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 professional knowledge required to perform simultaneous interpreting at entry level.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

WANG Fang (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

Workshop Hours: 33

Independent Learning Hours: 101

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 5

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 their reflective skills, alongside the module outcomes, via both formative assessment (ongoing throughout the module) and summative assessment. Through this strategy, this module enables students to gradually build resilience towards simultaneous interpreting, by breaking down the process into manageable steps and testing students on a weekly basis in their learning journey. Also, students are encouraged to identify which aspect(s) of their work they would like to request feedback, thus developing them into independent learners.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Weekly Sight Interpreting Tests or Other Forms of Interpretive Tasks during normal class-time (30%)

  • One Assignment of Simultaneous Interpreting (Sight Translation) at the end of the semester (70%)


Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive regular comprehensive feedback and feedforward from tutors and peers on their interpreting skills during the practice in class, which allows them to monitor their progress week by week. At the end of the semester, students conduct a formative sight interpreting assignment. This includes comprehensive feedback, an indicative mark. The criteria are made available to and explained to the students in class.

Module aims

  • The module aims to: Provide students with an introduction to simultaneous interpreting in business and political contexts, developing students¿ practical knowledge and understanding of the professional requirements of working in different simultaneous interpreting settings
  • Enable students to acquire entry-level skills and strategies for simultaneous interpreting between Chinese and English
  • isolate the various challenges of English-Chinese/Chinese-English 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 preparatory activity of sight translation
  • enable students to learn how to convey short segments of content accurately and coherently in the simultaneous mode through the development of 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
001 By the end of the module students will be able to: 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. PT
002 Identify the challenges of different interpreting situations requiring the simultaneous mode through collaborative in-class discussion and independent evaluation KC
003 Demonstrate the cognitive ability, processing and analytical skills and the appropriate interpreting strategies to grasp, transfer and express main ideas of a given source text reliably through reflective practice CP
004 Manage nerves and work effectively under conditions of time pressure and cognitive pressure T
005 Develop resilience and self-efficacy, as well as the ability to work effectively and thrive under pressure and to apply knowledge about different situations and institutions requiring simultaneous interpreting services KT
006 Critically assess simultaneous interpreting performance by means of self- and peer assessment KP

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 tutor-led input and discussion (approx. 30%) practical exercises (approx. 70%) allowing for extensive practice using the School’s facilities

  • give all students confidence in the fundamentals of Simultaneous Interpreting practice, regardless of academic backgrounds, 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

  •  Foundational introductory classes to develop basic skills for simultaneous interpreting between English and Chinese. These include active learning activities, small group discussion, hands-on performance followed by tutor and peer feedback.

  • Practice workshops that enable students to practise sight interpreting through extensive practice and receive a large amount of formative feedback from their tutors and peers.

  • Students are also expected to practise on interpreting materials, individually and in groups, and carry out regular (self-)recording to analyse and enhance different aspects of their performance.

  • Students are encouraged to be active participants throughout the practical sessions, and support one-another during the process, and in doing so, develop as informed, confident, collaborative and independent learners. 

    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

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in a range of interpreting-related areas.

This module provides students with the basic knowledge and skills required for Simultaneous Interpreting (English-Chinese/Chinese-English), preparing them for advancing these skills in TRAM398 (Simultaneous Interpreting Chinese II) to be employment ready. In this module, students make use of the Virtual Learning Environment for real-time in-class learning as well as guided learning and self-study activities making use of specialist digital resources tailored for interpreting training. This module is taught by Dr Kevin Lin, the lead interpreter of British Foreign Affairs Office and his team, who bring into the classroom invaluable experience and insights on interpreting in high-end contexts. This module will also develop students’ intercultural awareness and emphasize the importance of engaging effectively with people from diverse language and cultural backgrounds in the process of working as an interpreter. Weekly tests on sight interpreting will improve students’ self-monitoring, self-reliance, and resilience. In this process, students will develop their own resourcefulness and reflective skills that will benefit their critical thinking and ability to identify appropriate solutions and strategies to cope with a range of different challenges arising from interpreting practice. To prepare for such weekly tests, students will be able to navigate and utilize a wide range of digital and technological resources for terminology extraction and subject knowledge mining. Tutor-led and peer-supported small group leaning will enable students to become collaborative and independent learners in this module and future modules. Successfully completing the module requires resilience, consistent and regular practice (both individually and in small groups), as well as persistence to engage in the process of trial and error that is needed to develop such skills and manage an inherently multitasking activity like interpreting. Employability and sustainability are also enhanced by the fact that Dr Kevin Lin, as the director of KL Interpreting company, provides a wide range of internship opportunities for students before and upon graduation. The theme of sustainability is approached in more focused or more diffuse ways in this module. On a more local level, the topics of environmental sustainability, decent work and economic growth and sustainable consumption are addressed in practical interpreting practice. In a more diffuse way, students discover which interpreting solutions may best serve future tasks through group discussion or self-reflections, thus consolidating resources, saving time and preparing them for greater volume of work and work diversification in the future.

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 2025/6 academic year.