What should be included in (public service) interpreter education?



public service interpreter education, interpreting training, context-based knowledge, constructive alignment, experiential learning, genre pedagogy, communities of learning, critical-incident technique


Students of public service interpreting (PSI) come from a variety of backgrounds. A typical group of interpreting students generally includes a mix of students from different immigrant communities and from majority population groups. Students’ educational backgrounds vary widely, as do their personal and professional experiences with interpreting. Although this heterogeneity proves challenging in terms of creating a level playing field for all students, it is also an asset, inasmuch as it facilitates the creation of learning communities (Bielaczyc & Collins 1999). Although training approaches and methods have been much discussed in the literature, often in papers reporting on research carried out in classroom environments (e.g., Napier 2013), there are relatively few publications generally focused on pedagogy in interpreter training (see, however, Sawyer 2004 and Gile 2009). This article discusses training of public service interpreters and the pedagogical approach employed in this context, in order to suggest ways to create a level playing field for all students using pedagogical and methodological approaches commonly encountered in higher education settings, including critical incident technique (Chell 2004), constructive alignment (Biggs 2003), and experiential learning (Kolb 1984).