Classroom Interpreters - What does an Educational Interpreter do?
Facilitate and Support Participation and Social Communication
The task of classroom interpreting is complex and dynamic. The interpreter must ensure that the teacher’s message is being conveyed clearly and accurately while also ensuring that the student who is deaf or hard of hearing has the opportunity to participate in classroom discussions and social interactions.
Classroom discussion is an important part of student learning. Many teachers in today’s schools use student participation and discussion as an important learning tool because research shows that participation helps students learn.
Questions, comments and answers between students and their teacher can help clarify and confirm the understanding of new concepts. It can be challenging to interpret classroom discussions because of the fast pace and multiple speakers. But the exchange itself is important to learning, not just the end result of the discussion.
It is important for the interpreter to identify all speakers in the classroom. The interpreter should use name signs or fingerspell the name of the person commenting rather than point to that person. Pointing to the person requires the student to turn around and find the person who is talking which interrupts and delays the interpreted message.See also Fostering Social Interaction section of this site.