How sign language interpreters use multimodal actions to coordinate turn-taking in group work between deaf and hearing upper secondary school students
This study examines interpreted group work situations involving deaf and hearing senior high school students, using Norwegian Sign Language and spoken Norwegian. The research question is: how does the sign language interpreter explicitly coordinate turn-taking in group work dialogues among deaf and hearing students? Video recordings of authentic learning situations constitute the basis for analysis of how a sign language interpreter uses multimodal actions to convey information that is used by the deaf and hearing students in establishing a shared focus of attention and thus coordinating their turn-taking. Five types of actions were recurrently identified: construction of visual gestures; timing of the interpreter’s input; use of gaze to negotiate for the deaf students’ speaking turns; left-right shifts in body position to convey information about which of the hearing students is speaking; and backward-forward shifts in body position to negotiate for shared attention. The analysis draws mainly on concepts developed by Goffman (1959, 1981), Goodwin (1994, 2000, 2007) and Wadensjö (1998). The discussion examines implications for the educational interpreter’s role set (Sarangi 2010, 2011), and the dual responsibility s/he fulfils by not only interpreting the students’ utterances, but also explicitly coordinating their interaction.
Keywords: sign language interpreting, multimodal, video-analysis, explicit coordination, turn-taking, role set
Published online: 26 April 2018
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