module specification

TR7082 - Conference Interpreting (EU/UN Context) (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Conference Interpreting (EU/UN Context)
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
100 hours Guided independent study
64 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 50%   Consecutive Interpreting exam
Practical Examination 50%   Simultaneous Interpreting exam
Project 0%   Interpreting practice portfolio
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Afternoon
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module is aimed at students who wish to interpret for the European institutions and United Nations. This module will equip students with the expertise, skills and practice they need to prepare for the EU institutions and UN accreditation test for freelance interpreters.

It aims at developing reflective interpreting practitioners who are able to use an array of key skills strategies and dedicated equipment/technology required to perform simultaneous interpreting (10mn) face to face and remotely (RSI) and consecutive interpreting (6mn) with the following language combinations:

- Non- English native students: English into Language A;
- English native students: One passive language into English (A)

This is a highly practical module based on the experiential learning model.

This module includes generic sessions where practical sessions and workshops relating to the European institutions and United Nations provide students with the expertise they need to understand the role and nature of such international organisations.

Students will practise long consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting in mock conferences (EU/UN context) and language specific tutorials aimed at preparing students for the EU/UN institutions aptitude tests for interpreters.

Students will gain an understanding of international multilingual and multicultural conference management, apply what they learnt and organise their own mock conferences. As a result of their collective research on the activities of the EU and the UN, they will decide on the 4 topics selected for the module (2 for the EU and 2 for the UN). However, the 4 topics need to fit in the following meeting framework: the European Council, the European Parliament, The Human Rights Council and the Security Council. As a result, students will engage in topics that are close to their interests and identity.

Module aims:

1. You will engage in the context of the European institutions and United Nations, understand how these organisations work and to gain an insight in the interpreting process relevant in these areas and organisation of multilingual and multicultural conference management;

2. You will interpret in a professional manner in the specific context of the European institutions and United Nations both in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting;

3. You will research and prepare effectively for interpreting assignments within the context of the EU/UN;

4. You will acquire a critical awareness of the importance of context, register and the speaker's intentions and the role they play in the decisions and choices the interpreting student makes during the interpreting assignment;

5. You will support effective communication throughout the interpreting assignment and to intervene as appropriate in a competent fashion when communication breaks down;

  6. You will implement the Professional Code of Practice and client etiquette for conference interpreters, booth etiquette and role of chef d’equipe and event organisers.

Prior learning requirements



This highly practical module gradually engages students to identify and apply the main skills and strategies used by interpreters in performing consecutive and simultaneous interpreting in the module specific language combination, and in the context of the EU and the UN. (LO.1; LO.2; LO.3; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6).

Language specific tutorials will be dedicated to the practice of consecutive interpreting (6 min speeches) and simultaneous interpreting (10 min speeches) based on the model of the interpreting accreditation test for EU/UN institutions.(LO.1; LO.2; LO.3; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6).

Students will engage in asynchronous lectures and dedicated tasks to gain an insight into the European institutions and United Nations organisations; students will be asked to research and prepare short presentations on specific aspects of EU/UN international organisations, their role and structures. Specific terminology relating to the institutions will be researched and prepared by students. Guest speakers from the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the Directorate General for Interpretation (DG SCIC) will present certain aspects of international institutions, in order to enhance workshops and contribute to bringing students’ knowledge to an expert level. When possible, students will be invited to interpret at the European Commission (dummy booth practice), or at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO-UN)(dummy booth practice) to implement their knowledge and skills. These visits are connected to the TR7051 module and integrate the placement element. (LO.1; LO.2; LO.3; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6).

In this module students will play an active role in preparing interpreting events for mock conferences and informal practice.  This applies for consecutive and simultaneous interpreting events. For each interpreting assignment students will be expected to have researched and prepared their terminology and context thoroughly, so as to bring their level of interpreting to the professional level required for the EU/UN accreditation tests. This weekly task will be collected in a portfolio of practice. (LO.1; LO.2; LO.3; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6)

Finally, students will lead the conference management process for the mock conferences. They will learn how to organise team sheets for interpreting teams, organise the agenda, invite speakers and liaise with all participants to make sure the event is successful. (LO.6)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This highly practical module gradually engages students to identify and apply the main skills and strategies used by interpreters in performing consecutive and simultaneous interpreting in the module specific language combinations, in the context of the EU/UN.

