SLI Resources for Educators

Tips for Teachers and School Staff

  • Speak directly to the DHH student, not to the Interpreter.
  • Classroom expectations, rules, and policies are for all students. DHH students are equal participants in the classroom.
  • Turn-taking is a must! The Interpreter can interpret only one person’s message at a time.
  • Remember that because the Interpreters are working in two distinct languages, there will be some lag time in message delivery. Interpretation may continue after you have finished speaking.
  • Encourage the student(s) to approach you directly if s/he needs clarification or further direction. The interpreter will facilitate communication.
  • The Interpreter’s first priority is to the DHH students’ need for communication facilitation and tutoring. Further classroom assistance may not always be possible.
  • Even though the Interpreter has relayed your information to the student, full comprehension may not have occurred.
  • Deaf students are unable to take notes and watch an Interpreter simultaneously: therefore, accommodations will need to be made accordingly.
  • For the best visual accessibility, the  DHH student will need to sit where they can see best. The Deaf student should be able to see you, the board, and the Interpreter simultaneously.
  • Remember lighting needs for visual access of the Interpreter when planning classroom films or demonstrations. Also, when using movies or videos, please consider closed captioning needs ahead of time.
  • It is necessary for interpreters to have their own textbooks, digital media, and handouts. Receiving information with ample time to prepare prior to upcoming events, assignments, and topics is standard practice.
  • If you’re not sure about something, please don’t hesitate to ask!