Sign Language Improvement Services Inlcude

Interpreter Evaluations (for professional growth, not certification)
Evaluations of educational interpreters in their current assignment can be done:

  • on-site with observations and conferencing, or
  • remotely by evaluation of video-taped interpreting samples, and conferencing via Internet video-conferencing.

Each evaluation includes a written evaluation and recommendations for improvement.

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Interpreter Mentoring
Provides interpreters with skill development tailored to their current assignments. Mentoring of interpreters can be done on-site or remotely using the Internet.

  • Interpreters submit video-taped samples of their work
  • Interpreting samples are analyzed
  • Video conference is conducted and suggestions for improvement given.
  • Area to be addressed include:
    • The role of the Educational Interpreter
    • Interpreter Ethics
    • Interpreting Techniques
    • Sign Vocabulary Improvement
    • The role of the interpreter in language acquisition of deaf students
  • Conferencing can be weekly, monthly or as needed

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Basic Sign Language Class for Teachers of Students with Special Communication Needs
A simple form of sign language can often be used to supplement other methods of communication used with students with significant cognitive disabilities, or significant communication delays. These students may or may not have a hearing impairment. Using Internet video conferencing:

  • Key vocabulary for life skills and pre-academics is taught in 8 one-hour sessions or 12 sessions of 45 minutes each.
  • Classes are conducted through Internet video-conferencing at times convenient for the participants.
  • Over 350 signs are taught
  • These signs are intended to be used in conjunction with other communication strategies such as speech, picture exchange communication systems, gestures, etc.
  • Signs for classroom specific vocabulary, provided by the participants can be included.
  • This is not a conversational sign language class.

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Sign Language Improvement for Teachers
This service may be useful in programs where there is only one teacher of the deaf, or for teachers who may not have extensive experience with sign language. Using electronic and Internet communication the teacher can acquire needed sign language vocabulary that is consistent with that used with most deaf students.

  • The teacher provides an electronic copy of upcoming lesson plans or outlines
  • Through Internet video conferencing, relevant vocabulary is identified and sign vocabulary is taught or reviewed.
  • Conferencing can be weekly, monthly, or as needed.

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Receptive Sign Language Skills (Sign to Voice) for Interpreters
Most of the educational interpreter's work involves expressive signing, with little opportunity to use Receptive or sign to voice skills. For this reason the receptive portion of interpreter evaluations present a great challenge. Diffee Consulting can provide intense, targeted instruction in Sign to Voice skills for professional growth, or in preparation for interpreter evaluations. This is best provided on-site, in one-on-one sessions. Because of the intense work, it is best provided in several short sessions in one day, or over several days.

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Sign Language Improvement for Interpreters
In many programs there is no lead interpreter or even interpreter peers who can provide the novice interpreter or teacher assistant with needed vocabulary and interpreting techniques. Electronic and Internet communication can be used as follows:

  • The Interpreter provides an electronic copy of upcoming lesson plans or outlines
  • Through Internet video conferencing, relevant vocabulary is identified and sign vocabulary is taught or reviewed.
  • Conferencing can be weekly, monthly, or as needed.

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