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ASL Interpreter's Corner: Preparing for Effective Classroom Interpreting

[Source: Classroom]
The educational interpreter must be prepared in order to be effective in the classroom. Being prepared involves much more than reviewing the content the teacher will present to the class. The interpreter should have time to prepare, materials from the teacher to prepare with, and a quiet place to prepare. In addition, the interpreter needs access to resources such as sign language dictionaries and CD-ROMs.
Schedule Time to Prepare for Interpreting
Preparing for interpreting is essential to being able to communicate the classroom content and vocabulary. Even highly skilled interpreters need time to preview information and vocabulary, learn new signs, and understand the concepts that will be taught and how the teacher plans on teaching them. Schools should provide educational interpreters with regularly scheduled time to prepare in a quiet place with access to books and the internet.
A student has a better opportunity to learn when the educational interpreter is well prepared.
Review and Understand the IEP
As a member of the educational team, the educational interpreter should be a participant in the IEP process. The interpreter should understand the student’s educational goals and objectives and have a clear understanding of how to implement those goals. The interpreter should take special note of the child’s language preferences and language level. The interpreter should discuss the student’s ability to communicate through spoken English and how that may impact classroom interpreting. If an interpreter is needed during IEP meetings, another interpreter should have this responsibility.
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