VOLUME 2 ~ NOVEMBER 2010
ISSN # 2150-5772 – This article is the intellectual property of the authors and CIT. If you wish to use this article in your teaching or in another format, please credit the authors and the CIT International Journal of Interpreter Education.
Jemina Napier, Editor 1
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Welcome to the second volume of the International Journal of Interpreter Education. You will see that we have a bumper crop edition that is balanced with contributions from both spoken and signed language interpreter educators from six countries (the U.S., Malaysia, Australia, Ireland, Canada, and France) and a healthy selection of papers in both the Research Article and Commentary sections. After publication of the first volume, I have been promoting the journal as an appropriate vehicle for cross-modality discussion, so it is heartening and exciting to see that promotion come to fruition.
This volume features reports from research that explore varying aspects of interpreter education through different lenses, including: mental health interpreter training (Zimanyi), a survey of teaching goals for interpreter educators (Fitzmaurice), analysis of universal design concepts in relation to the use of technology in interpreter education (Roush), a competency model for training interpreters working in video relay services (Oldfield), an action research project to evaluate a mentoring program (Pearce & Napier), and a qualitative study of the perceptions of deaf interpreters as a means to informing deaf interpreter education (McDermid). Although the majority of these pieces are from signed language interpreter educators, much of the discussion should be of interest to spoken language interpreter educators and applicable in classrooms teaching any language pairs.
Compared with Volume 1, this volume includes several more commentary papers which focus on actual teaching activities, program overviews, or theoretical discussions of interpreter education. Although these papers do not report on evidence-based research, they draw on the wealth of experience of interpreter educators from both spoken and signed languages, sharing effective teaching practices and highlighting issues of concern. These papers are deliberately included to provoke debate among teacher-researchers, and to inform our discipline of current reflections and achievements. Papers that raise issues for consideration include an overview of interpreting pedagogy issues in Malaysia (Ayob), tensions between educating for best practice and teaching to pass a test (Zong), and the need to provide specialization options in interpreter education (Witter-Merithew and Nicodemus). Two of the papers feature descriptions of interpreter education and training programs, in the form of the new master’s degree in French Sign Language interpreting (Sero-Guillaume) and distance learning for Spanish-English medical interpreter training (Gonzalez and Gany). Finally, two articles provide detailed outlines of effective pedagogical techniques for teaching consecutive interpreting (Russell, Shaw, and Malcolm) and using sight translation to develop simultaneous interpreting skills (Song).
A new feature of this volume is the section that includes the work of aspiring interpreter education scholars—graduate students who have completed research projects related to interpreter education and who are experienced interpreter educators but may not have the experience of writing for publication. This section has been specifically introduced to encourage more interpreter educators who are studying in Master’s or PhD programs to share their work alongside established scholars in the field. I welcome Dr Elizabeth Winston to the editorial board of the journal in her capacity as sub-editor for the Student Work Section. The first contributor to this section discusses the application of cooperative learning in interpreter education (Krouse).
Once again, this journal highlights how the diverse expertise across the world can be harnessed to expand our understanding of interpreter education and training globally and across modalities. I have recently attended the Critical Link: Interpreters in the Community conference at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, and was pleasantly surprised to see a large selection of papers that concentrated on the training and education of interpreters of both spoken and signed languages. Over 300 conference delegates consisted of academics, practitioners, service providers, practitioner-researchers, and educators. What I found interesting was that in discussing issues in relation to working more broadly in the community, the themes were relevant to interpreters of all languages and always had implications for education and training. I have come away from the conference with more ideas, not only about community interpreting research, but also about interpreting education and interpreting education research. Thus, in embracing the diversity in our discipline and sharing our experience and knowledge in conferences or through publication, we can learn from one another and focus on our commitment to teaching in order to achieve best practices in interpreting.
I often like to finish a piece of writing with at least one quote that I feel encapsulates the rhetoric of that piece. This time I have found two quotes from the author Richard David Bach, who is not an interpreter or a teacher, but what he has to say resonates with me as a reflective interpreter, educator, and researcher, and I think his words promote the goals of IJIE.
Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it; teaching is reminding others that they know it as well as you do. We are all learners, doers, and teachers.
You teach best what you most need to learn.