Module code: TRAM487

Module Overview

This module builds on the skills learns and settings covered in “Simultaneous Interpreting I” and focuses on the practice of simultaneous interpreting between English and the chosen language. It provides students with advanced skills, strategies and practical knowledge to perform interpreting tasks professionally and confidently in the simultaneous mode and in a variety of relevant communicative situations including the use of communication technologies such as videoconferencing.

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

Seminar Hours: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Native or near-native competency in English and another language offered in the programme, and attendance and submission of units of assessment of Simultaneous Interpreting I

Module content

The module focuses on the intensive practice of one-way and two-way simultaneous interpreting, and encourages students to analyse and reflect upon their own interpreting practice. Particular emphasis is on different types of unilateral situations, especially speeches and presentations that make use of visual aids such as presentation PowerPoint slides. Another important aspect is learning how to deal with bilateral situations in which simultaneous (whispered) interpreting is required such as bilateral talks and debates as well as dialogue interpreting scenarios (e.g. courtroom interpreting). In all situations, due attention is paid to the students’ ability to handle the simultaneity of source language comprehension and target language production and the production of an accurate, coherent and fluent output in the target language.

Moreover, emphasis is placed on developing students’ awareness of

a) the embeddedness of a speech in the ‘conference hypertext’ and

b) the importance of conveying a message that is in line with the overall communicative goal and purpose of the encounter.

Further practice covers team work and the use of aids in the interpreting booth as well as the specifics of whispered interpreting for individuals and the use of mobile interpreting equipment for small groups of interlocutors. Students also review how to prepare for an assignment and how to continue learning after an assignment. Indicative content includes:

• Lectures on developing an extended interpreting assignment and analytical commentary, and on developing a topic-based study of interpreting.

• A language-pair specific and focuses on the consolidation of the skills acquired in Semester 1 and target speech production with particular reference to the associated language-pair specific linguistic, social and cultural challenges. Students are given the opportunity to practise in role-play situations and simulated ‘real-life’ interpreting tasks. In-class analysis and discussion are based on the students’ own performance as well as prototypical interpreting scenarios, their respective challenges, and the knowledge and strategies required to master them. The module also includes discussions of clients' needs, the interpreter's role and relevant codes of conduct for interpreting. Materials include live speeches and recorded materials from semi-specialised and specialised registers and normal/natural speech rate.

• 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 Interpreting test: Simultaneous Interpreting into A language 20
Oral exam or presentation Interpreting test: Advanced Simultaneous Interpreting into A language 40
Oral exam or presentation Final Interpreting test: Dialogue Interpreting with sight translation and whispered interpreting (both-ways) 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

• Two assignments of simultaneous interpreting into A language of approximately 8-10 minutes each on speeches of progressive difficulty.

• One end-of-unit interpreting test aiming to assess students’ interpreting performance and skills holistically through simulation including dialogue interpreting, sight translation (both-ways) and whispered interpreting (both-ways) of approximately 30 minutes.

Formative assessment and feedback Students receive regular feedback on their preparation and interpreting skills during the practice in class. This includes comprehensive feedback, indicative marks and feed-forward to enable students to prepare for the assignments. Formative feedback from tutors, peers and clients is also provided during the guided study sessions. 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

  • help students acquire advanced skills and strategies for simultaneous interpreting
  • through a range of exercises and role-play simulations, and increased exposure to a variety of speech types, accents and stances, the module enables students to deepen their understanding of the phases and components of simultaneous interpreting, to consolidate and expand the skills developed in “Simultaneous Interpreting I” and to apply them in a professional capacity
  • students practice interpreting in a booth, whispered interpreting (both-ways), interpreting using mobile equipment and remote interpreting using communication technologies such as videoconferencing
  • allow students to critically reflect upon different interpreting situations thus helping them students to prepare for professional practice in a wide variety of situations

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Apply the major principles of interpreting C
002 Demonstrate advanced research skills for preparing interpreting assignments including subject-related and terminological research K
003 Demonstrate the cognitive ability, the processing and analytical skills and the knowledge required in simultaneous interpreting between English and the chosen language in a range of unilateral and bilateral situations such as speeches and dialogues C
004 Grasp, transfer and express main ideas, additional meanings and nuances reliably, accurately and clearly P
005 Select interpreting strategies appropriate for simultaneous interpreting in different situations, and justify the selection in relation to a given situation P
006 Interpret, to a standard approaching professional level, in a wide variety of contexts including speeches, presentations, meetings and negotiations, company tours, official functions, escorting guests etc. P
007 Support and mediate communication effectively and intervene appropriately if the communication is in danger of breaking down P
008 Appraise the specific challenges of using information and communication technologies used in interpreting situations C
009 Apply knowledge about international institutions that require simultaneous interpreting services K
010 Manage nerves and work effectively under conditions of time pressure and cognitive pressure T
011 Employ a rigorous code of conduct for interpreting including issues such as confidentiality, impartiality, 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 Department’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

• Lectures focusing on extended interpreting assignments and thematic approaches to the study of interpreting (4 hours)

• Language-pair specific practice workshops (normally 27-33 hours) that enable students to develop advanced 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 2 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.