The role of the interpreter in educational settings

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This paper presents the results of a questionnaire-based pilot study carried out in the region of Murcia (southeastern Spain) and exploring the perceptions that teachers have of communication with immigrant children and their families, the current solutions being applied to address those needs, and the type of solution teachers would prefer – intercultural mediation, community interpreting, or a new, specific professional activity consisting of a combination of both mediation and interpreting. The results show that teachers perceive both linguistic and cultural difficulties when communicating with non-Spanish speaking pupils and their families; that informal, ad hoc solutions are the order of the day; and that teachers may be better served by a type of professional who combines both intercultural mediation and interpreting skills.


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