Classroom Interpreting

Students - Hearing-related differences in using interpreters

Many deaf and hard of hearing students can communicate in sign language and in spoken English to varying degrees. With many students, it is important to foster development of both communication modalities – speech as well as sign language. It is often helpful to think of students as having a continuum of communication skills in each domain. For many students who are hard of hearing, spoken communication may work well in a quiet situation with a small number of participants, but an interpreter may be needed in larger groups, noisy environments, or when communication becomes complex.

Read what Elaine Gale, a hard of hearing adult says about using interpreters.

A student’s audiogram provides only a rough idea of whether a student can use spoken English. It is useful to think about a student’s communication needs not in terms of what he hears, but rather in terms of how they communicate. The following chart can help a discussion about communication needs in different environments.

Auditory Can understand and participate using listening and speech alone
Auditory/ Visual Understands mostly through auditory supplemented with some visual information
Auditory=Visual Understands through a balanced combination of auditory and visual
Vision/ Auditory Understands more through visual information but can comprehend some audition
Visual Comprehends mostly through vision

1 = Not Effective < --------------------------------------------> 5 = Highly Effective

 

Lecture

Class Discussions

Social Situations with groups

Extracurricular Events

One to one social

Auditory

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

Auditory/ Visual

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

Auditory=Visual

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

Vision/ Auditory

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

Visual

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

For some students with some spoken language skills, the educational team should discuss when the educational interpreter should encourage the student to communicate independently. It is just as important to foster and support spoken communication, as it is to provide an interpretation when needed.

See the section, An audiogram does not determine need for interpreting (5-b), for more information about communicating in various situations.