IMET - Fostering Fuller Inclusion Through Visual-Spatial Strategies



Full course description

This is an 8-lesson, 16-hours course—designed for independent study--that provides aspiring and working interpreters with the opportunity to enhance their ability to apply visual-spatial communication strategies during interpretation. The purpose of the course is to support the ability of interpreters to create fuller inclusion of deaf students in classroom content. Teachers frequently utilize a variety of media, visual aids, graphics, and whiteboard/blackboard work to support the teaching- learning process and interpreters strive to replicate what the teacher is showing/demonstrating/referencing through using the space immediately in front of them. This often results in incomplete or insufficient representation of all the information being provided by the teacher as part of imparting content to students. In this course, interpreters will be introduced to and practice visual and spatial linguistic strategies that will foster greater inclusion in the classroom content by deaf students. It focuses on the interpreter’s ability to become more actively engaged in the teaching-learning space utilized by the classroom teacher.

The course schedule provides for approximately 2 hours per lesson of knowledge and skill development activities over the 8 lessons. Participants of this course will be guided through an analysis of the historical role conception associated with interpreters and the resulting barriers associated with early conceptions of role—specifically relating to the implications of the invisibility ideal that continue to persist.

The more recent, evidence-based conceptualization of interpreting through Role Space will be explored and applied to working in K-12 settings. Classroom discourse as it relates to the teaching-learning cycle will be analyzed to identify the different types of teaching-learning practices that are utilized by K-12 teachers and the purpose and function they serve. Strategies for creating greater visual-spatial language access to the range of teaching-learning practices and the associated classroom content will be introduced and practiced. Interspersed with the practice activities are short presentations about different topics relating to the application of visual-spatial communication strategies and the level of engagement the interpreter practices.

Participants will also have the opportunity to practice interpreting the classroom texts to apply the strategies they are learning, to conduct self-assessments, and to compare/contrast their performance with sample interpretations generated by experienced, certified interpreters. The course concludes with resources the participant can use to continue their skill development beyond the course. Overall learning will be assessed through pre- and post-test outcomes.



As a result of completion of this course, participants will:

  • Describe the role of a K-12 interpreter through the contemporary lens of Role Space.
  • Adopt an approach to the interpreting task in K-12 classroom settings that fosters more visual-spatial engagement of deaf students with classroom content.
  • Apply strategies associated with visual-spatial communication to achieve greater access to discourse functions utilized by teachers as part of the teaching-learning cycle.
  • Analyze classroom discourse to identify specific opportunities to apply visual-spatial communication features.
  • Analyze the interpreting performance of experienced, certified, professional interpreters interpreting K-12 classroom content to identify examples of linguistic features used to achieve discourse mapping of the content and accuracy of message meaning.
  • Apply specific language features; such as sign-posting, depiction, discourse mapping and referential indexing to achieve greater inclusivity of deaf students in their English to ASL interpretations.
  • Self-assess their effectiveness in generating visually-spatially accessible interpretations of classroom content.
  • Compare and contrast their interpreting performance of classroom content with that of interpreting performance of experienced, certified, professional interpreters.

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