This research is a response to discrepancies between directives from interpreting credentialing bodies regarding dual roles and actual practices in schools. The goals of the study are to explore the causes of interpreters tutoring while interpreting and role strain. The study focused on signed language interpreters who work in secondary educational settings and those who have left secondary educational interpreting.

The makeup of the subpopulations of this study—those who report tutoring while interpreting and those who report not tutoring while interpreting—have similar demographic profiles, and driving forces behind their work. The participants who report tutoring while interpreting are not necessarily required to do so. Participants who report not tutoring while interpreting were more likely to consult with the code of ethics of their certifying body when making decisions about tutoring, and they were less likely to feel their role is misunderstood by consumers and colleagues than participants who report tutoring while interpreting. Participants who report tutoring while interpreting were more likely to feel stress from the demands of tutoring and interpreting and more likely to need more resources and options to approach their work than participants who report not tutoring while interpreting. Factors contributing to role strain were identified in participants’ responses. The causes of secondary educational interpreters tutoring while interpreting may be interpreter dependent, and may be based on their perceptions of the contexts in which they work and how they define their work. There is an urgent need to further research effects of these practices so secondary educational interpreters can function in an evidence based practice of secondary educational interpreting.

Exit Requirement


Date of Award

Fall 12-2-2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Committee Chair

Elisa Maroney

Committee Member

Amanda R. Smith

Committee Member

Jill R. Baker


Educational Interpreting, Dual Roles, Tutoring, Role Strain, Sign language, Deaf



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

Accessibility | Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Special Education and Teaching

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