Speech-language pathologists' collaboration with interpreters: Results of a current survey in California


  • Terry Irvine Saenz California State University, Fullerton,in California
  • Henriette W. Langdon San José State University, in California


speech-language pathologists, speech and language therapists, interpreters in the schools, speech-language assessment and intervention


One of the challenges of bilingual speech and language assessment, intervention, and conferencing is the effective collaboration with interpreters in such interpreted interactions when the professional does not share the same spoken language with the client. A survey of California speech-language pathologists who were members of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) was performed to obtain information on their training to collaborate with, experiences with, and opinions of interpreters. In addition, these professionals were surveyed about the training of the interpreters and suggestions for improvement in interpreted interactions. Findings from 229 participants indicated that: (a) Most of the speech-language pathologists had had instruction, either through university coursework and/or postgraduate presentations, about collaborating with interpreters; (b) Generally, the speech-language pathologists were satisfied with the quality of interpretation/translation; (c) Most interpreters had been trained by their work of employment and/or the speech-language pathologists; but (c) Most of the speech-language pathologists had had to work with family or family friend interpreters at some point, including some who had had to work with family members who were minors.