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Title: From practice to theory and back in interpreting: the pivotal role of training
Authors: Setton, Robin
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Robin Setton, "From practice to theory and back in interpreting: the pivotal role of training", in: The Interpreters' Newsletter, 15 (2010), pp. 1-18.
Series/Report no.: The Interpreters' Newsletter
Interpreting research (IR) has so far yielded ‘no major discoveries or applications’
for professional practice (Gile 2001). Today, with access to new and larger corpora
and advances in analytic techniques, research on authentic data, and in ‘ecovalid’
conditions, is developing fast, but conclusions will necessarily remain tentative for
the foreseeable future, and uptake by professionals indirect at best. However, IR
has helped to conceptualise and model interpreting to pedagogical effect.
Currently, therefore, the most direct route for interpreting research and theory to
benefit professional practice is still through training, initial or remedial.
Changing markets are posing several new challenges to interpreter training:
multilingualism, shifts in language demand and distribution (with more demand
for work into B), increased pressure to accept fast, ‘multimedia’, recited and remote
input, and the need to rejuvenate an aging profession. An effective pedagogy
adapted to contemporary and future conditions must (i) reset objectives by
‘working back’ from a realistic picture of the balance between client expectations,
inherent constraints, and the potential of expertise, as derived from research on
authentic data and situations; (ii) tap rich seams of relevant theory in cognition
and communicative interaction that have been relatively neglected in the past;
and (iii) take the pedagogical challenge seriously, with more attention to such
aspects as progression, simulation, usable feedback, consistent and credible
evaluation and testing, and putting ourselves in the student’s (and later, the
client’s) place.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1591-4127
Appears in Collections:The Interpreters' Newsletter n. 15 - 2010

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