Using an Interpreter

At some point in a student's educational career, they may be introduced to using an interpreter as an accommodation. If the student has no experience, some support needs to be provided to assist the student in understanding the role of the classroom teacher, the role of the interpreter and their own responsibility.

It is important to remember and develop the relationship between the teacher, the interpreter and the student as a team. Depending on the student's age and ability, the student may need support to appropriately utilize an interpreter. There are things the interpreter and the classroom teacher need.

Interpreters Need:
  • A place to sit, as comfortable as possible, near the source of information.
  • Copies of instructional materials such as the textbooks, syllabus, activity materials, etc.
  • Copies of assessment materials or access to preview the day of an assessment to ensure the context and vocabulary is clear for interpretation.
  • Notification of any changes in schedule, field trips, special school events, etc.

Teachers Need:
  • To understand the role and responsibilities of the interpreter, including the Code of Ethics that the interpreters follow.
  • To speak directly with the student and to discipline the student appropriately as would be done for other peers
  • To provide copies of materials to the student in advance

More information and support is available from the Florida Educational Interpreter Project.