Sign Language Interpreter Job Description and Duties

Updated on: July 9, 2020

A sign language interpreter is hired primarily to help hard of hearing or deaf people understand languages.

He or she may work in dedicated schools, or even be part of a corporate firm. In the latter situation, a sign language interpreter helps employees and customers in communicating.

Some duties that a sign language interpreter is expected to perform are listed below:

Sign Language Interpreter Job Duties and Tasks

• Interpret information for hearing-impaired students in all educational environments
• Develop and implement core interpretation programs according to target audiences
• Prepare for daily lessons by checking all resources and materials
• Simultaneously change spoken language into fingerspelling and sign language
• Read and research materials in order to prepare for class
• Create vocabulary booklets to teach students through sight words
• Develop and maintain effective rapport with class teachers
• Maintain open communication between teachers and students
• Evaluate classroom settings to position oneself for maximized communication appropriately
• Utilize students’ preferred modes of communication
• Assess students’ language and skills level to ensure proper communication techniques
• Research for new signs, vocabulary, and concepts
• Provide voice interpretation as required by the lead teacher
• Confer with regular classroom teachers in order to prepare well-placed interpreting services
• Model good interpretation practices
• Provide direction and coordination in planning and development of interpretation curriculum and plans
• Make good use of technology to provide interpretation services remotely
• Perform research to determine the new interpretation and sign language metrics
• Use instructional plans, strategies, and methods that meet the individual instructional needs of each student
• Assist the management in planning education programs
• Motivate students to reach their individual learning goals
• Assist lead teachers in adapting materials for hearing-impaired students
• Negotiate or mediate language transactions by clarifying the information
• Oversee all students during class, to ensure their physical and emotional safety
• Assist in arranging activities that focus on the individual learning of each student

Sign Language Interpreter Position Requirements

To work as a sign language interpreter, you should acquire fluency in both the sign language and the language that you are interpreting. You may need to be trained in American Sign Language, Manually Coded English, and mime and gestures, depending on the employer’s requirements.

Sign Language Interpreter Skills and Abilities

Working as a sign language interpreter will result in you coming across many challenges. This is why you must be able to handle difficult tasks, sometimes involving children.

If you are hired by a school, you will be working with children primarily, so you will need to know how to handle them.

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