Kristian Skedsmo

Kristian Skedsmo

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Kristian Skedsmo is an applied linguist and interpreter. He has been a trained interpreter since 1994 and an interpreter trainer since 1997, both at the Trondheim and the Oslo program. He is head of the program at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA), vice chair of the National Council for Sign Language and Interpreting and chair of the BA-committee.  He doesn’t get out of the office quite as often as he would like to, but manages to do some interpreting once a month.


Second language learning for sign language interpreter students; the role of input

Students training to become sign language interpreters in Norway can start their training from scratch with regards to sign language learning. At Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA), over the fourteen years we have had the BA program in sign language and interpreting in Norway, Norwegian has been much used in the classroom the second and third year of the BA program. Since August 2016, we changed this practice, implanting sign language as the working language in the classroom, whether we are discussing theoretical issues, interpreting exercises, or handling administrative questions and issues. In addition, the teachers of sign language and interpreting have decided to use only sign language as working language at office. That means students are required to use sign language both in the classroom and if discussing with teachers (hearing or Deaf) in offices.

One result of the practice described above is the experience of language barriers. We will argue that the real experience of not being able to communicate freely is one of several important foundations when the interpreter is developing the professional intuition or integrity that enables the interpreter to recognize the insides and outsides of their professional role-space (Llewellyn-Jones and Lee 2014). For the Nordic Seminar for sign language interpreters, we will look the barriers often experienced by Deaf people (e.g. Mc Kee et al. 2011) and the barriers we create in the classroom, exploring how these kinds of barriers will affect the interpreter’s definition of their professional role-space. In addition to research on Deaf people’s language barriers, we will be using our own experiences in the classroom and semi-structured group interviews with students, in exploring this issue.

Llewellyn-Jones, Peter and Lee, Robert G. (2014) Redefining the Role of the Community Interpreter: The Concept of Role-Space. Carlton-le-Moorland: SLI Press.

Mc Kee, Michael, Steve L. Barnett, Robert C. Block, Thomas A. Pearson. (2011) Impact of Communication on Preventive Services Among Deaf American Sign Language Users. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 41(1), pp. 75-79.

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