Classroom Interpreting

Classroom Interpreters - What does an Educational Interpreter do?

Interpret at the Appropriate Language Level

Educational interpreters should convey the message and intent of the teacher at the language level which is appropriate and challenging for the student. The teacher is often speaking to the language and cognitive level of the hearing students. For many deaf and hard of hearing students, this may be an appropriate level. However, some deaf students have language and vocabulary skills that are delayed compared with their hearing peers. It is critical for the educational interpreter to understand the student’s language skills and modify the classroom language to ensure that the student understands the concepts while conveying the message accurately.

It may be useful to scaffold information. By scaffolding, the interpreter provides the necessary vocabulary, definitions and background information to expand on previously learned concepts and clarify new concepts and terminology.

If the interpreter is modifying language, it is essential that she understand classroom objectives well. The decision to modify classroom language should be made by the educational team. The interpreter should discuss examples of modifications with the team.

See Interpreting and Language section of this site.