Classroom Interpreters - Interpreters and Children - Evaluating an Interpreted Education
Focus on Learning
Simply placing an interpreter in a classroom with a student who is deaf or hard of hearing may not provide adequate accommodation. Schools are required by federal law to ensure Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) which means that a student basically should make a year’s progress in a year’s worth of schooling. When evaluating an interpreted placement, the most important question to ask is whether the student’s learning is approximately comparable to that of his/her hearing peers. Considerations also should include:
- Evaluation of total learning: How much is the student learning compared with his/her hearing peers?
- Evaluation of spontaneous learning: Is the student learning new vocabulary and concepts from the interpreted lesson, or is extensive tutoring and advance preparation required?
- Evaluation of whether the student is an authentic member of the classroom and not isolated with the interpreter.
- Communication between team members should be frequent: Interpreters should contribute observations about understanding and learning.
- Frequent evaluation: If you are not sure a student is learning, probe often.