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How might learning through an educational interpreter influence cognitive development?

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Abstract

Put simply, educating children with the use of an interpreter is an educational experiment. Although published demographic data documents the number of children who are being educated in classrooms with educational interpreters (Kluwin, Moore, and Gaustad 1992), no studies have been done to document how well these students are doing. For all children, deaf or hard of hearing and hearing, the goal of education is not just to attain and recall factual information. The true goal of education is to develop cognitive skills that will serve as the foundation for later learning and participation in society.
... The role of educational interpreters is a topical subject, with a number of studies affording insight into the reduced access to academic information and social participation available to deaf students in interpreted education (Antia & Kreimeyer 2001;Berge & Thomassen 2015;Harrington 2000Harrington , 2005Marschark et al. 2005;Metzger & Fleetwood 2004;Schick 2004;Thoutenhoofd 2005;Winston 2004). It has been said that an essential part of the educational interpreter's role is to take the responsibility to reconstruct, time and coordinate potential turn-taking moments (Metzger 1999(Metzger , 2005Roy 2000). ...
... The historical reason for employing sign language interpreters in schools was -and still isthe political goal of inclusion for all pupils, irrespective of disability (Antia & Kreimeyer 2001;Harrington 2005;Marschark et. al 2005;Metzger & Fleetwood 2004;Schick 2004;Thoutenhoofd 2005). Inclusion in these settings depends not only on access to teachers' information, but also on opportunities to participate in activities organised by the students. ...
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This study examines interpreted group work situations involving deaf and hearing senior high school students, using Norwegian Sign Language and spoken Norwegian. The research question is: how does the sign language interpreter explicitly coordinate turn-taking in group work dialogues among deaf and hearing students? Video recordings of authentic learning situations constitute the basis for analysis of how a sign language interpreter uses multimodal actions to convey information that is used by the deaf and hearing students in establishing a shared focus of attention and thus coordinating their turn-taking. Five types of actions were recurrently identified: construction of visual gestures; timing of the interpreter’s input; use of gaze to negotiate for the deaf students’ speaking turns; left-right shifts in body position to convey information about which of the hearing students is speaking; and backward-forward shifts in body position to negotiate for shared attention. The analysis draws mainly on concepts developed by Goffman (1959, 1981), Goodwin (1994, 2000, 2007) and Wadensjö (1998). The discussion examines implications for the educational interpreter’s role set (Sarangi 2010, 2011), and the dual responsibility s/he fulfils by not only interpreting the students’ utterances, but also explicitly coordinating their interaction.
... Additional studies of interpreters working in educational settings focus on a variety of language and policy-related topics, including not only the interpreter's role in a classroom (see also Harrington, 2005), but also the impact of coded sign systems on language learning (cf. Stack 2004;Winston 2004); the impact on sociocultural development of students through learning in a mediated (interpreted) learning situation versus direct instruction (Schick, 2004); and the lack of educational preparation for educational interpreters and its corresponding impact on both interpreters and students (see Langer, 2004;Schick, 2004;and Winston, 2004). ...
... Additional studies of interpreters working in educational settings focus on a variety of language and policy-related topics, including not only the interpreter's role in a classroom (see also Harrington, 2005), but also the impact of coded sign systems on language learning (cf. Stack 2004;Winston 2004); the impact on sociocultural development of students through learning in a mediated (interpreted) learning situation versus direct instruction (Schick, 2004); and the lack of educational preparation for educational interpreters and its corresponding impact on both interpreters and students (see Langer, 2004;Schick, 2004;and Winston, 2004). ...
