The role of interpreters in inclusive classrooms

Shirin D. Antia, Kathryn H. Kreimeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The roles of interpreters in an inclusive classroom were examined through a qualitative, 3-year case study of three interpreters in an inclusive school. Interviews were conducted with interpreters, classroom teachers, special education teachers, and administrators. The interview data were supplemented with observations and field notes. Results indicate that in addition to sign interpreting between American Sign Language and speech, the interpreters clarified teacher directions, facilitated peer interaction, tutored the deaf children, and kept the teachers and special educators informed of the deaf children's progress. The interpreter/aides and the classroom teachers preferred this full-participant interpreter role, while the special educators and administrators preferred a translator role. Classroom teachers were more comfortable with full-time interpreters who knew the classroom routine, while the special educators and administrators feared that full-time interpreters fostered child and teacher dependence. These issues are discussed in terms of congruence with the Registry of Interpreters code of ethics and how integration of young children might be best facilitated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Annals of the Deaf
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Speech and Hearing


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