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Volume 10(1) ~ June 2018

ISSN # 2150-5772 – The articles are the intellectual property of the authors and CIT. If you wish to use an article in your teaching or in another format, please credit the authors and the CIT International Journal of Interpreter Education.

Complete Articles


Click below for an abstract of the articles included in this volume.


Editorial: Interpreter Education for the Changing World

Editorial: Interpreter Education for the Changing World

George Major and Ineke Crezee, Co-Editors[1]
Auckland University of Technology

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Interpreter educators will agree that curricula and pedagogies need to evolve continually in response to the demands of the changing world and the communities with which they work. In a previous issue we highlighted situated learning approaches (Valero-Garces 2017; Saltnes Urdal 2017; Burn & Crezee 2017). However, there are many other ways in which educators can respond to evolving needs. In New Zealand, government scholarships have been offered to fill the demand for interpreters in languages of limited diffusion in response to refugee and migrant needs (Enriquez, Ridgeway and Crezee, forthcoming). In countries such as the United States and Australia,the need for Deaf interpreters has been increasingly recognized and explored (Adam, Stone, Collins & Metzger, 2014;Swabey, 2017; Lai, this issue).

This issue of the International Journal of Interpreter Educationoffers several research articles which focus on how educators can work to meet such evolving needs. Such areas of focus may be identified by scholars based on their own experiences as practising interpreters (Crawley, this issue; Major, 2014), or may come to their attention based on feedback from interpreting students (Sowa and McDermid, this issue). Interpreter educators may also become aware of new emerging needs through their interactions with the communities they work with (Lai, this issue; Pozos-Quinto and colleagues, this issue).

At our own university in New Zealand, situated learning approaches to interpreter education include shared preprofessional sessions between qualified speech pathologists and student interpreters in the health interpreting course for both spoken and signed language interpreting students (Crezee, 2015). Our signed language students each complete 100 hours of practicum placements in the community, observing and working alongside professional interpreters, and reflecting on the process. A recent external review process highlighted this as one of the most valuable parts of the entire degree, which could potentially even be further expanded. Professional interpreters guide and help develop students’ professional skills while on practicum, and we believe the opportunity to debrief and discuss interpreting choices not only helps students to learn, but can help to develop interpreters’ own reflective practice skills as well (Major & Sameshima, upcoming conference presentation).[1]

All four research articles included in this issue offer suggestions which may contribute to the ongoing ability of interpreter educators to meet the challenges of the changing world. The contributions shared in this issue focus mostly on signed language interpreting, although each and every one of them highlight issues which may also be relevant to spoken language interpreting educators also. In this way,they contribute to strengthening the valuable exchange of ideas between signed and spoken language interpreter educators.

InInterpreting Between Modes: Navigating Between Signed and Spoken Language, Vicky Crawley from the United Kingdom focuses on the need for interpreters to edit the amount of concreteness, or specificity, when interpreting between English and British Sign Language in order to produce natural sounding outputs. The author expresses the hope that her findings may help interpreter educators to improve the quality of interpreter education, as her research describes natural strategies devised by interpreters for use in their practice.

InTraining Deaf Learners to Become Future Interpreters,Miranda Lai describes an innovative pilot project which was delivered at a tertiary educational setting in the Australian state of Victoria. She reports on curriculum design, learning outcomes, while also adding feedback gathered through semi-structured interviews with the educators involved, before formulating recommendations for educators wishing to run similar programs in the future.

In 2004, Bernardini proposed that translator educators should facilitate students developing into aware, reflective and resourceful practitioners. Crezee (2016) explored the benefits of reflective blogs in language-neutral translator education in which lecturers are unable to provide language-specific feedback on students’ translations, while Lee (2018) looked at the interpreting students reflecting on feedback. In this issue, Stephanie Sowa and Campbell McDermid’s article Self-Reflective Practices: Application Among Sign Language Interpretersinvestigates the benefits of self-reflection. Based on a small sample of novice and experienced signed language interpreters, they compare the reflective practices between the two groups.

