Communication and education go hand in hand, one cannot be accomplished without the other. Classrooms in many countries today are culturally diverse with a mix of children from all over the world, and many cannot understand or speak the local language of that country.
To ensure that all students have equal access to their education system, and to ensure parents or legal tutors are well informed of the progression and educational life of their child, there is a vast need for interpreters specialized in the education sector who help ensure communication between the instructor team, parents, and the child.
The age of the child impacts cognitive development, critical thinking, and emotional control, and because of these, educational interpreters must understand how to navigate emotional content as well as know when to intervene for additional clarification and information that will ensure the child understands the interpreting encounter.
The presence of an experienced professional educational interpreter has a vital role to play in a huge number of settings, including:
· Parent and teacher conferences
· Disciplinary & health meetings
· School board meetings
· Meetings with social workers and counsellors
· Meetings about special educational needs
· Educational reviews and planning sessions
It is also important to highlight that in many cases, when there is no interpreter present, the child ends up taking this role, that is, being the interpreter and liaison between the school and my parents at Parent/Teacher interviews, and this can only lead to misunderstandings and frustration from everyone, both from the parents and instructors and of course, from the student who is trying to interact competently in the complicated systems of an adult conversation.
On the other hand, there is also educational interpretation for hearing impaired children. Here, the interpreter’s job is to enable the child with access to the general curriculum that is being taught in the classroom through sign language. The incorporation of an interpreter can also help with facilitating communication between deaf and hearing children, which aids in social interaction and development.
Did you know about the existence of this kind of interpreters? Had you ever thought of their importance? Tell us about it!