Educational Interpreting

The articles in this section are intended to be used to provide background knowledge, resources, and professional guidance for individuals working with or as educational interpreters in Pre K -12 classrooms.  These articles may also be of interest to parents, professionals and those working in related fields.  Some of the areas addressed include:

  • Professional standards
  • Interpreter’s role
  • Challenges and demands
  • Advocacy

Antia, SD. & Kreimeyer, KH.  (2001). The Role of Interpreters in Inclusive Classrooms. American Annals of the Deaf, 146(4), 200, 355-365.  A qualitative 3-year case study followed three deaf interpreters in an inclusive school. Results of interviews indicated that, in addition to sign interpreting, the interpreters clarified teacher directions, facilitated peer interaction, tutored the deaf children, and kept teachers and special educators informed of the deaf children's progress. Differences in perception of the interpreter's role were also found.

Determining a Student's Readiness to Successfully Use Interpreting Services:  This article highlights the importance of determining student readiness before placing students in interpreter-mediated educational settings. An overview of procedures developed by the Outreach Department of the New Mexico School for the Deaf are shared, including a student competency check-list , considerations for the educational team, a descriptive continuum of student readiness, and a list of educational considerations for  students who are not ready for interpreter-mediated education.

Educational Interpreter Resources Toolkit:  The Educational Interpreter Resources Toolkit, prepared by the 2007 - 2009 Educational Interpreting Committee (EIC), serves a resource tool to assist educational interpreters in getting valuable information for their work in the educational setting, K-12. A brief overview is given and interpreters are directed to resources related to:  Laws & Policy Supporting Deaf Education, Database and Tools for Finding Additional Resources, Organizations, Books, Journals, and Articles of Interest, State-specific Educational Interpreting Guidelines, Resources to Share with School Personnel, Resources to Share with Students and Parents, and RID Resources.

Interpreting in Educational Settings (K-12):  Interpreting in Educational Settings (K-12) provides a description of the role of the educational interpreter.  Responsibilities that fall within the educational interpreter’s domain are described, and a distinction is made between the role of an educational interpreter and other professionals (teachers, administrators, and support staff).  Qualifications, compensation, and supervision of educational interpreters are also presented.

Outcomes for Graduates of Baccalaureate Interpreter Preparation Programs Specializing in Interpreting in K-12 Grade Settings:  This document outlines measureable goals in different areas that baccalaureate interpreting programs offering a degree in Educational Interpreting should be addressing.  In addition, it discusses the educational interpreters many roles in a school setting along with readiness markers that should be evident in the school, teacher, teacher of the Deaf and student with a hearing loss prior to hiring an interpreter.

PEPNet Tipsheet:  PEPNet’s Interpreting Tipsheet provides readers with information regarding the common types of services rendered by educational interpreters.  Confidentiality, professional skills, and communication sight lines are all described. Attention is given to processing time, testing procedures, and the visual demands incurred during the interpreting process.

Yarger, CC. (2001). Educational Interpreting:  Understanding the Rural Experience. American Annals of the Deaf, 146(1), 16-30.  The present study examined the experiences, preparation, and perceptions of 63 educational interpreters employed in two rural states, using surveys and subsequent in-depth interviews with selected subjects. Only 10 of the 63 interpreters had completed interpreter preparation programs, with 5 of these having no course work related to education. None of the interpreters working in elementary or secondary schools held certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or any other certifying body. Of the 63 interpreters, 43 were assessed using the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA), which uses a scale of 0-5. Test takers who score 3.5 or better are considered "coherent." The mean score on the EIPA for the 43 educational interpreters was 2.6. Respondents reported concerns about their limited understanding of American Sign Language (ASL), their ability to interpret from ASL to English, and their salaries, training, and professional status.