Infusing Evidence into Interpreting Education:
An Idea Whose Time Has Come
Wednesday, October 17 ~ 1:30 - 4:30 PM
About the Workshop | About the Presenter
Cost: $35.00 (Sorry, no refunds)
RID CEUs: 0.3, Professional Studies
For more information, contact Betsy Winston at betsywinston@TIEMCenter.org.
About This Pre-Conference Workshop
The infusion of effective evidence-based practices into the preparation of interpreters is both needed and long overdue. Today, much of interpreter education consists of many disparate teaching activities thrown together into a hodge-podge of often disconnected, and sometimes conflicting, teaching practices that leave students confused and dismayed rather than confident and successful. This interactive forum explores the pressing need for, the rich potential of, and the challenges associated with infusing effective evidence-based teaching practices into sign language and interpreting education. The forum will engage the participants in a two-part discussion about infusing effective evidence-based practices into our work. Part 1 focuses on defining evidence-based practices; Part 2 explores options for building connections between educators’ daily teaching practices and the sometimes abstract findings of researchers.
Part 1: Defining “Evidence-Based” Practices
In the first part of the forum, we explore criteria needed to evaluate teaching practices and review processes for identifying evidence-based practices in other fields. Questions to be discussed include:
- What constitutes an evidence-based practice?
- How strong is the evidence that supports it?
- How practical is it to implement the practice?
Addressing the challenge of defining evidence-based effective practices will benefit ASL and interpreter education within and across languages and modalities, in turn serving interpreting consumers who rely on qualified interpreting services to survive and thrive. These practices, once evaluated for effectiveness and practicality, can provide ASL and interpreting educators with a rich selection of practices that have been systematically scrutinized, based on evaluation of evidence provided. Identifying practices that are effective will also help identify areas where gaps in practice exist, and where new approaches and innovative strategies may need to be developed.
Part 2: Connections: Teachers as Researchers & Researchers as Teachers
Establishing criteria and definitions of “evidence-based” practices is only the first step. Once taken, ASL and interpreter educators and researchers need to join forces to ensure that these practices are incorporated widely into ASL and interpreter education. The second part of the discussion explores options that researchers can choose to make their findings accessible to educators in practical terms. It then describes approaches that teachers can incorporate into their teaching in order to conduct research about their own effectiveness when working with students.
Infusing evidence-based practices into interpreter education means much more than simply developing an intellectual understanding of effective evidence-based practice. It means that we as educators willingly replace ritualistic, commonly-accepted practices with reflective, well-considered practices grounded in research. Moreover, it means that educators begin conducting research about the practices they routinely use. Likewise, we as researchers need to translate our findings into useful and practical educational strategies. Shifting from a stance of “them” and “us” (researchers and educators) to one of “we” will encourage collaborative projects that bring the rigors of research to the demands of practice. Such collaborative projects will lead to improved ASL and interpreter education, and ultimately, to more qualified interpreters. Results of this interactive forum will be reported to the field, and it is hoped that ongoing communities of learning will result from these initial discussions.
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About the Presenter
Dr. Betsy Winston is the Director of the Teaching Interpreting Educators and Mentors (TIEM) Center. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Winston has held numerous roles, including professional interpreter, interpreter educator, educator of interpreting educators, linguist, researcher, curriculum designer, evaluator and administrator. Her research and teaching contributions range from educational interpreting to discourse analysis to interpreting curriculum design. She co-chaired the CIT Educational Standards committee when the original National Interpreter Education Standards were unanimously adopted by the CIT membership here in Charlotte in 1994. She also pioneered the nationally recognized Master Mentor Program, and the Interpreting Educators: Domains and Competencies (2005). These educator standards informed the graduate curriculum for the Masters in Interpreting Pedagogy program that Dr. Winston coordinated at Northeastern University (2005-2011). She also established the National Interpreter Education Center there, and led the development of the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers during its focus on identifying and implementing effective practices in interpreter education (2005-2010).
Dr. Winston is currently collaborating with esteemed colleagues on several volumes about mentoring, discourse analysis, and practical applications of interpreting and sign language research. She is a proud recipient of the CIT-RID Mary Stotler Award (2000), awarded to members of the field for their significant contributions to the field of interpreter education.
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