Vibeke Bø

Vibeke Bø

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Vibeke Bø is a linguist, interpreter and teacher by training. She has been working as an interpreter since 2004, and as a university college lecturer at the BA program in Sign Language and Interpreting at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA) since 2012, teaching both linguistics and interpreting. She is part of the National Council for Sign Language and Interpreting, and also takes part in the BA-committee.  She has been chairing the regional department of the Norwegian Interpreters Association, and in the Work Ethics’ committee.


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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