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Sociolinguistic processes are inherent in communication and thus the practice of interpretation. Interpreting constitutes intentional sociolinguistic analyses by interpreters, and reflects the tacit, sociolinguistic knowledge of interpreters engaged in the task. Sociolinguistic approaches and methodologies are well suited to interpreting studies, precisely because interpreting involves such a complex array of language and social behavior. In this sense, not only is the sociolinguistic context a relevant aspect of interpretation as a profession, but also the larger sociolinguistic context in which interpreters work. Each interpreted interaction undertaken by a professional interpreter is situated within communities that harbor their own unique multilingual, bilingual, and language contact phenomenon; within a setting that represents a snapshot of what may be a long history of language policies and planning; and in a social environment beset with language attitudes about one or both of the languages involved. In this article, we will describe some major and minor sociolinguistic studies of interpretation with the underlying assumption that interpretation itself constitutes a sociolinguistic activity from the moment an assignment is accepted, including the products and processes inherent to the task, reflecting variously issues of bilingualism or multilingualism, language contact, variation, language policy and planning, language attitudes, and of course, discourse analysis. In short, sociolinguistic concerns are such an integral part of interpretation that relevant sociolinguistic areas are being studied by a variety of researchers from diverse and interdisciplinary backgrounds. Just as the study of sociolinguistic issues as they pertain to interpreting have a great potential to impact interpreting practice and pedagogy, the study of interpreters and interpretation has much potential to contribute to our understanding of sociolinguistics and the sociolinguistics of deaf communities.
... Sin duda, las primeras experiencias educativas y de aprendizaje de los niños sordos tienen que desempeñar un papel importante en la forma en que se desarrollan las habilidades numéricas (Marschark, Lang y Albertini, 2002), aunque son pocos los estudios que han considerado específicamente la forma en que las diferencias en procesamiento general mostradas por las personas sordas pueden influir en el aprendizaje y representación del conocimiento numérico (Schick, 2005). Como ya hemos mencionado anteriormente, la mayor parte de los estudios que han analizado las habilidades matemáticas de las poblaciones sordas ha observado únicamente el rendimiento matemático como parte de estudios más amplios de rendimiento educativo en general, en el que frecuentemente el centro de atención era la capacidad lectora (Swanwick et al., 2005). ...
... Winston, 2004b). They have acknowledged that: different educational stakeholders have different perspectives on the success of interpreting in this context (Leneham, 2004); language access may not be happening as effectively through interpreters as educators believe (Monikowski, 2004); children's access to cognitive development and learning may be hindered (Schick, 2004); it is difficult to define which interpreting technique is suitable (Davis, 2005;Stack, 2004); the authentic educational experience may not actually be interpretable (E. Winston, 2004a); deaf students may be 'left behind' as compared hearing students by only receiving their education indirectly via interpreters (Schick, Williams, & Kupermintz, 2005); deaf children may not really be able to equally participate in inclusive education via interpreters (Thoutenhoofd, 2005); the competence of educational interpreters needs to be closely evaluated (Jones, 2004;Schick & Williams, 2004); educational interpreters need to be regularly assessed and supervised (Taylor, 2004); it is essential for educational interpreters to be educated to a higher level than the students for whom they are interpreting (Burch, 2002); greater functional standards of practice are needed for educational interpreters (Metzger & Fleetwood, 2004); and educational interpreters often feel isolated and unclear on their role and identity in the school community, experiencing communication breakdowns with teachers and uncertainty about how much control they can exercise over 'bodies and spaces' in the school environment (Langer, 2004). ...
... The assumption is that providing educational interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in mainstreamed settings is adequate. However, Schick (2004) argues, "educating children with the use of an interpreter is (still) an educational experiment" (p. 73). ...
... Clearly, the early educational and learning experiences of deaf children may play a profound role in how skills such as numeracy develop (Marschark, Lang, & Albertini, 2002;Swanwick, Oddy, & Roper, 2005), although few studies have specifi cally considered how fundamental differences in information processing by deaf individuals may infl uence learning and representation of numerical knowledge and concepts (Marschark, 2003;Schick, 2005;Tharpe, Ashmead, & Rothpletz, 2002). Many studies examining mathematical skills in deaf populations have only considered mathematical achievement as part of broader studies of general educational performance, in which often the main focus is literacy (Swanwick et al., 2005). ...
Chapter
This chapter examines recent findings about the development of numerical cognition in hearing individuals to understand the observed lag in arithmetical and mathematical performance of deaf children and adults. It discusses how the information processing strategies of deaf individuals may influence the learning, representation, and retrieval of numerical and mathematical knowledge. The focus is on basic numerical processes that underlie mathematics and that subsequently feed into our understanding of related topics in science and technology. © 2008 by Marc Marschark and Peter C. Hauser. All rights reserved.
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