Module code: TRAM482

Module Overview

This module provides students with little or no previous experience of interpreting with a hands-on introduction to interpreting and with the practical skills and knowledge required to perform consecutive interpreting tasks (with and without note-taking) into the student’s A language effectively in a wide range of communicative scenarios (e.g. conference/business/media settings, international institutions).

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

DAVITTI Elena (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Native or near-native competency in English and another language offered in the programme.

Module content

Indicative content includes:
• A general introduction to interpreting skills and strategies for all interpreting modes (consecutive, dialogue and simultaneous interpreting) which is shared with the Simultaneous Interpreting I module (multilingual pathway) and provides the bedrock of core interpreting skills necessary to operate professionally in all modes. Initial practical exercises are designed to develop and systematically improve analytical skills required for active listening, source speech comprehension, information processing and retrieval strategies, note-taking techniques, split attention and basic presentation skills.
• A language-pair specific component focusing on the consolidation of these skills and the development of strategies in relation to a given language pair and direction, and the associated linguistic, social and cultural challenges. The emphasis is on consecutive interpreting into the students’ A language and dialogue interpreting. Students analyse and discuss their own practice in relation to professional interpreting requirements in order to reflect on the difficulties and to develop their solutions. Furthermore, the module includes discussions of the role of the interpreter and basic rules of conduct. Students also learn how to prepare for an interpreting assignment, i.e. how to gather information from clients, research relevant terminology, etc. Materials include live speeches and recorded materials from general and semi-specialised registers.
• Multilingual group simulations of real-life interpreting situations (ranging from international conferences to business meetings, police and courtroom communication, doctor-patient conversations and setting of technology-supported interpreting), which provide students with opportunities for further hands-on practice in a polyglot environment, to consolidate the interpreting skills developed in language-specific modules; develop professional practice with regard to preparation; develop flexibility in switching from one mode to another; practise in front of live audiences, thus boosting confidence and public-speaking skills. These simulations will be covered in guided study sessions that take place regularly throughout the academic year and draw as far as possible on input from professionals who regularly work with interpreters (e.g. lawyers, judges, police officers, nurses, doctors, business people) and who will participate in the simulations on a case-by-case basis as role players (live speakers). As a by-product, students also develop skills related to interaction with clients, follow-up of interpreting assignments and working as part of a team.
• Centre for Translation Studies (CTS) Seminars, focussing on professional development activities and invited talks by experienced practitioners and Interpreting Studies scholars.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation ORAL: Consecutive interpreting into A language 60
Oral exam or presentation Reflective presentation 40

Alternative Assessment

Resits may exceptionally require an alternative form of assessment. In such cases, the mode and/or topic of the assignment may be modified, or the assignment may be done on the basis of recorded spoken material. The achievement of the learning outcomes is measured in the same way as in the first attempt, using the criteria for oral interpreting assignments.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their practical interpreting skills as well as their reflective skills.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
• One assignment of consecutive interpreting into the student’s A language of approx. 10-15 minutes at the end of the semester
• One reflective presentation about the consecutive interpreting assignment of approx. 10-15 minutes, including a presentation by the student and follow up-questions at the end of the semester

Formative assessment and feedback
Students receive regular feedback on their preparation and interpreting skills during the practice in class. Formative feedback from tutors, peers and clients is also provided during the guided study sessions. Towards the end of the semester, students conduct a formative ‘mock exam’ to simulate their consecutive interpreting assignment. This includes comprehensive feedback, an indicative mark and feed-forward to enable students to prepare for the end-of-semester assignment. In the mock exam, tutors use the same assessment criteria as the end-of-semester assignment. The criteria are made available to and explained to the students in class.

Module aims

  • provide an introduction to an interpreter’s work in professional settings
  • help students to develop the skills and strategies required for consecutive and dialogue interpreting including e.g. active listening, note-taking and transfer skills as well as skills for co-ordinating the interaction
  • prepared for professional interpreting tasks through generic exercises and language-pair specific (individual and group) practice
  • encourage students to develop reflective skills and a thorough understanding of an interpreter’s role and process with in-class discussions and analyses of different interpreting situations
  • offer language-pair specific practice workshops (subject to demand) in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish paired with English.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify the challenges of different interpreting situations C
002 Demonstrate the research skills necessary to prepare for interpreting tasks, e.g. terminological research K
003 Select interpreting strategies appropriate for consecutive and dialogue interpreting in different situations P
004 Grasp, transfer and express main ideas reliably, accurately and clearly P
005 Take and use notes effectively P
006 Perform consecutive and dialogue interpreting between English and the chosen language in a range of contexts including speeches, presentations, company tours, dialogue settings etc. P
007 Apply knowledge about public institutions that require consecutive/ dialogue interpreting services K
008 Appraise information and communication technologies used in interpreting situations and the challenges that they create for interpreting C
009 Work effectively under time pressure T
010 Apply a basic code of conduct for interpreting including issues such as impartiality and awareness of limitations P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to
• Combine teacher-led input and discussion (approx. 30%) exercises (approx. 70%) allowing for extensive practice using the School’s facilities
• Enable learning in language-pair specific small group workshops allowing students to develop their practical skills and expertise in interpreting
• Encourage critical self- and peer-evaluation of the students’ performance

The learning and teaching methods include
• Generic introductory classes (15 hours) to develop basic skills for interpreting which are language-pair independent
• Language-pair specific practice workshops (normally 12-18 hours) that enable students to further develop their interpreting skills through extensive practice and receive a large amount of formative feedback from their tutors and peers
• Multilingual group simulations to provide further opportunities for hands-on practice in simulated real-life scenarios. Each formative simulation is accompanied by a briefing, an induction in class and a reflective discussion at the end of the session in which the speakers and students share their observations and comments. This includes comprehensive feed-forward to enable students to work on their performance and to prepare the subsequent simulations.
• Independent study during which students are expected to spend at least 4 hours per week researching the subject areas and are encouraged to develop Internet and research skills to enable them to find appropriate materials for preparation; students are also expected to spend at least 6 hours per week practising on interpreting materials, individually and in groups; interpreting problems arising from assignments are discussed in class
• Regular (self-)recording of students to enable them to analyse and enhance different aspects of their performance
• CTS Seminars (normally 8-12 hours)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: TRAM482

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Interpreting MA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Translation and Interpreting MA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.