In their article entitled Beyond bilingual interpreting, David Pozos-Quinto, Marcus Martinez, Alexis Suarez and Roxanne Zech report on a study of how interpreter training programs in the USA are responding to the growing need for multilingual interpreters, including those working with Spanish, English and ASL. Their paper provides a number of recommendations for educational institutions wishing to provide interpreter education for multilingual student cohorts.

In keeping with the multilingual theme of the work by Pozo-Quintos and colleagues (this issue), Sandra McLure, Brenda Nicodemus and Gustavo Navarrete Gastella interviewed Rayco H. González Montesino, and present an interview in both English and Spanish in our Open Forum section. Rayco is a Spanish sign language interpreter and interpreter educator, and was the first person in Spain to dedicate his doctoral thesis (University of Vigo) to signed language interpreting. Rayco is currently a Professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, and we are happy to offer you the opportunity to read about the work that he does to advance interpreter education in Spain.

In our Commentary section, Elisabet Tiselius provides an insightful review of Jack Hoza’s book Interpreting in the Zone: How the Conscious and Unconscious function in Interpretation, which was published by Gallaudet University. In this book,Hoza focuses on the cognitive processes that take place in the interpreter’s mind when making professional and ethical decisions, especially when the interpreter is ‘in the zone’, which Hoza describes as the interpreter’s ideal mental state when interpreting. The reviewer describes and critiques the two studies conducted by Hoza which underpin the findings presented in the book.

The Dissertation Abstract section offers our readership the exciting opportunity to acquaint themselves with the work of interpreting scholars of the future. In this volume includes abstracts from graduates of Gallaudet University, all focused on topics relating to signed language interpreting. Their studies focus on important themesincluding the work of Deaf interpreters (Naomi Sheneman’s PhD thesis), Educational interpreters (Stephen Fitzmaurice’s PhD thesis), turn-taking in courtroom interaction (LeWana Clark’s PhD thesis), and domain-specific activities practiced by expert interpreters (Krista Adams’ MA thesis). We really appreciate receiving abstracts of recently completed theses – it is enlightening to learn what topics students are looking at in the field of interpreter education. We would remind readers to continue to send in their own abstracts and to put us in touch with those who have recently completed postgraduate theses or dissertations on topics of interest to the readership of this journal.

We recently spoke to an experienced interpreter educator about a comprehensive indigenous interpretertrainingprogram that has just been completed, including a 600-page finalized manual and workbook of exercises. We hope to offer you an interview with the authors in a forthcoming issue. This is but one example of interpreter educators, in collaboration with a non-profit organization, responding to the demand for trained interpreters to serve the needs of new immigrant communities in the United Stateswhere indigenous languages are spoken. We would welcome interviews with other educators undertaking innovative work of this nature.

Thinking ahead to the next few issues of IJIE (a second issue later this year and of course the 2019 issues), we warmly invite educators and researchers to continue to send in manuscripts that introduce, discuss, critique and reflect upon topics of interest to interpreter educators internationally. We welcome research articles as well as offerings in other sections,such as Commentary (practice-based reflections, book or curriculareviews) and Open Forum (interviews, case studies, or reflections on events such as relevant conferences). Please see our website (http://www.cit-asl.org/new/ijie/) to learn more about the different sections, and encourage your graduate students to consider making a submission to the Student Work section too. We look forward to future submissions that will move the field forward through reflective, challenging and insightful discussion of issues relevant to interpreter education.

We would like to take you back to the theme of this editorial with a quote from a European educator:

[…] education has to confront uncertainties. We should teach strategic principles for dealing with chance, the unexpected and uncertain and ways of modifying these strategies in response to continuing acquisition of new information. We should learn to navigate on a sea of uncertainties, sailing in and around islands of certainty (Eystein Arntzen, 2014, p. 3).


Adam, R., Stone, C., Collins, S.D. & Metzger, M. (2014) (Eds.). Deaf interpreters at work: International insights. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Arntzen, E. (2014). (Ed.). Educating for the future. Proceedings of the ATEE 38th Annual Conference, Halden 2013. Brussels, Belgium: Association for Teacher Education in Europe. Retrieved 16 May 2018 from: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/817e/e284abf8cec913da5afb880c4007e323a827.pdf

Bernardini, S. (2004). The theory behind the practice: Translator training or translator education? In Kirsten Malmkjaer (Ed.), Translation in Undergraduate Degree Programmes, pp. 17–30. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John Benjamins.

