Module code: TRAM486

Module Overview

This module provides students with little or no previous experience of interpreting with a hands-on introduction to simultaneous interpreting into their A language and with the skills and knowledge required to perform simultaneous interpreting tasks effectively in relevant communicative situations. The focus is on interpreting in a wide range of communicative scenarios (e.g. conference/business/media settings, international institutions).

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

ASIMAKOULAS Dimitris (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 Consecutive and Dialogue 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 the students’ ability to grasp the meaning of the source language and to produce, at the same time, an accurate and coherent version in the target language based on small segments from the incoming source language.
• 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 simultaneous interpreting into the students’ A language. Students are introduced to working in an interpreting booth; sight interpreting and interpreting from scripts are used at the beginning to familiarise students with the simultaneous mode of interpreting (e.g. to learn to split attention). Furthermore, the module provides an introduction to professional interpreting situations and interpreters’ work environments. Throughout the semester, students analyse and discuss their own practice in relation to professional interpreting requirements and standards in order to reflect on the difficulties and to develop their solutions. 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 of varied speech rates.
• 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: Cognitive shadowing in the A language 40
Oral exam or presentation ORAL: Simultaneous interpreting into A language 60

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 cognitive shadowing in the student’s A language (5-8 minutes) in the second half of the semester
• One assignment of simultaneous interpreting into the student’s A language of approx. 7-8 minutes 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. This includes comprehensive feedback, indicative marks and feed-forward to enable students to prepare for the assignments. In the formative interpreting exercises, tutors use the same assessment criteria as in the two summative assignments. The criteria are made available to and explained to the students in class.

Module aims

  • introduce students to different settings that require professional simultaneous interpreting (e.g. institutional, business, media)
  • isolate the various challenges of the simultaneous interpreting process and enable students to develop the skills and strategies required to cope with these (e.g. active listening, anticipation, split attention, segmentation and transfer skills)
  • prepare students for professional interpreting tasks through introductory activities (e.g. sight interpreting, abstracting, switching, dual tasking) followed by language-pair specific (individual and group) practice
  • encourage students to develop reflective skills and a thorough understanding of an interpreter’s role, through introductory activities (e.g. sight interpreting, abstracting, switching, dual tasking) followed by language-pair specific (individual and group) practice
  • 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 and terminology management K
003 Demonstrate the cognitive ability, the processing and analytical skills and the knowledge required in simultaneous interpreting from their B language into their A language at entry level in a range of unilateral situations such as speeches and conference talks C
004 Grasp, transfer and express main ideas of a given source text reliably and relay small segments of speech accurately and coherently in the simultaneous mode P
005 Select interpreting strategies appropriate for the simultaneous mode P
006 Appraise information and communication technologies used in interpreting situations and the challenges that they create for interpreting C
007 Apply knowledge about international institutions that require simultaneous interpreting services (K) • manage nerves and work effectively under time pressure T
008 Apply a basic code of conduct for interpreting including issues such as impartiality and awareness of limitations P
009 Critically assess simultaneous interpreting performance by means of self- and peer assessment C

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 practise in real-life simulated 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.
• Self-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
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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

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.