module specification

TR7051 - The Interpreter's Professional Environment (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title The Interpreter's Professional Environment
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
 
80 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
70 hours Guided independent study
50 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 40%   Group Presentation
Coursework 60%   Placement report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module explores different modes of interpreting, introducing students to the interpreter's professional environment and familiarising them with the legal aspects of the profession, the interpreter's code of conduct and the etiquette adopted with clients. Students will also explore the challenges of working as a self employed interpreter and develop strategies to market their skills, develop CPD opportunities and network with interpreting professional stakeholders.
This module includes a placement element made of two interpreting assignments under supervision and an interpreting assignment where students would have to shadow an interpreter at work.

Module aims

  1. Develop students' knowledge of the professional environment in which interpreters operate as well as the culture and organisations relating to the interpreting profession;
  2. Familiarise students with the different services and systems available to professional interpreters;
  3. Extend the students' knowledge of the legal context in which interpreters work as well as the code of practice and client etiquette operating in different interpreting fields;
  4. Equip students with the skills necessary to research the environment in which the professional interpreter operates and provide them with an opportunity to apply such skills to a professional context, investigating the framework and systems relevant to various interpreting modes;
  5. Acquaint students with real-life interpreting, its requirement and conditions (through the placement element);
  6. Provide students an opportunity to shadow professional interpreters, observe (and participate in) interpreting work and activities appropriate to their competence, building on and extending their interpreting- related skills;
  7. Equip students with the skills necessary to work competently as part of a team of interpreter and to perform efficiently under pressure.

Syllabus

Exploring different forms of interpreting, the module will introduce students to the interpreter's professional environment and familiarise them with the context of work, the legal aspects of the profession, the interpreter's code of conduct and the etiquette adopted with clients. Students are given the opportunity to apply the skills necessary to investigate the environment in which the professional interpreter operates and develop methods of researching it through collaborative work (group presentations). Students will be made aware of the different services and systems available to interpreters such as interpreting professional associations and regulating bodies and their relevance to the profession.

A work placement element offers students an opportunity to experience real life interpreting by shadowing professional interpreters at work in different modes of interpreting or by performing interpreting jobs whenever possible under supervision. During their work placement, students will be expected to observe an interpreting situation in one or more forms of interpreting and interpret in two situations, focussing on observing critically the working environment as well as the actual interpreting act.

Exceptionally if the student brings enough evidence that he was unable to find a placement, the placement can be done in a mock environment working with recorded material and using specialised software. During their work placement, students will acquire the skills necessary to work competently as a member of a team of interpreters and to perform efficiently under pressure. Interpreting assignments will be under supervision or on a voluntary basis such as charity work or dummy booth practice.

Thanks to international agreements between international institutions and London met, students will be offered the opportunity to interpret in real life meetings such as the Human Right Council at the United Nations in Geneva, meetings at the European Commission, the International Maritime Organisation, the Court of Justice of the European Union. Finally students will be provided with a list of potential organisations to contact for placement purposes.

Learning and teaching

This module is essential to promote employability of students who will engage in debates, discussions, seminars, case studies relating to the codes of conduct for interpreters in the all main fields of interpreting.

Students will need to prepare a CV, business cards and marketing tools such as social media presence to present themselves for their placement which they need to finalise by themselves. Students are guided in this task. It is their first opportunity to face the ‘real’ professional world of interpreting. Their placement will mainly be voluntary work, working under supervision whenever possible and dummy booth practice in international or institutions such as the European Commission, the United nations, The International Maritime organisation and the Court of Justice of the European Union.

As students also need to shadow an interpreter at work, they need to engage with a professional interpreter who can also provide his/her own approach. The reflective placement essay reports on the student’s reflection on the code of conduct, the skills they have applied in a professional setting, contact with employers, working in a team and presenting oneself in a professional manner.

Students will meet guest speakers on a regular basis. Guest speakers will come from professional organisations for interpreters, explaining the benefits of becoming members of a professional organisation, hence engaging students in a wider identity, moving from interpreting students to junior interpreters with an awareness of the interpreting profession they are entering and ways they can contribute to the profession.

Students will be encouraged to use Weblearn and dedicated Google Community pages to exchange their views on membership to an interpreting professional organisation, issues relating to the codes of conduct, employability.

Students can benefit from one to one support if they wish. Regular meetings are set up to support students in their placement search.

Finally, the Accelerator is involved in providing additional support to interpreting students in September (2 boot camps days for creative self employed interpreters).

Then students can join our interpreting alumni scheme called the Ambassadors Scheme. Once graduated Ambassadors support current interpreting students for 30 hours and then gain access to a short course dedicated to advanced conference interpreting practice of a £900 value. The Scheme is a way to continue support graduates whilst they find their feet in the profession. Ambassadors continue to use their Google Community page as a forum to exchange and communicate.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will:
 

LO1. Operate effectively, both independently and with others, in a professional environment and to make competent use of the different services and systems available to professional interpreters;
LO2. Work in accordance with the legal context in which interpreters operate as well as the code of practice and client etiquette appropriate for different modes of interpreting;
LO3. Demonstrate their ability to research the professional interpreter's environment and the competence to use the methods of research to achieve it;
LO4. Acquire useful interpreting experience during their work placement from shadowing, observing and working with professional interpreters, and built on their interpreting-related skills;
LO5. Demonstrate their ability to work competently as part of a team of interpreters, negotiating how to cover joint assignments, making constructive suggestions, and performing under pressure as a cohesive team;
LO6. Work autonomously, manifested in self-direction, self-discipline and time management.

 

Assessment strategy

For the group presentations students will choose a specific interpreting field and research its professional environment as well as the code of practice and client etiquette operating in it.
In a placement essay (3,000 words) students will work independently to produce a reflective analysis on the 3 interpreting assignments selected for their work placement. They will be required to discuss the experience, where appropriate, in terms of the interpreter's presentation skills, booth etiquette, client etiquette and code of practice.  

Bibliography

Campbell, F. (1992) The Workplace Experience: A Guide for Students on Placement, Edinburgh, Napier Polytechic: Jen Harvey Publisher

Carr, Silvana E. et al. (eds) (1997) The Critical Link: Interpreters in the Community: Papers from the First International Conference on Interpreting in Legal, Health, and Social Service Settings Canada, June 1995 Amsterdam: John Benjamins

Corsellis, Anne (2008) Public Service Interpreting: The First Steps Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (available as E-Book)

Hale, Sandra Beatriz (2007) Community Interpreting Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan – available as E-book

Phelan, Mary (2001) The Interpreter's Resource Clevedon: Multilingual Matters (available as E-Book)

Other Resources

http://www.iti.org.uk/ (consulted on 25th May 2015)

https://www.ciol.org.uk/ (consulted on 25th May 2015)

http://aiic.net/ (consulted on 25th May 2015)

http://aiic.net/page/1470 Essential do's and dont's when using simultaneous conference interpreters on TV (consulted on 25th May 2015)

http://www.aiic.net/ViewPage.cfm/article24 Code of Professional Ethics (consulted on 25th May 2015)

http://www.apciinterpreters.org.uk/ (consulted on 25th May 2015)

http://www.nrpsi.org.uk/ (consulted on 25th May 2015)

https://languagecareers.un.org/ (consulted on 25th May 2015)

http://interpreters.free.fr/misc/examtips.htm (consulted on 25th May 2015)

http://translationtimes.blogspot.fr/2012/12/interpreting-for-europe.html  (consulted on 25th May 2015)