Classroom Interpreters - Interpreters and Children - Fostering Social Interaction
Social Events and the Role of the Interpreter
All students benefit from both the academic and the extra-curricular aspects of the school program. We know that social events and interaction are important to development and important to a student’s quality of life. Social interaction helps all students develop skills in social interaction, collaboration, and leadership. Because of this, deaf and hard of hearing students should have the same access to social events and extra-curricular activities as all other students in the school. A qualified interpreter should be provided.
- Students should understand differences in the interpreter’s role when they are serving as an academic interpreter versus a social interaction interpreter. For example, when interpreting for a classroom, the interpreter is serving the entire class and the academic information has priority. When interpreting a social situation, the student should manage the interpreting. Educational interpreters should discuss their role in academic versus social situations.
- Students may prefer different interpreters for various events.
- Students may prefer an interpreter who is the same gender for some activities, such as sports.
- Middle school and high school students should help schedule and request interpreters for social events.
- The student, with assistance from the educational interpreter, should be able to explain to hearing peers how the interaction works with an interpreter. For example, it is important for students to be able to articulate to coaches, referees, teachers, etc. outside the regular classroom what the role of the interpreter is in extracurricular activities. The student should help other individuals know how to structure communication so it can be effectively interpreted.
- All students must learn which types of social conversation they can handle on their own versus those that require interpreting. Students who can communicate through speech may need assistance determining which situations require an interpreter and which the student can handle on his/her own.
- The educational interpreter needs to know how to translate slang and kid talk, as well as more conventional language.