Burn, J. A. & Crezee, I. (2017). That is not the question I put to you Officer”: An analysis of student legal interpreting errors. International Journal of Interpreter Education 9(1), 40-56.

Crezee, I. (2016). The benefits of reflective blogs in language-neutral translator education. FITISPos International Journal, 3, 28-41.

Crezee, I. (2015). Semi-authentic practices for student health interpreters. Translation & Interpreting, 7(3), 50-62.

Enriquez, V.,Ridgeway, Q. & Crezee, I. (forthcoming). Translation and interpreting as ethical values in plurilingual societies: professionalizing professionals and non-professionals in New Zealand. Translation and Interpreting Studies.

Lee, J. (2018). Feedback on feedback: Guiding student interpreter performance. Translation & Interpreting, 10(1), 152-170.

Major, G. (2014). “Sorry, could you explain that?” Clarification requests in interpreted healthcare interaction. In B. Nicodemus & M. Metzger (Eds.), Investigations in healthcare interpreting(pp. 32–69). Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Major & Sameshima (forthcoming). Practicum: Developing professional skills and reflective practice in new interpreters.Retrieved June 30, 2018 from: https://www.2018oceaniaconference.com/program/

Saltnes-Urdal, G. H. (2017). Conquering the interpreter’s operational space: Sign Language interpreting students and their acculturation to Deafblind clients. International Journal of Interpreter Education 9(2), 21-35.

Swabey, L., Olson, A., Moreland, C. & Drewek, A. (under review). Deaf healthcare professionals’ perspectives:

understanding the work of ASL healthcare interpreters. In Ji, M., Taibi, M. & Crezee, I. (Eds.). Cross-cultural and cross-lingual health translation, interpreting and communication. London, England: Routledge.

Valero-Garces, C. (2017). Training translators and interpreters in Spain’s Asylum and Refugee Office (OAR): A case study. International Journal of Interpreter Education 9(2), 5-20.


[1] Correspondence to: CITjournaleditor@gmail.com

Research Articles

Interpreting Between Modes: Navigating Between Signed and Spoken Language

Interpreting Between Modes: Navigating Between Signed and Spoken Language

Vicky Crawley[1]
York St John University


This article examines an interpreting challenge faced by interpreters working between spoken and signed languages: the difference in the amount of concreteness (which the author terms “specificity”) between the two languages. This paper outlines the necessity to edit specificity when interpreting from British Sign Language (BSL) to English in order to produce natural-sounding language. Just as important is for specificity to be elaborated upon when interpreting from English to BSL. By examining this challenge, strategies often considered to be “innate” have been extracted from practice. This contribution to theory can then inform interpreter training. The author draws upon their recent research into the phenomenon known as “clarification,” which highlighted “underspecificity” as the most common cause of interpreter participation using clarification.

Keywords: specificity, signed language interpreting, clarification, interpreter participation, Map Task, underspecificity, overspecificity.

Read the complete article.


Self-Reflective Practices: Application Among Sign Language Interpreters

Self-Reflective Practices: Application Among Sign Language Interpreters

StephanieSowa 1
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York

Campbell McDermid
University of North Carolina – Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina

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This study examinedself-reflective techniques used by English–American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. While the literature on service industries suggests that self-reflective practices are beneficial (Goswell, 2012; Musolino, 2006), little empirical evidence of those benefits is found in the field of sign language interpreting (Dangerfield & Napier, 2016; Russell & Winston, 2014).  Six interpreters were asked to complete an interpretation from American Sign Language into English. They then utilized a retrospective think-aloud protocol to assess their recorded target texts. The three novices focused on specific signs and errors while the three experts talked about the speaker’s goal. This reflects Russell and Winston’s (2014) findings in which the interpreters who produced the most successful target texts also demonstrated higher order reflection. However, due to the small sample size, the results of this study are exploratory at best.

Keywords: self-reflective, novice, expert, self-analysis, Think Aloud Protocol, feedback

Read the complete study.