This experiential learning module is delivered in a flipped classroom way. As a result independent study (often done in a collective manner) is crucial to the optimisation of learning during mock conferences and tutorials.

This requires students to prepare for each topic covered during the module: bilingual reading, building glossaries, practising sight translation, consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, reflection on practice. It includes asynchronous activities regarding acquiring the knowledge of the international institutions (EU/UN). The work will be collected in a portfolio of practice every week. Even though students are working independently, they will be expected to collaborate with their booth partners and across languages to maximise learning.

Students will experience mock conferences and language specific tutorials which will focus on the practice of consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. Speeches prepared by students will be based on the EU/UN accreditation test model.

The Interpreting Suite is open to interpreting students at dedicated time for their independent studies, where they will be expected to prepare their own speeches and organise practice in a professional manner.

Students are able to practise using various speech repositories (including speech repositories 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 Zoom interpretation and other platforms when available.

Collaboration projects such as virtual classes will take place in partnership with interpreting networks and universities.

For independent studies, students will be guided to use archived speeches from the plenary sessions of the European Parliament and debates from the United Nations.

Placements on the course may include opportunities to practise conference interpreting at the international institutions mentioned above when available. The placements will be integrated in module TR7051.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, using the language combinations adopted for the module, you will:

LO1. Apply your expertise of the European institutions/United Nations to the interpreting process so as to bring the quality of the interpreting performance to a professional level;

LO2. Interpret in a professional manner in a chosen context of the European institutions/United Nations, both in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting;

LO3.  Research and prepare effectively for interpreting assignments within the context of EU/UN institutions;

LO4. Interpret with particular attention paid to context, register and speakers intentions and develop a critical appreciation of their influence in the decisions and choices made during the interpreting process;

LO5.  Communicate in a professional manner throughout the interpreting assignment including when communication breaks down, using strategies and skills appropriate to the code of conduct for conference interpreters;

LO6. To implement the Professional Code of Practice and client etiquette for conference interpreters, booth etiquette and role of chef d’equipe. Apply their conference management skills and understand the role of all stakeholders within a multilingual and multicultural conference setting.

Assessment strategy

The assessment includes three assessment components. The tariff has been increased from 2 components to 3 to include the formative portfolio of practice that encourages students to work in an organised way regularly. This was a request from students who confirmed that including the PoP in the formal final assessment acted as a motivational factor.

The assessments match the EU and UN accreditation test students will take if they wish to work for the international institutions.

One is formative and encourages students to regularly practise interpreting, reflect on their performance and research the EU/UN topics selected by students for the mock conferences. Students will have to prepare the mock conferences (conference management with content) as well as their tutorials. This weekly guided practice provides flexibility to students who can choose the angle of the topics they work on, the speeches they write, and the speeches they interpret. This weekly activity forms the portfolio of practice which will be assessed in week 15. It will be marked as a pass or fail. To pass, students will have to demonstrate their weekly assigned and independent practice which includes a reflective component.

The second and third components are summative. They are aligned with the professional assignment for interpreters with international institutions. These assessment components not only provide an insight on the professional skills, techniques, knowledge and decision making of the interpreter, they also prepare students to take the accreditation tests with international institutions. The second assessment component is a 6mn consecutive interpretation with notes and their third one will be simultaneous interpreting (10 mins). The speeches they will interpret are based on the four topics explored during the module.

To pass, students will have to demonstrate they are able to understand and analyse the source speeches, interpret accurately with confidence and make sense. For consecutive interpreting, they will have to demonstrate they are making the relevant decisions when using their memory skills combined with their note taking skills. For simultaneous interpreting, they will need to demonstrate they manage the split attention and decalage strategically to reformulate in a clear and precise manner, demonstrating they understand the context of the international institutions relevant to the speeches. Finally, they will have to demonstrate appropriate communication skills that reflect the intentions of the speaker. They will need to communicate clearly and effectively so they are understood easily.