Working With An Interpeter In The Classroom ┃ ASL Stew
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Working With An Interpeter In The Classroom ┃ ASL Stew

[Jill] Hello, I’m Jill. Welcome to ASL Stew. (music) So today, I wanted to talk about what you should do if you have an interpreter in your classroom. Specifically I’m looking towards professors or teachers. Now, I work in the college educational environment. So I’m gonna be mostly focusing on college but some of this can apply to the general classroom like K – 12. So, I’m just gonna give you some tips and things and this is not in any specific order. So, you have an interpreter in your classroom. It’s possible before the interpreter will email you to introduce themselves, or they might show up on the first day in your classroom. They will go ahead, introduce themselves and explain the reason that they’re there. That they’re interpreting for a Deaf or Hard of Hearing student in your classroom to make sure communication is smooth. Now, remember the interpreter is there for everybody in the class. Specifically they are there for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing student but they’re also there for your and the rest of the class as well, just to make sure communication is happening. The interpreter is part of the team, not separate. The team includes everybody in the classroom, you the professor, the interpreter, the Deaf or Hard of Hearing student as well as the other hearing students as well. Everybody’s working as a team. The interpreter is not there to take over your classroom. Set up rules, or manage what’s happening in the classroom. Now, there’s a possibility they might try and give a tip just make things go a little bit smoother with communication. But they’re not the boss of the classroom, it’s still your classroom. So, don’t be concerned if there’s another person there in the front with you. Now, recently I mentioned the interpreter will be in the front of the room, most of the time. Sometimes they won’t, but in general they will either stand or sit in the front. That’s really just going to depend on the classroom itself, why type of class it is, as well as the Deaf or Hard of hearing student’s preference. So, you might see them either standing or sitting. The interpreter will typically try to be close to you. Try and follow you as you move along. Umm, that’s possible, or if you tend to just stand in one place at a computer or writing something that then projects on a screen, then they might stand next to the screen. The reason for this is because Deaf and Hard of Hearing students have a visual mode of communication,
so it’s easier for them. If you’re on one side and the interpreter is on the other side then they have to keep looking back and forth, back and forth. Which is really tiring on their eyes and it’s just difficult for the student in general. Even if they were far away from the projector or the screen, again that makes it really hard for them to look back and forth. So, sometimes the interpreter will go ahead and move along with you, the professor. So, don’t mind that, just ignore the interpreter and go ahead and let the dance happen. Now, I just mentioned that the interpreter is a part of the team. So, that means it’d be helpful for you, if you could provide information for the interpreter. Such as powerpoint slides. If you’re gonna be using that maybe you could email the interpreter beforehand so they can study and prepare.
Which is extremely helpful. Also, if you have anything like notes or any sort of information that you can tell the interpreter beforehand is very helpful for them. Sometimes the interpreter is knowledgeable about the subject at hand and sometimes they’re not. So anything like that would be very helpful. Now recently I mentioned the interpreter will move around with you and you can ignore them. Now, sometimes the interpreter might also have to interrupt though for clarification. Maybe it’s because they’ve never heard that word before and they just want to make sure they’re understanding it properly…. or it could be that they couldn’t hear you well… or there’s multiple different reasons. But they might ask you to repeat or say “what did you just say?”. Which is a possibility. They’re gonna try their best to not repetitively interrupt you, but I just don’t want to be shocked if the interpreter says “hey do you mind clarifying something?”. Now, remember when working with the interpreter the best thing to do is speak clearly and at a slow pace. You don’t have to speak extremely slow, but just at a normal relaxed pace. Make sure again, you’re speaking clearly and that you try to be as visual as possible with notes and writing different things. That helpful for the interpreter. Now sometimes, the interpreter will have what’s called lag time. For example if you were to ask a question to the Deaf or Hard of hearing student, you will go ahead and say your question. Now understand the interpreter has to listen to the question, at the same time you’re speaking it. But there’s gonna be a little bit of a delay for the interpreter to process that information. So, once you stop, it may take a few seconds later, the interpreter will stop and then the student can answer the question. So just allow for that time to happen and let the process happen. One more thing, now remember, yes the interpreter has a strong relationship with the Deaf or Hard of hearing student. But that does not mean the interpreter is responsible for the student. Meaning, if you feel that maybe that student is struggling in your class, you should go directly to the student. We will interpret as the interpreters. But don’t ask the interpreter “hey do you know why they’re having a hard time in the class?” No, just go directly to the student. They are in control of their education. If they’re absent or having difficulties, they will go ahead and get in contact with you or you can get in contact with them. We as interpreters are just communicating that information. We’re not involved in taking over the Deaf or Hard of hearing student’s education. They can handle that. So, in conclusion if you’re even in doubt, or you’re not sure what to do, or just curious, go ahead and ask the interpreter. If it’s about the interpreting process or if you’re not exactly sure how to best work with the interpreter, that’s perfectly fine. Go ahead and ask us. We’re more than willing to work with you to make sure that communication is happening smoothly in your classroom. We want to make sure that everyone is getting the best education as possible, and I’m sure you do too! So, if I missed anything or you have any other questions, go ahead leave a comment! I would love to go ahead and answer as much as I can. Hopefully when you have an interpreter in your classroom, you’ll be ready and you’ll know exactly what to do. So, thank you so much for watching this video. If you like this video, please click LIKE and remember to subscribe. If you want to provide support, we’d really appreciate it. You can provide support by checking out our Patreon page, or we have a YouTube link. You can click the button for a one time donation. Also, I’ll have a link down below for “coffee money”. Again we really appreciate all the support we’ve received and in the future. Thank you so much. See you in the next video. Bye! (music)

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23 thoughts on “Working With An Interpeter In The Classroom ┃ ASL Stew

  1. Wonderful video! I wish more teachers/professors would wait a few seconds after asking a question for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing student to be able to answer. I know that my experience with my interpreters so far has been good, although most of my professors don't know the proper etiquette with interpreters. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Such a great video! I jusr finished student teaching this week, so I'm really glad to have this information as I start teaching!