1Correspondence to: stephaniegsowa@gmail.com

Training Deaf Learners to Become Interpreters: A Pilot Project

Training Deaf Learners to Become Interpreters: A Pilot Project

Miranda Lai[1]
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University), Australia

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This article reports on a pilot project to train 20 Deaf learners in an attempt to equip them with the skills and knowledge required for interpreting assignments, including how to manage visual communication in various service settings and apply ethical standards to their interpreting practice. This is the first time such training has been delivered in a tertiary environment in Victoria, Australia. The project chose three non-language-specific units of competency from the national qualification of Diploma of Interpreting under the Public Sector Training Package. In addition to outlining the curriculum design and student learning outcomes, this article presents insight and qualitative feedback collected from semistructured interviews with the educators engaged for the project. Recommendations made at the conclusion of this project serve as a stepping-stone to delivery of a full Diploma of Interpreting for Deaf learners in the near future.

Keywords: Deaf Interpreting, Deaf interpreter training, diploma of interpreting, Auslan interpreting, skill set

[1]Correspondence to: miranda.lai@rmit.edu.au

Beyond Bilingual Programming

Beyond Bilingual Programming: Interpreter Education in the U.S. Amidst Increasing Linguistic Diversity

David Quinto-Pozos[1], Marcus Martinez, Alexis Suarez, and Roxanne Zech
University of Texas at Austin

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The purpose of this study was to determine the current state of educational opportunities for college and university-level students who wish to incorporate Spanish into their study of ASL–English interpretation. The number of Spanish–English–ASL interpreters is growing at a rapid pace in the United States, and demand for such interpreters is notable—especially in video relay service settings (Quinto-Pozos, Alley, Casanova de Canales, & Treviño, 2015; Quinto-Pozos, Casanova de Canales, & Treviño, 2010). Unfortunately, there appear to be few educational programs that prepare students for such multilingual interpreting. The number of these programs is currently not known (in that information has not been reported in publications, on the Internet, or in social-media sources), and one goal of this research was to gather information about such programs and relevant trilingual content that interpreter educators may incorporate in their classes. This study offers a number of suggestions to interpreter education programs that enroll multilingual student interpreters.

Keywords: Spanish, trilingual, multilingual, language brokering, demographics Dynamic Dialogue in Interpreter Education via VoiceThread

[1]Correspondence to: davidqp@austin.utexas.edu

Open Forum

Rayco H. González Montesino: One of a kind! ¡Único en su clase!

Rayco H. González Montesino: One of a kind! ¡Único en su clase!

Sandra McClure[1]
Gallaudet University

Brenda Nicodemus
Gallaudet University

Gustavo Navarrete Guastella
Gallaudet University

Rayco H. González Montesino2
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

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What makes Rayco H. González Montesino one of a kind? First, Rayco was first person in Spain to make signed language interpreting a topic for a doctoral thesis. For his doctoral studies in Applied Linguistics from the University of Vigo, he created a didactic of available strategies for signed language interpreting as a dissertation study. Rayco has also worked as a Spanish Sign Language-Spanish interpreter since 2002, and since 2004 has worked as a signed language interpreter educator. Currently he is a professor at University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid. We present this interview in both English and Spanish and hope you enjoy reading about our Spanish colleague as he works to advance interpreter education in Spain.

Keywords: Interpreters, interpreter education, Spanish, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Lengua de Señas Españolas (LSE).

[1]Correspondence to:Sandra.k.mcclure@gallaudet.edu

2Correspondence to:raycoh.gonzalez@urjc.es


Book Review: Interpreting in the Zone

Book Review: Interpreting in the Zone

Elisabet Tiselius[1]
University of Stockholm and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Jack Hoza, Interpreting in the Zone: How the Conscious and Unconscious Function in Interpretation. Gallaudet University Press, 288 pp. ISBN 978-1-56368-666-5

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Interpreters at work are as intriguing as acrobats or stunt performers. It seems impossible to listen and sign or speak at the same time, yet that’s what the interpreter does. Many researchers have attempted to open up the black-box of the interpreter with the aim of understanding how interpreters do what they do. Seasoned teacher, researcher, and interpreter, Jack Hoza’s latest book is a result of his desire to explore the processes behind interpreting, or in his own words “to understand the thinking processes of a variety of interpreters when they engage in interpretation, interact with participants and make professional and ethical decisions”.

