As an interpreter I experienced that the expectations of the deaf students and the administrators in the school system were very different. It was like the teacher - interpreter paradox. The teacher wanted the interpreter to incorporate some teacher and the student wanted us to stay neutral.
I researched the literature but little to nothing was found, especially in South Africa. I found that there is no clear definition of the role of the interpreter.
There are different ways for the students to get to their grade 12 and the degree and diploma level.
The methodology was that I interviewed educational interpreters and secondly that I followed interpreters while at work. I chose those two methods so I could compare what interpreters thought what they should be doing and what they were actually doing.
The interpreters said that neutrality was the most important norm and that they should not leave the source text. Also it was ok to use some fingerspelling for certain terms and jargon. They said it was acceptable when it was not getting away from the source text. I filmed 14 lectures. The shifts that were made by the interpreters were:
- additions of information
- many times of ommission
- The teacher interpreter paradox is not a paradox at all
- Interpreter role is multi-faceted