module specification

TR7070 - Conference Interpreting 1 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Conference Interpreting 1
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Total study hours 200
20 hours Placement / study abroad
140 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 100%   Simultaneous interpreting into A *FC*
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module familiarises students with the context of Conference Interpreting and offers them an opportunity to put this knowledge into practice, using their language pairs, interpreting in different fields such as diplomacy, politics, law, health, education and the environment.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

1. Familiarise students with and develop their knowledge of the context of simultaneous interpreting;
2. Provide students with an opportunity to practice simultaneous interpreting in a variety of fields such as diplomacy, politics, law, health, education and the environment;
3. Enable students to put into practice and extend their knowledge of interpreting skills and tools and apply them competently in the context of simultaneous interpreting;
4. Expand the students' knowledge of research and documentation skills and tools and enable them to apply it in the context of simultaneous interpreting;
5. Develop student understanding of the interpreting process which underlies simultaneous interpreting, its stages and its mechanisms;
6. Develop the students' awareness of the problems likely to arise when interpreting simultaneously and equip them with the skills to make appropriate use of interpreting strategies and procedures to solve them;
7. Ensure that students have developed an ability to carry out simultaneous interpreting with an understanding of its legal context and code of practice and client etiquette;
8. Equip students with the skills to use interpreting booths  and specialised  interpreting software.


In the first three weeks students are introduced to the context of simultaneous interpreting with the focus on the nature of the underlying transfer process, the tools and equipment used, the research required, the code of practice, the customer and booth etiquette.
In the rest of the module students are offered an opportunity to put this knowledge into practice, using their language pairs. During these practical sessions students will be working with their language A, from B or C. English will either be a B or A language. They will be taught how to apply the different techniques used in simultaneous interpreting,  identify problems likely to arise in this particular mode of interpreting and  solve them using appropriate interpreting strategies and procedures. Students will develop skills specific to simultaneous interpreting in different fields such as diplomacy, politics, law, health, education and the environment and practiced in simulated real life contexts (mock conferences every 2 weeks). Demonstrations on how to work competently in interpreting booths and how to use specialised interpreting software will be built into the module.
Language specific tutorials take place every 2 weeks with practice and targetted exercises to enhance skills and terminologu acquisition.
Students are able to attend additional language specific tutorials for the languages that differ from their formal language combination on the course. This is also enhanced by the possibility for MA Interpreting students (Full timers only) to take an additional language module, free of charge, every semester.
For independent studies, students will be encouraged to organise their own speech and practice in the interpreting suite, hence benefiting froom the conference interpreting equipment. A detailed timetable of mock conferences and topics are available in the module booklet.

Learning and teaching

This is a practical module with an opportunity to experience conference interpreting applied to a multilingual and mutlicultural context. Students will be given an agenda for a mock conference every two weeks. They will have to prepare for the interpreting assignment (glossaries, speeches, research) and perform in a professional setting, working in pairs, understanding the booth identity and team work involved.
Each mock conference will be followed by a language specific tutorial which will focus on the same topic as the mock conference. This is an opportunity to follow up feedback given during the mock conferences, enhancing skills and use of terminology in a language specific context.
Students will be required to identify their personal objectives at the beginning of each session. A review of these objectives will take place at the end of the sessions.
Students are also able to practice using various speech repositories (including speech repository from the European Commission as well as other universities working in partnership). They will be able to meet alumni who have joined the ambassadors scheme to help students on the course with additional practice, using new technologies such as Skype. Students are able to use the IREC software developed by the European Commission SCIC.
Students will b able to access the interpreting suite for further practice as groups. Students will then prepare their own speeches which will be used for the group.
Virtual classes will also take place as soon as the video conference equipment is available.
Students will be able to experience conference interpreting in real setting thanks to visits and dummy booth practice at The United Nations in Geneva, at the European Commission and European Parliament in Brussels, as well as the Court of Justice in Luxembourg (visit only). Additional partnerships are continuously being developed; students will be updated with progress during the year.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will have developed:

LO1. an ability to apply appropriately their knowledge of the context of simultaneous interpreting,
for example by having the right strategies for timing, pacing themselves, dealing with interventions,
multiple speakers;

LO2. competent performance skills in simultaneous interpreting in a variety of fields such as
diplomacy, politics, law, health, education and the environment;

LO3. their interpreting skills and tools such as memorisation, conceptualisation, synthesising,
minimal note taking to an appropriate level;

LO4. the necessary research and documentation knowledge and skills to search for relevant
information at the different stages (before and during) of the simultaneous interpreting act;

LO5. an understanding of the interpreting process which allows them to judge the extent and nature
of necessary preparation and research and identify the procedures and strategies needed to deliver
a fluent and appropriate performance with proper regard to timing and language;

LO6. the mental agility to identify problems as they are encountered and to immediately select
appropriate interpreting strategies and procedures to solve them;

LO7. an understanding of the legal context, code of practice and client etiquette relevant to
simultaneous interpreting and the ability to act appropriately within this framework ;

LO8. the skills to operate the equipment and software used in simultaneous interpreting
competently and in a professional manner.

Assessment strategy

Student knowledge of the process underlying simultaneous interpreting, their competence to interpret simultaneously into their A language , their awareness of the problems encountered during the interpreting act and their ability to apply appropriate strategies and procedures to solve these problems will be assessed through two practical, oral exams in which students interpret simultaneously into their A language.


Englung Demitrova, A. and Hyltenstam, K. (eds) (2000) “Language Processing and Sunultaneous Interpretation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives”. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Gambier, Y. Gile, D. and Taylor, C. (eds) (1997) “Conference Interpreting: Current Trends in Research” , Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Gillies, A. (2004) “Conference Interpreting - A New Students' Companion”. Tertium Cracow,
Jones, R. (1998) “Conference Interpreting Explained”, Manchester: St Jerome.
Lambert, S. Moser-Mercer, B. (eds) ( 1994) “Bridging the Gap: Empirical Research in Simultaneous Interpretation”, Amsterdam: St Jerome.
Nolan,  J (2005) “Interpreting: Techniques and Exercises” 2005, Multilingual Matters
Padilla, P., Bajo, M. T., Canas, J.J. and Padilla, F. (1995) "Cognitive Processes of Memory in Simultaneous Interpretation," in Tammola, J. (ed) Topics in Interpreting Research, Turku: University of Turku, Centre for Translation and Interpreting, pp. 61-71.
       Setton, R. (1999) “Simultaneous Interpreting: A Cognitive- Pragmatic Analysis”. Amsterdam: St     
Szabó Csilla. Interpreting: “From Preparation to Performance. Recipes for practitioners and Teachers” British Council, Budapest. ISBN963 20 6409 7
Widlund-Fantini Anne-Marie (2009) – « Danica Seleskovitch - interprete et temoin du XXe siecle » Editions l’age d’homme  ( to order)

Websites: (Consulted on 07/07/2011) (Consulted on 07/07/2011)