The aim and scope of the book is to explore the cognitive processes interpreters use to construct meaning and support decision making when interpreting, and also how the interpreter mind functions when “in the zone”—the “zone” being a concept close to flow, and which Hoza describes as the ideal mental state when interpreting.  With the book Hoza also wants to share practical ideas for how interpreters can handle the processes and provide a better understanding of how to develop interpreting abilities and skills, as well as of how interpreters can become effective and caring practitioners. With the book the author also wants to provide a glimpse into the mind of interpreters and show the mental processes of interpreting and the expertise needed for successful interpreting. The target audience is people who want insight into how interpreters work in the zone, and how to manage their interpreting processes to achieve and maintain this state.

The book is built around the results of two studies (generously shared at the end of the book), one based on a questionnaire and the other on interviews. The studies explore interpreters’ understanding and application of models of cognitive processes. The book consists of nine chapters, each giving background to different aspects of interpreting and reporting on the studies linked to the aspect in focus. Hoza reviews conscious and unconscious processes, models of interpreting, the flow theory, novice-expert paradigm, bilingualism, and different aspects of the working environment.

Hoza covers much more than just cognitive processes in interpreting. In the first chapter, Hoza outlines the main theoretical basis for the book, Kahneman’s and Tversky’s theories on decision making, intuition, and conscious reasoning (see e.g., Tversky & Kahneman, 1983), which he also links to studies in the cognitive paradigm in interpreting (e.g., Napier, 2016). He also introduces the two studies that form the foundation of the book: In the survey study, an online questionnaire was offered nationally in the U.S. to certified ASL–English interpreters; Two hundred twenty-three interpreters responded, three of them deaf interpreters, giving it a response rate of 29 %. The interview study comprised 12 interpreters with different profiles (novice, experienced and user-selected). These interpreters were filmed when they interpreted, and then interviewed about both their performance in the recorded interview and their ordinary interpreting work. Hoza also reports in Chapter 1 on the responses from the two studies on conscious preparation for a task. (The reviewer would like to stress that in terms of methods in interpreting studies, questionnaires and interviews are established research instruments in interpreting studies. Claims that can be made using these types of instruments are related to the participants values, opinions, and ideas about certain concepts. Other questionnaires can also be used to establish how often e.g. a certain situation occurs, or map facts such as age, gender, level of education and so forth.)

Chapter 2 is devoted to different models of interpreting, which Hoza divides into four: cognitive process/sociolinguistic models, discourse analysis, practice profession schema, and interactional sociolinguistics. Hoza also reports on the survey responses related to how interpreters conceptualize their cognitive processes while interpreting. The survey asked two questions regarding process: (a) Briefly describe what cognitive (mental) process you undergo when you are doing live interpretation (feel free to reference models or theories if you feel they pertain); and (b) What models or theories of interpretation do you tend to use to think about—or discuss—your interpreting work? One hundred and ten and one hundred and twenty interpreters answered these two questions respectively Responses were evenly distributed among three of the four models; interactional sociolinguistics was the least-mentioned approach. (As a reviewer, I find that adding a few lines on cognitive processes are appropriate here: Cognitive processes are based on knowledge, skills and experiences. They are combined acts in the brain needed to preform different tasks (Groome, 2010). Cognitive processes are often acquired at some point, although they may be automatized. New knowledge may be created from them. The cognitive field of interpreting research involves studies of working memory (e.g., Christoffels, de Groot, & Kroll, 2006; Liu 2001), the interpreter’s brain (e.g. Hervais-Adelman, Moser-Mercer, & Golestani, 2011), processing time (e.g., Barik, 1973; Cokely, 1992; Siple 1993), intonation (e.g., Cecot, 2001; Williams, 1995), and cognitive load, just to mention a few. Many models have come out of this type of research. I argue that a questionnaire is an odd way of approaching cognitive processes. First, to think about or discuss models or theories, the respondents would have to have been trained in using that type of meta-language. Furthermore, in retrospective studies on processes, Ericsson and Simon (1993) conclude that participants can only remember and verbalize 2 to 10 seconds of a task. It is therefore surprising that participants would be comfortable discussing the mental processes they typically undergo when interpreting, provided they even know what these processes are. The answers most likely tell us something about the respondents’ knowledge and perception of cognitive processes, but not about the cognitive processes actually in use during interpreting.)

