Tips for Teaching


Working with an Interpreter

Although many deaf or hard of hearing students are able to speech read, it may be necessary to have an interpreter available. Here are a few tips for working with an interpreter:

  1. Be sure you've been introduced to the interpreter. Ask for a brief explanation of the interpreter's role in the classroom.
  2. Discuss with the student and the interpreter(s) where it would be best for the interpreter(s) to be located in order to provide the greatest benefit for the student without distracting other class members.
  3. Let the interpreter know if you expect to use any special audio-visual equipment for films or slides. The interpreter will need adequate lighting in order to be seen.
  4. During class, if you are speaking too fast, if someone speaks inaudibly, or if several people talk at once, the interpreter will not be able to provide a clear interpretation to the student. Avoid this whenever possible.
  5. The interpreter is in the classroom to facilitate communication for both the student and the instructor. Speak directly to the student as you would any other student. The instructor, the interpreter, and the student should all feel free to ask for clarification to insure accuracy of the information conveyed.
  6. The interpreter's only job in the classroom is to facilitate communication. She/he should not be asked to run errands or proctor exams. She/he must not participate in the class in any way.
  7. The interpreter may require a break from interpreting after 45 to 90 minutes, as it is highly taxing, both mentally and physically. If two interpreters are available, they can alternate to provide breaks.
  8. If you wish to discuss any problems with the interpreting situation, wait until a break or after class when these problems can be discussed together with the student.

If you have any questions, please contact the Advisor for Disability Support Services