Deaf Interpreters: Exploring Their Processes Of Interpreting by Eileen M. Forestal, Ph.D.
Outline • Introduction to the Study • Literature Review • Research Method • Data Collection and Analysis • Results, Conclusions, and Recommendations
Statement of the Problem • It is not known what steps Deaf Interpreters (DIs) use in their work to ensure effective interpretation (Cokely, 2005; Forestal, 2005; Stone, 2005). • Ressler (1998) and Cerney (2004) pointed out a need to explore what transpired in the mind of a DI during the process of interpretation for an equivalent message. • Compounding the problem, there is no known research on the education of DIs to determine effective practices without understanding their thought processes (Cokely, 2005; Stone, 2005; Winston, 2005).
Purpose of the Study • To determine the steps that Deaf interpreters use in their work for effective interpretation for a specific audience. • To provide a means to explore the thought patterns as the DIs work through their steps for an effective interpretation. • To explore the DIs’ educational background, as well as how and why they got involved as DIs.
Conceptual Framework Deaf Interpreter Effective Interpretation
Research Questions • What steps do Deaf interpreters use in their work to ensure effective interpretation? • What strategies and resources do Deaf interpreters use while working on the analysis for interpretation?
Significance of the Research • Provide: • Rudimentary and clearer understanding of steps that DIs carry out for effective interpreting. • effective means of describing the processes, steps, and decisions DIs utilize. • Some predicators of teaching skill development and cognitive processing • Enhance literature for research purposes
Literature Review • Deaf Interpreters • Demographics • The Beginnings of Deaf persons working as interpreters • Evolution of Deaf Interpreting as a Profession • The Deaf Translator Norm • Deaf-Hearing Interpreting Team Processes • Think Aloud Protocol • Interpretative Theory of Translation
Methodology • Research Design • Qualitative • Descriptive and cross-sectional • Inductive • Three-phase • Preliminary interview • Think Aloud Protocol • Retro-debriefing protocol • Participants • Six certified Deaf interpreters with more than five years of experience as DIs
Methodology, continued • Data Collection • Rationale for a small number of participants • Data was collected through two interviews and primarily the think aloud protocol activity • Ethical considerations • IRB procedures • Backyard research • Authenticity of material for TAP • Validity of translation from ASL to English
Methodology, continued • Data Analysis • Preparation of the data • Translations • Organization of recurring themes • Responses for the three-phase study were categorized into emergent themes. • Interpretation of the data
Figure 1. Interaction as seen on video for TAP activity. The lines separate the DI from the DC and HI. Note the dotted arrow from DI to DC as there was no interaction between the DC and the DI or between the DI and HI.
Figure 2. In live situations with each party interacting with one another.
Table 1. Breakdown in Minutes of the Interview, TAP, and Debriefing Phases
Table 2. Gender, Age, and Deaf Family Members of Participants
Table 3. Certification, Years of Experience, and Employment Status
Data Collection and Analysis, continued • Analysis of each phase • Preliminary interview • Based on 15 open-ended questions • TAP activity, based on consecutive interpreting • Retro-debriefing interview • Based on 5 open-ended questions • Triangulation of the data from the three phases for emergent themes • Discovery of steps, strategies, and resources employed by DIs for effective interpretation.
Results: Recurring Themes • Background information • Postsecondary education • Formative experiences • Interpreter education • Professional development • Drafting Deaf interpreters • TAP experiences
Recurring Themes, continued • Assessment of the Deaf consumer and hearing consumer • Team processes • Strategies & resources • Discourse analysis • Power issues between team members • Issues of involvement with Deaf consumer • Referential context from Deaf consumer
Results and Analysis, continued • Paradigm • “dialogic discourse-based interaction[al]” (Pöchhacker, 2004, p. 79) model for their work as DIs teaming with hearing interpreters • in settings that necessitate consecutive interpreting • a “socio-cognitive framework” (Zhoa, 2004, p. 110) • “co-construction of meaning” (Janzen, 2005. p. 332) through “collaborative interpreting” (Mathers, 2009, p. 74)
Limitations of the Study • Qualitative study was based on the results from small number of participants from the Northeast region of the U.S • DIs’ experiences with TAP • TAP • Time-consuming to use with larger number
Recommendations for Further Study • Processes between the DI and HI, as this study focused only on half of the team – the DI. • Deaf interpreters regarding their ages and years of interpreting experience. • Exposure to different service models of interpreting • How they affect DIs’ decisions, team dynamics, and processes • DIs’ ethnicity or racial status • Multi-cultural formative experiences more likely have impacted their discourse styles, resulting in a different socio-cognitive framework.
Future Plans • Presentations on Findings, Results, Conclusion, and Recommendations at National conferences • Work with Deaf Interpreter Competencies • Develop interpreter education workshops, based on the results • May do further research, using TAP, with Deaf-hearing interpreter teams • Research on implementation of TAP as instructional tool for DIs