Working with Interpreters

Interpreters working with SLT’s

Using parents for a 1-3 word level

Skills & Guidance


1. To be able to relate to the child and develop a warm relationship.
2. To be able to attend to the child by watching and listening to him/her.
3. To be able to get the child’s attention so that he/she looks and listens to you.
4. To be able to get to the child’s physical level.

How To Achieve These Skills:
Use appropriate toys and activities for the child.
Smile and make eye contact with the child.
Try not to ask questions at this point, especially to the younger child.
Allow the child to explore and play as he/she chooses.
Look and listen to the child.
Praise him/her when he shows good or correct play with the activities.
Respond to the child if he/she includes you in his/her play.
During the test situation attend to the child extremely carefully because he may use eye pointing as a way of answering.

Very Important Skills For Assessing:
Introduce toys with excitement.
Allow child to look and touch the toys before asking test items.
Say “ Child’s name” before giving the question.
Make eye contact by saying “look at me”.
Touch or turn the child’s head to help him/her look at you.
Use “introducers” like “ready”, “do another one”.
Change your voice pattern.
Touch the child’s hands/arms.
Help the child put the toys down and keep his/her hands still while you ask the question.
Both sit on little chairs, or both sit on the floor.


DO - Make all your translations in advance of the assessment.

DO - Be clear about exactly what you are testing.

DO - Be sure that your translation is saying what you want it to be saying.

DO - Be clear about the equipment you are going to use.

DO - Place all the objects so that the child can see them all.

DO - Place the objects randomly.

DO - Always place the objects back in front of the child if he/she answers by picking it up and/or giving it to you.

DO - Allow the child to touch and look at new items before giving the instructions.

DO NOT - Name the pictures or toys as you put them in front of the child.

DO NOT - Emphasise any part of the instruction. Say the entire instruction in a sentence form.
DO NOT - Repeat the instruction more than twice unless asked by the therapist.

DO NOT - Ever repeat only part of an instruction.

DO NOT - Point to answers with your hands, eyes or head.


DO - Be clear about your task, method and equipment.

DO - Translate your instructions or questions and check they mean the same as in English.

DO - Repeat the instructions if you feel the child did not understand or hear you, or if he/she needs more encouragement to respond.

DO - Be clear about what to do if the child does not respond i.e. how do you help the child.

DO - Write down exactly what the child says if the session is not recorded.

DO - Be as precise as possible when writing what the child says, especially when he/she pronounces things differently to the way you would say it, or makes his/her sentence in a different order to yours.

DO - Answer the child if he/she asks you questions.

DO - Be aware that the child may use non-verbal communication e.g. gestures etc.

DO NOT - Try to make sense of what the child says when transcribing. Write it as he/she has said it.

DO NOT - Stop the child talking about topics he chooses unless you feel he is not listening to ANY of your questions.

DO NOT - Ask the child to repeat things you say unless asked specifically by the therapist.

DO NOT - Ignore the child’s attempts to communicate non-verbally e.g. if he uses pointing, gestures, facial expression.


1. Can you easily understand the child’s single words?

2. Is he/she making errors or saying them differently to how they are actually pronounced.

3. Can you describe any errors?

4. Can the child be easily understood when linking words and using sentences? Is this more difficult due to the way words are said?

1. Is the child imitating you at any time?
For example: (a) when you ask a question.
(b) when you make a comment – e.g. “Good boy/girl, that’s nice”

2. Do you think the child is using words he is making up him/herself (jargon)?

3. Are the child’s sentences well made or broken up into pieces?

4. Do you think the child is not listening or ignoring you at any time?

5. Do the child’s responses seem inappropriate?

6. Does the child take a long time to respond?

7. Do you need to repeat questions to the child?

8. Does the child use a lot of non-specific words – for example: it, them, these, etc?

9. Can the child talk about topics introduced by adults?



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