Module code: TRAM397

Module Overview

This module enables students to acquire the principles of simultaneous interpreting and to practise simultaneous interpreting between Chinese and English. The module covers unilateral and bilateral situations, and provides students with the practical skills and knowledge required to perform simultaneous interpreting at entry level.

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: 117

Seminar Hours: 33

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

 Native or near-native competency in English and Chinese

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Initially the module focuses on developing the students’ understanding of the basic requirements of a simultaneous interpreter. Subsequently, the focus is on the mental abilities, skills, techniques and strategies for one-way and two-way simultaneous interpreting between Chinese and English. 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.

  • Students will be introduced to working in an interpreting booth. Sight interpreting, interpreting from scripts and interpreting short dialogue turns will be used at the beginning to familiarise students with the simultaneous mode of interpreting.

  • 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.

  • Furthermore, the module provides an introduction to professional interpreting situations and interpreter's work environments. It includes discussions of the role of the interpreter and basic rules of conduct.

  • Students also learn how to prepare for an interpreting assignment, including gathering information from clients, researching relevant terminology etc.

  • Materials include live and recorded materials from general and semi-specialised registers of varied speech rates.



Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Resits may exceptionally require an alternative form of assessment. In such cases, the 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 assignment.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their practical interpreting skills as well as to enhance their ability to (self-)monitor their own progress.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         weekly sight interpreting tests during normal class-time

·         one assignment of simultaneous interpreting (sight translation) of approx. 5 minutes at the end of the semester

Formative assessment

Students receive regular feedback on their preparation and interpreting skills during the practice in class. 

Module aims

  • Provide students with an introduction to simultaneous interpreting in the business and political context
  • Enable students to acquire entry-level skills and strategies for simultaneous interpreting between Chinese and English
  • Enable students to learn how to convey small segments of content accurately and coherently in the simultaneous mode through the development of the mental ability as well as language conversion skills via a range of targeted exercises
  • Encourage students to develop reflective skills and a thorough understanding of an interpreter's role through in-class discussions and analyses of different interpreting situations

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Sight interpret to the quality and speed required for simultaneous interpreting and in a wide variety of situations including political speeches, academic conferences, keynote speeches in business contexts, bilateral talks and debates, etc. P
2 Identify the challenges of different interpreting situations requiring the simultaneous mode C
3 Grasp, transfer and express main ideas reliably, accurately and clearly P
4 Interpret presentations that use visual aids P
5 Interpreting using scripts of speeches P
6 Select interpreting strategies appropriate for the simultaneous mode and the communicative situation, and justify the selection in relation to a given situation P
7 Manage nerves and work effectively under conditions of time pressure and cognitive pressure T
8 Demonstrate the research skills necessary to prepare for a simultaneous interpreting assignment, e.g. terminological research K
9 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%) practical exercises (approx. 70%) allowing for extensive practice using the Department’s simultaneous interpreting suite and including a critical evaluation of the students’ performance.

  • Enable learning in language-pair specific group sessions allowing students to develop their practical skills and expertise in interpreting

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • language-pair specific practice (a minimum of 33 hours) that enables students to further develop their interpreting skills through extensive practice

  • guided practice and demonstrations by the tutor in class

  • group evaluation and discussion of interpreting problems in class

  • self-practice by students during which students are expected to spend at least 6 hours per week practising on interpreting materials, individually and in groups

  • 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

  • regular (self-)recording of students to enable them to analyse and enhance different aspects of their performance

Teaching is normally a minimum of 3 hours per week.


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: TRAM397

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Interpreting (Chinese Pathway) 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 2021/2 academic year.