Date of Award

Winter 3-18-2018

Exit Requirement

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Department

Teacher Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Elisa Maroney

Committee Member

Amanda Smith

Committee Member

Dawn Whitcher

Abstract

In this thesis, the teaching, research, and practice of signed language interpreter educators in the United States is examined through a Critical Social Theory framework.

While there is literature on interpreter educators from the perspective of program directors, very little research has been done that gathers data directly from interpreter educators. The research available leads to recommendations for instructor credentials and qualifications; however, no data exists regarding current signed language interpreter educators and whether they possess the recommended criteria.

An exploratory survey was disseminated to interpreter educators in the United States to elicit information regarding their experience as signed language interpreters, as teachers, and regarding their engagement in research. Demographic information was collected to better understand how a participant’s social identity may affect program outcomes. The charts and diagrams in this study provide a broad overview of current interpreter educators, curriculum utilization, professional development, and research. The data from the survey was compared with the existing literature to assess for alignment, incongruences, and gaps.

The conclusion and results from critiquing the research and the findings show there are many additional areas for research regarding interpreter educators. The results also show the need for established hiring requirements for interpreter educators, peer-reviewed course materials, effective professional development for current instructors, and an increased engagement in conducting and disseminating research. It is the recommendation that educators and researchers engage in a critical self-assessment to understand the impact of interpreter educators on program outcomes.

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