Journal Article

Social Construction of American Sign Language—English Interpreters

Campbell McDermid

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 14, issue 1, pages 105-130
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enn012
Social Construction of American Sign Language—English Interpreters

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Instructors in 5 American Sign Language—English Interpreter Programs and 4 Deaf Studies Programs in Canada were interviewed and asked to discuss their experiences as educators. Within a qualitative research paradigm, their comments were grouped into a number of categories tied to the social construction of American Sign Language—English interpreters, such as learners’ age and education and the characteristics of good citizens within the Deaf community. According to the participants, younger students were adept at language acquisition, whereas older learners more readily understood the purpose of lessons. Children of deaf adults were seen as more culturally aware. The participants’ beliefs echoed the theories of P. Freire (1970/1970) that educators consider the reality of each student and their praxis and were responsible for facilitating student self-awareness. Important characteristics in the social construction of students included independence, an appropriate attitude, an understanding of Deaf culture, ethical behavior, community involvement, and a willingness to pursue lifelong learning.

Journal Article.  16281 words. 

Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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