Deaf and hearing high-school students' expectations for the role of educational sign-language interpreter
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSociety, health and vulnerability 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/shv.v6.28969
This article focuses on the role of the educational interpreter as seen from the student’s perspective. Based on a classroom study conducted in Norway, it presents an analysis of interviews with highschool students who have hearing loss and with students who do not. The main finding is that both groups have similar expectations for the educational interpreter’s role. Repeatedly mentioned topics were connected to how the interpreters mediated language, how they coordinated their interaction, and how they facilitated small talk situations between the students. With respect to the coordinative function, both groups appreciate if the interpreter advises them on how to organise the seating and coordinates the turn-taking. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students also appreciate if the interpreter adjusts the mediation to their visual orientation. The facilitator models are therefore more in line with the students’ expectations than a linguistically oriented role model, and to fulfil the students’ expectations educational interpreters appear to need a stronger implementation of interactional elements in their role definitions.