In Chapter 3, Hoza outlines Csikszentmihalyi’s (2008) flow theory and delineates it from his own use of “in the zone”. Where Csikszentmihalyi’s definition of in-flow can pertain to almost any aspect of life, Hoza uses “in the zone” as a special flow sensation connected only to highly challenging, high-performance contexts. In order to investigate in-the-zone experiences among interpreters, Hoza asks how they know that an interpretation is successful. One hundred and twenty-two interpreters (i.e. a little over half of the total number of respondents) answer this question, and an overwhelming majority them said they rely on external cues only (such as reactions from the parties of the interpreted event). (On a more philosophical note, an interpreter can presumably feel flow without delivering an interpretation considered successful by the users.)

The novice–expert paradigm (cf. Ericsson, 2000) is dealt with in Chapter 4. The different stages of expertise are applied to Hoza’s consciousness paradigm, which is an illustration of how interpreting flows in a continuum from unconscious and unmonitored utterances to highly conscious and highly monitored ones. Hoza hypothesizes that the interpreter’s effort is higher or lower depending on where the utterance is found on the continuum; and he describes the highest levels of expertise as a reflective competence moving along the continuum. In order to investigate expertise in his study, Hoza asked the interpreters what they considered to be the two main differences between how a seasoned interpreter and a newer interpreter undergo the mental interpreting process–or other aspects of their interpreting work. Responses (n=98) were divided into three types: those related to confidence; those related to experiences and world experiences; and those related to language fluency, accuracy, collegiality and professionalism. (In my opinion, answers seem to relate more to aspects of the interpreting work other than the mental interpreting process, however, but this is not surprising considering the difficulty of verbalizing one’s own cognitive processes.) Hoza boldly concludes the chapter stating that true expertise is the goal of all conscientious interpreters.

Chapter 5 is devoted to a discussion on how to make changes in one’s interpreting practice, based on what Hoza calls “aha! moments” and on Dweck’s work on praise of effort versus ability (Mueller & Dweck, 1998). Hoza states that “interpreters have more aha! moments when they are in the zone, and habits that support the interpreting process require less cognitive load” (p. 92). (Yet, this reviewer notes that the interpreters in the study report on aha! moments when they are not interpreting, but rather when they are watching other interpreters work or attending professional conferences or classes—which does not correlate to the assumption that they have more aha! moments in the zone.) In terms of changing habits, the interpreters mention changes related to both skill enhancement and habits to improve monitoring of the process. The chapter also discusses interesting and relevant tips for professional development.

Bilingualism is the topic of Chapter 6. Solid knowledge of working languages improves any interpreter’s work; because sign language is learned at a mature age by many sign language interpreters, fluency in sign language is often an area where there is room for skill enhancement, for which Hoza provides suggestions. The chapter also deals with what Hoza labels “the community approach versus the mainstream approach” to interpreting. He describes the mainstream approach as focusing on the message and being neutral, while the community approach focuses on a natural, cohesive and comprehensible approach. (This reviewer is not a sign-language interpreting scholar and will therefore not discuss the two approaches, although the division seems more experience based than evidence based.) In his use of a typology and terminology of bilingualism, Hoza makes, in this reviewer’s opinion) some unfortunate choices. He uses the term “semi-lingual, which was a much-debated term among bilingual scholars when it emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s (Hansegård, 1968). Many scholars claimed that the term completely disregards the complexity of bilingualism, and stems from a view of language competence only from a monolingual perspective; it has no empirical support in research in bilingualism. The definition of what Hoza calls a “complete language” is similarly debated. An individual can have different levels of proficiency in different languages, and environmental and social factors impact language proficiency (Baker, 2001). It is this reviewer’s understanding that the term “semi-lingual” still lives in the research community of sign language and Deaf studies, signifying that deaf students do not get the possibility (in the mainstream classroom) to properly develop neither their sign language nor reading and writing skills in the country’s majority language (Andrews, 2006). This is, of course, unconscionable, but does not make the term more acceptable.

