Classroom Interpreting

Classroom Interpreters - What does an Educational Interpreter do?

Implement the Student’s IEP

As a member of the educational team, the educational interpreter is responsible for supporting the IEP goals. The interpreter is an active participant in the IEP process and should know and understand the IEP goals and objectives. Some goals may be directly related to the interpreting or communication process. The interpreter also may support other goals that are more indirect. Like all members of the educational team, the educational interpreter is responsible for supporting the student in making adequate yearly progress (one year’s gain in one year’s time).

Some educational interpreters have adopted a model of interpreting that is based on how interpreters work in the adult community where they only interpret exactly what is happening. Sometimes you hear interpreters say something like, “I just interpret. That’s all.” But an educational interpreter is part of an educational team that has a legal responsibility under federal law. As a related service provider, the educational interpreter is also responsible for the student’s educational progress.

There are many students whose IEP goals may require the interpreter to modify language and content or expand the interpretation in order to provide vocabulary tutoring. This is completely appropriate if the educational team believes it is necessary.

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