Regular Education Teachers - Sharing Teaching Goals
Research shows that interpreters may not be able to identify what the most important aspects of a teacher’s lesson are. The result is that minor details may be conveyed while essential concepts are not. One of the best ways a teacher can support the interpreter is to share teaching goals, concepts and vocabulary. Interpreters can interpret better when they know what they are interpreting. They can plan ahead and think about how to represent concepts. They can look up vocabulary words and signs that might be new to them.
Teachers can make the interpreter aware of goals by:
- Providing full access to lesson materials − Educational interpreters should have access to a full set of teaching materials, including copies of student books and the teacher’s manual. The teacher’s manual can help the interpreter understand which concepts are important. If these concepts are new to the interpreter, he/she can learn about them before interpreting.
- Familiarizing with curricular goals − Many educational interpreters do not have any training related to education, curriculum, or teaching objectives, yet interpreting requires instant analysis of the points being made. The teacher can support students who are deaf or hard of hearing if he/she takes time to familiarize the interpreter about curricular goals ahead of time.
- Planning ahead − Vocabulary is often a critical area of concern for many students with hearing loss. Ironically, the interpreter may not have sign vocabulary for key concepts in a lesson. It is poor practice for the interpreter to create new signs on the fly, but she may be forced to do this without prior knowledge of lesson content. An interpreter who does not know the correct signs may resort to using incorrect or simpler vocabulary for advanced concepts. For example, an interpreter may incorrectly use the sign for “jury” to communicate the concept of “jurisdiction” or the sign for “fool” rather than “deceive.” These changes alter the meaning of the teacher’s language and may make the new concept more difficult to understand. Planning ahead allows the interpreter to prepare, helping assure more equal access for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.