In Chapter 7, Hoza continues to discuss in-the-zone interpreting: what pushes interpreters out of the zone and how they get back into the zone. Questionnaire respondents (n=116) reported that their interpreting did not work because of problems with external disruptive factors, understanding of the topic, and personal factors (fatigue, nervousness, etc.). Respondents (n=199) listed ways to get the interpreting “working” again, such as refocusing, pausing and changing interpreting mode. The tips in the chapter can help guide interpreters to get back on track when an interpretation is disrupted.

Attitudes and interpreters’ positionality in the sign language and deaf context are the topics of Chapter 8. Hoza stresses the importance of the interpreters’ enculturation to the deaf community as well as attitude toward deaf people and sensitivity on issues of culture and power. Issues which also links back to the section of team interpreting with deaf and hearing interpreters. Hoza makes the important note here that being a good interpreter is not just about language skills and techniques, but also about being a “good” interpreter.

In the book’s closing chapter, Hoza discusses ethical issues, deliberate practice and mentorship. Ethics is an ever-present important issue for any interpreter, and Hoza underscores that interpreters must get beyond the grey zones of the professional guidelines. He suggests that interpreters make three types of decisions regarding an encounter: personal, professional and ethical, and claims that whether a decision involves an ethical dimension can be judged by the possible dilemmas of a decision. I believe that the framework of discretionary power (Dworkin, 1978), used in the sociology of professions, can apply here: Discretionary power, also referred to as the “doughnut hole”, is the empty space between the actual case a civil servant (for example) has to decide on, and the professional rules, ethical guidelines or law that the civil servant has to abide by when evaluating the case. The rules have to be followed, but every case also requires an individual decision. Just as the civil worker does, the interpreter has an empty space where situations need to be assessed and decisions made. The question is, at least for this reviewer, whether one can ever completely leave morals and ethics aside.

Hoza has written an entertaining, accessible book, with his long experience as interpreter and trainer as a solid base. The major weakness of the book is the flawed methodological use in the studies, and as a consequence, the conclusions that come from the studies. Cognitive processes are elusive and often veiled for the observer. One can make assumptions based on different hypotheses, and one can test certain assumptions. A questionnaire may gather information on how the responders understand or perceive cognitive processes, but it cannot provide a window into those processes; to the idea that one can draw conclusions on cognitive processes based on a questionnaire is faulty. Responses are still interesting, but from the perspective of how interpreters perceive how their mind works. It would have been helpful if the author had described how the questionnaire was developed. It is also unfortunate that many questions were only answered by half of the respondents.

If Hoza’s main aim is to write a book for, as he says in the opening chapter, readers who want to learn how interpreters understand their work, then he has succeeded. However, if he intended to explore the cognitive processes interpreters use to construct meaning and support decision-making when interpreting, and also how the interpreter brain functions when “in the zone”, he has simply not used the right means to do this, and the conclusions he draws from the material pertaining to this aim are unfounded.


Andrews, J. F. (2006). “Inclusion: The Big Delusion”: Letter to the Editor. American Annals of the Deaf, 151 (3),295–296

Baker, C. (2011). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism(Vol. 79). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Barik, H. (1973). Simultaneous interpretation: Temporal and quantitative data. Language and Speech 16, 237–270.

Cecot, M. (2001). Pauses in simultaneous interpretation: A contrastive analysis of professional interpreters’ performance. The Interpreters’ Newsletter, 11, 63–85.

Christoffels, I. K., de Groot, A. M. B., & Kroll, J. F. (2006). Memory and language skills in simultaneous interpreters: The role of expertise and language proficiency. Journal of Memory and Language, 54(3), 324–345.

Cokely, D. (1992). Interpretation: A sociolinguistic model. Burtonsville, MD: Linstok Press.

Csikszentmihályi, M. (2008). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.

Dworkin, R. (1978). Taking rights seriously. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Ericsson, K. A. (2000). Expertise in interpreting: An expert-performance perspective. Interpreting 5(2), 187–220.

Ericsson, K. A., & Simon, H. A. (1993). Protocol analysis: Verbal reports as data(Rev. ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Groome, D. (2010). An Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: Processes and disorders. New York: Psychology Press.

