Rules for oral and sign interpreters
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Oral and sign interpreters may be approved to support students with a moderate to severe hearing loss, to address the delay in the acquisition of vocabulary.
Who can be an oral or sign interpreter
Interpreters must be skilled and a familiar communication partner with the student, for example the support class teacher or itinerant support teacher. The interpreter must not act in the role of a supervisor.
What an oral or sign interpreter can do
- Access the examination paper up to 15 minutes before the start of the examination to familiarise him/herself with the content. During this time the interpreter must remain strictly supervised and may not communicate with the student or any other person.
- Read or sign verbatim the directions to candidates.
- Explain words or phrases in the instructions, questions and stimulus material.
- Simplify the structure of a sentence grammatically.
- Paraphrase questions. The student may write this rephrasing on the examination paper and/or check their understanding of the question with the interpreter.
What an oral or sign interpreter cannot do
- Explain vocabulary specific to the subject, eg ‘bisect’ should not be explained in a mathematics examination.
- Advise the student on the selection of questions.
- Read or sign stimulus material and/or passages in their entirety.
- Explain each of the alternative answers in multiple-choice questions. (If the student is perplexed by the answer choice, explanation of individual vocabulary may be given, provided that this does not indicate the correct response.)
- Assist the student with planning or writing responses.
What extra time is permitted with an oral or sign interpreter?
Extra time is allowed for the time in which a student engages with the interpreter. The maximum time allowable is calculated at the rate of five minutes per half-hour of examination time. The supervisor will record the amount of time that the student engages with the interpreter and extend the student’s examination time accordingly.