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Which Knowledge Domains Are Important in the Work of Educational Sign Language Interpreters: the Perspective of Teachers and Interpreters

Journal

In the last years an increased number of students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing are educated within regular schools by hearing teachers (Krause, Kegl, & Schick, 2008). Within this context, the educational interpreters assumes a nuclear role whose abilities to interpret, as stated by Schick, Williams and Kupermints (2006), represents the major predictor for the quality of students’ access to the classroom content. If the importance of educational interpreters as facilitators of communication is consensually recognized, the extension of their functions within classroom raises some questions. In fact, two perspectives can be found in literature regarding the role and consequent knowledge of educational interpreters in inclusive classrooms. One of those perspectives stresses that, as in every interpreting setting, the function of educational interpreters is interpreting, in this case, the teacher discourse. The other perspective considers the impact of educational context in the interpretation process meaning that the performance educational interpreters’ role should take into account variables that support teaching-learning processes (Antia & Kreimeyer, 2001; Schick et al., 2006). This second perspective states that, additionally to interpreting knowledge – namely in skills needed for voice-to-sign and sign-to-voice interpretation – educational interpreters should also have knowledge about education and child development across life span, due to their role in mediating learning experiences (Antia & Kreimeyer, 2001; Schick, 2001)

Manuela Sanches-Ferreira

Ana Espinheira Rio

Publication

Year of publication: 2013

Identifiers

Alternative Titles