Where’d I Park the TARDIS? The Pop-Culture Savvy Terp

10 Jan 2016, by Auslan Stage Left in Articles

This article was originally posted by Kaitlyn Mielke on MRID.


Who Ya Gonna Call?

To interpret effectively for Deaf and Hard of Hearing consumers in the K-12 and postsecondary education systems, educational sign language interpreters should be savvy on popular culture issues and trends.Think of the eighth grader proclaiming their love for vampires who sparkle inthe sun. What about the high school student sketching picture after picture ofa TARDIS? Or the group of college students hotly debating the latest episode of Game of Thrones or Downton Abbey? Let’s not neglect the kindergarteners sporting Frozen apparel and singing “Let It Go” for the umpteenth time. What about the high number of young padawan learners practicing their lightsaber skills in preparation of the newest Star Wars film? Then we have those who have been eagerly anticipating their letters of acceptance to Hogwarts.


Still think a working knowledge of popular culture is unnecessary in workingwith students in K-12 and postsecondary settings? Think again.  May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor.


There are a number of possible scenarios when pop culture references surface in working with Deaf/HOH students.  You are interpreting a discussion between the Deaf consumer and their friends about a movie. You haven’t seen the movie, and decide not to interpret the conversation as you don’t want to ruin the movie for yourself. This puts the Deaf student in a sticky situation – refusing to interpret the conversation, the interpreter has unknowingly made the Deaf student a social paria

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