Interpreter-mediated investigative interviews with minors
Setting the ground rules
When information is elicited from children in a criminal context, both their ability and willingness to disclose is at stake. In law, the communicative vulnerability of children is manifest in forensic protocols for interviewing children. These are designed to retrieve information in a child-aware fashion, as well as to produce evidence with sufficient integrity to stand up under the scrutiny of the criminal process. This article will consider some of the added challenges of interpreter-mediated interviews for minors. Drawing on research into monolingual child interviewing, the article proposes how some of the interpreting related aspects of this challenge may be addressed through the adaptation of elements of reflexive coordination in the widely used NICHD child interviewing protocol. The authors call for the data-based testing of these adaptations and suggests that modifications of institutional speech genres for bilingual use may be a component of mainstreaming public service interpreting.
Keywords: child interviewing, interpreting, interview formats, reflexive coordination, vulnerable interlocutors
Published online: 12 October 2018
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