The Importance of Interpreting in the Education Sector

Education and communication are an essential part of everyone’s life. Regardless of what language you speak, people need to be able to express their thoughts, needs, gratitude and demand. If a child faces poor communication in school on a daily basis, the changes of that child receiving a quality education deteriorates significantly. This is why, when it comes to the language aspect of it should not be a barrier. Hence, comes the importance of interpreting in education.

Today, classrooms in America are very culturally diverse, so it isn’t uncommon for there to be a handful of children who cannot understand or speak English, so incorporating professional interpreters into the educational system is crucial to ensure that all students have equal access to the same education.

Educational Interpreter’s Role

An educational interpreter is the person who will help children adapt to the school process and who will assist their family when dealing with teachers or other school authorities. However, this role can be challenging since at this age, a child’s cognitive development, critical thinking and emotional control is still evolving. Because of this, these educational interpreters have to understand how to work with a child’s emotional content and know when to intervene if the student needs clarification and information that will ensure the child understands the interpreting encounter. The most important job for an educational interpreter is to ensure the child understands and comprehends the information being given to them by the instructor team. If they do this, the child will have the best educational experience regardless of the language barrier they have.

Limited English Proficient (LEP) Children

When dealing with an LEP student or parents, educational interpreters are included in parent/teacher conferences, school board meetings, disciplinary health meetings, meetings with social workers and counselors, or to just review educational plans for the child. During any of these instances, the interpreter facilitates communication between both parties to ensure that both sides fully understand the information being provided. This also helps the parents stay involved with their child’s educational needs. By having an interpreter, they will make make sure information is being accurately interpreted as well as any strategies and development plans that may need to be put in place when teaching an LEP child.

Deaf Children

When working with a Deaf child, this is a full time job for an interpreter. Typically, an interpreter will be hired to take on a teaching role within the classroom that the Deaf child is in. From there, the child, their family and the school’s faculty heavily depend on this interpreter to teach the child. Their job is to enable the child to access the general curriculum that is being taught in the classroom through sign language interpretation. However, their job is not only to help teach a child. The interpreter can also help with facilitating communication between Deaf and hearing children, which helps with social interaction and development. By having a consistent present in the classroom, the interpreter can provide a Deaf child with the tools they need to receive an education in a language they can understand.


A child’s education is extremely important, which means all members of a child’s educational team need to work together to provide the best learning opportunities, regardless if the child lacks of English proficiency or if the child is Deaf. By implementing the use of an interpreter, the child will be able to learn and understand their education. This type of process takes a professional interpreter, one with training in the educational setting to handle this unique and rewarding work.

2 replies
  1. Jodie
    Jodie says:

    The use of the term “hearing impaired” originates in the medical field. This term indicates an impairment, something that needs to be fixed. Medical professionals use this perspective to encourage parents to outfit their child with technology, such as cochlear implants, that will enable to child to function as a hearing child would. However, when the child removes their device, they are still not able to hear.
    The Deaf community (big “D” indicating culturally Deaf) cherishes ASL as a valuable part of the culture and are proud to be referred to as Deaf, it is an identity. While the use of small “d” deaf is used to generally refer to deafness, without indication of degree.
    The use of the term “hearing impaired” is not widely accepted by the deaf community, in large part because of the oppression experienced and in part because they do not view themselves as impaired. A Deaf individual can enjoy the same experiences as
    a hearing individual through visual rather than auditory encounters.


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