“Those pupils who act as young interpreters make an outstanding contribution of enabling those pupils speaking little English and their parents or carers to take full part in all school activities.“Now the YI Guidance Pack for teachers has reached me in Valencia.
The Pack is a well-organised, stimulating and suggestive aid for teachers in schools that have a considerable proportion of immigrant students speaking languages other than the dominant language of the country. It's attractively designed and illustrated. It comes with a DVD that contains some good videos. Pupils also have access to Moodle, a free e-learning internet software platform.
Interpreting is treated as a serious practical activity, not as a game or pastime. The mode of interpreting is dialogue interpreting in a community interpreting setting. Here’s what the Pack has to say about preparation:
Good advice for adult interpreters too.
- You should prepare by finding out what the meeting is about by talking to the person leading the interview.
- You should also research some words that may be of use.
- You should ensure that the location is private and rearrange the seats so everyone is equal.
- You should introduce all parties.
The Guidance deals with a point that troubles some people when they hear about such young people interpreting, that of their having access to confidential information. It says,
- Put all the information across.
- Keep neutral and avoid taking sides, avoid giving your opinion.
- Listen and show attention, stay focused, stick to the point.
- Respect cultural issues.
- Be patient, be polite.
- Know your boundaries.
“They should consider [the need for] confidentiality, but point out that as students they should not be asked to interpret in situations where confidentiality might be an issue.”Be it noted that confidentiality is among the rules of interpreting that are mentioned by students themselves.
As one would expect from experienced teachers, there are lots of Role Play Scenarios, Interpreting Scenarios, Resource Sheets and the like. There are sections on selecting pupils to participate, on organising the training sessions and on what can be expected from ‘graduates’.
Source: Shirley Community Nursery & Primary School, Cambridge, UK