Classroom Interpreting

Classroom Interpreters - Interpreters and Children - Interpreting and Language

The school setting is a complex social environment that uses language as an educational tool. Within such an environment learning becomes a social activity for children. Language is the tool that allows for social interaction. For example, students and teachers use language to exchange ideas and information, to negotiate and encourage, and to tease and bond.

Skill Levels

There are many children who are deaf or hard of hearing who have language and vocabulary skills that are equal to those of their hearing peers. There also are many deaf or hard of hearing students who enter school with language that is delayed. These students may still be learning grammar and may have smaller vocabularies. They produce speech that is hard for teachers and peers to understand. And, they may not understand the teacher’s language as most of the hearing students do.

Fostering Language Development

When children enter school with language that is delayed compared with their hearing peers, they often need additional language support. The educational interpreter is not intended to be a language model but in some sense all adults who work with children and youth are language models. This section focuses on those aspects of language learning that are especially relevant to an interpreted education.