  3. I wish this video had existed a week ago, when I had a ridiculously embarrassing experience in a college communications class. I don't use an ASL interpreter but I do use a Typewell transcriber as a deaf student. If you didn't know, basically my transcriber interprets spoken English into written English in real time, and I have my laptop set up so that I can read the transcription in real time and have full equal access. First day of class, my system gets set up (I know my transcriber really well so we never have issues), and then the teacher starts her lecture after being introduced to my transcriber. I'm using my system like normal, when the professor suddenly approached me in front of everyone and tried to close my laptop and said "No laptops in class, put it away or I'll send you out." And my transcriber didn't catch what she was saying so I took a moment to figure it out before having to explain in front of everyone that I am the deaf student and I need the laptop for equal access to the class. Even after that, she continued to look at me like I was being rude if I wouldn't hold eye contact with her and would look at my screen instead. Still, this video is really helpful and I may show it to her anyway.

  4. As an educational Interpreter, I am so grateful for this video. Very concise and perfect intro for teachers. Seriously, wonderful video Jill!

  5. All great tips! I'd add something extremely important for teachers to know. The interpreter is only there to interpret and facilitate communication. They are not there to be the teacher's assistant, or to help supervise the classroom if the teacher needs to leave for something. There's been problems with this, where the teacher assumes the interpreter will intervene with students who are acting up or anything of the kind. That is not the interpreter's job. Yes, there are some who don't mind doing that, but it still isn't part of their job.

    Another important thing in addition to your tip about the lag time – if the teacher asks the question to the class in general, they should wait a little so the interpreter can catch up. That way, the deaf student has an equal opportunity to respond to the question.

  6. I'm a visually impaired college student so I always end up following the interpreters signs as they easily distract me. who do I look at to ask the deaf person a question,initially?

  7. can you talk about in a video working with 2 interpreters and more than one deaf student and the professor is deaf too. in my case. im in deaf ed class and there is currently 2 interpreters and 3 deaf students and the teacher deaf. a few students prefer to use sign to speak so there like 5 or more ASL conversations and 2 interpreters we going to get at least 1 more interpreter 4 that class. we asked to sand to speak or sign cause of the other deaf people and the way the room set up.

  8. Hey Jill and Jenna! Love all your videos! They're so helpful and informative! Could you do one about mouth morphemes? Like how you speak, shape your mouth, and noises that might be associated with signs?

  9. I go to a smaller community college, and I am friends with the 3 deaf students who go there. Today, one of my friends' boss (he works in the tutorial center) came to me with a concern. He informed me that the school only has 1 interpreter for the 3 students, so she is not available for all of their classes, in which case they use an interpreter on a computer, who interprets what the professor says, but to my understanding, in this case, they don't have an interpreter for any questions they, as students, have for the professor during that class period. I believe his concern is that my friends don't have equal access compared to other students, his main reason being that the other community college in our same district has 2 interpreters for 1 student, while we have 1 interpreter for 3. He asked me to talk to my friends about it, but I'm not sure how to approach this situation?

  10. I just wanted to say thank you for these videos – they're really interesting and provide great insight into deaf culture. I know someone (hard of hearing) who watches your videos and knows BSL – another great reason to provide CC!!

  11. hey I wanna go to Gallaudet to become an interpreter. asl is such and beautiful language and its my #1 passion, but the thing is I need to be able to make a good living for myself off of it . I'm deffinetly not going to be working as and edu interpreter because I don't wanna spend years going to colledge to make just 30k a year , I was wondering what jobs fields pay interpreters the most like law , medical or cia . I live in Washington state .maybe even freelance make the most ? I'm trying to get as much money possible doing what I love so if you can help that would be great !! I asked my asl teacher at school and she said if you work for an agency you can make $100 an hour but the agency takes some of it . . please help because I'm not even getting straight answers for google .

  12. Hey, I was wondering if you could do a video for people like me who are EMTs or paramedics, because we don't have the luxury of having interpreters, which can lead to an uncomfortable lack of communication between us and our patient. I have a pretty good idea on how to ask about how they are feeling, but how would I ask things like, "Is it okay if I…" or "do you have a medical history I should know about." Also, how would I say "Point to…" (as in where it hurts). And what happened. I could have the patient write things down on paper, but I feel the process is more comforting if we can communicate more naturally.

  13. @asl stew what if the interpreter didn't show up in the classroom but if u knew asl and lwould intepret for the Deaf person is that bad ?

  14. Hey so I take ASL at a deaf school but I’m confused because I’ve seen remember tapped twice on the thumb and I asked my teacher and he said it’s only once. This might sound weird but is there a masculine and way to signing words on ASL? I noticed that girls tend to tap twice and guys only tap once for remember

  15. Thank you very much! As a Graduate from Gallaudet University’s School Psych. Program (Psy.S. – 1993) and now Profoundly DeafBlind myself, I have used (and still do!) MANY interpreters over my career in a wide variety of settings and circumstances. Often, they have had to explain their role and function. Thus, for new people to the World of ASL, TASL, and/or Pro-Tactile ASL such Tips are great for them to have! Again, thanks fo;r doing this!

  16. Thanks for the great video with a lot of good tips.
    Waiting a while for a student to answer is always good–in fact, it's a teaching best practice in any situation. Some students gather their thoughts as they go along; others need some time to gather their thoughts before asking or answering a question. Instructors should accommodate all types of learners.

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