Parallel and divergent interpreting in an elementary school classroom

Kimberly A. Wolbers, Lisa M. Dimling, Heather R. Lawson, Debbie B. Golos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


THE STUDY examined the extent to which a highly qualified interpreter remained parallel with or diverged from the original classroom discourse in her interpreting for a 3rd-grade deaf student in science, social studies, and resource room. The interpreter's signed and verbalized expressions were compared to the class participants' expressions for meaning equivalence. Parallel interpreting, occurring 33.2% of the time, closely matched the content of the speaker's message. Divergent interpreting, whereby the interpreter added or dropped elements of meaning, occurred 66.8% of the time. Qualitative analyses of classroom footage as well as interviews with the interpreter and the teachers revealed how, when, and why the interpreter diverged from the message. While the interpreter often made intentional reductions and additions to the discourse to achieve greater student understanding of language and course content, there was little awareness of these changes among individualized educational program team members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-65
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican annals of the deaf
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Parallel and divergent interpreting in an elementary school classroom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this