the needs of the diverse population of students, I strive to provide a safe and comfortable environment for linguistic exercise and growth while maintaining an encouragingly challenging but friendly, student-centered classroom environment.   It is my goal to inspire students to not only achieve successful communication using ASL in the classroom but to extend their cultural and linguistic accomplishments beyond the classroom.

Selected Professional Achievements


  • “Features at Discourse Boundaries in American Sign Language Narratives.” Journal of Interpretation. Watson, Douglas, ed. Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, 2005.
  • “Don’t be an Elevator Munchkin.” VIEWS 16.11. Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. December 1999.
  • “Professional Behaviors and ‘Emotional Bank Accounts.'” VIEWS 16.1. Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. January 1999.
  • “Independent Study Techniques. Proceedings of the 15th National Convention, 1997. Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. January 1999.
  • “Team Interpreting: more than taking turns!” Proceedings of the 15th National Convention, 1997. Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. January 1999.