Hansegård, N­.-E. (1968). Tvåspråkighet eller halvspråkighet [Bilingualism or semi-lingualism]. Stockholm, Sweden: Bonnier förlag.

Hervais-Adelman, A. G., Moser-Mercer, B., & Golestani, N. (2011). Executive control of language in the bilingual brain: Integrating the evidence from neuroimaging to neuropsychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 2.

Liu, M. (2001). Expertise in simultaneous interpreting: A working memory analysis.Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Texas at Austin

Mueller, C. M., & Dweck, C. S. (1998). Praise for intelligence can undermine children’s motivation and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(1), 33–52.

Napier, J. (2016). Sign language interpreting: Linguistic coping strategies.Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.

Siple, L. A. (1993). The use of pausing by sign language interpreters. Sign Language Studies, 79, 147–179.

Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1983). Extensional vs. intuitive reasoning: The conjunction fallacy in probability judgment. Psychological Review, 90(4), 293–3l5.

Williams, S. (1995). Observations on anomalous stress in interpreting. The Translator 1,(1), 47–64.

[1]Correspondence to:Elisabet Tiselius, Institute for Interpreting and Translation, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden, e-mail: elisabet.tiselius@su.se

Dissertation Abstracts

About This Section

In this section, we feature abstracts of recently completed doctoral or master’s theses. If you have recently completed a master’s or PhD thesis in this field and would like it to be included, please send an abstract of 200–300 words to citjournaleditor@gmail.com. We urge all academic supervisors to encourage their students to submit abstracts of their completed dissertations for inclusion in the next issue of the journal, in order to help disseminate new research relating to interpreter and translator education.

The Interactive Courtroom: The Deaf Defendant Watches How the Speaker Is Identified for Each Turn-at-Talk

The Interactive Courtroom: The Deaf Defendant Watches How the Speaker Is Identified for Each Turn-at-Talk

Dr. LeWana M. Clark
Department of Interpretation, Gallaudet University
Email: lewana.clark@gallaudet.edu
Degree: PhD thesis, Gallaudet University


The Deaf defendant who stands before the court in the United States charged with a crime and prepared to go to trial cannot hear the individual voices of the judge, attorneys, and English-speaking witnesses. The interpreter must identify who is speaking as a component of the interpretation. Sometimes interpreters strategically identify the speaker for each turn-at-talk but at other times they either do not remember to do so, or are not aware that the speaker identification marker is absent or inaccurate.

A collective case study bounded by speaker identification was used to explore the relationship between teaming model (rotate model or remain model), type of discourse (dialogic or monologic), and onset processing time interval. Rotate model and remain modelare new terms in the field, which I am defining as necessary to the study’s central methodology.

Research captured the interpreters using eight major speaker identification markers: assigned (inherent in the remain model), body movement, directional question, indexing, lexical, neutral position, ‘NEXT SPEAKER’ sign, and raised hand. Results indicate the teaming model, discourse type, and onset processing time interval directly impacted if the interpreters consistently used these markers to identify the speaker for each turn-at-talk.

Keywords: interpreting, speaker identification, legal interpreters, American Sign Language, teaming models, Deaf defendant

Does Extralinguistic Knowledge Really Matter?

Does Extralinguistic Knowledge Really Matter? An Examination of the Impact of Deaf Interpreter’s Personal and Professional Experience on Cancer-Related Translated Texts

Naomi Sheneman
Department of Interpretation, Gallaudet University
Email: nsheneman@yahoo.com
Degree: PhD dissertation, Gallaudet University

Keywords: extralinguistic knowledge, Deaf interpreters, translation, cognitive linguistics, cancer


Extralinguistic knowledgeis defined as knowledge unique to an individual, outside of language, that is retrieved from a person’s experiences, education, and work, and which influences interpreters’ and translators’ work products (Gile, 2009). Possession of extralinguistic knowledge may work in tandem with interpreters’ linguistic knowledge when addressing linguistic and lexical challenges in their work. In American Sign Language (ASL), cancer terms and related concepts often have no standardized translation equivalents other than fingerspelling.

This study addressed three questions: (a) How are key cancer terms translated by Deaf interpreters from written English to ASL, and do translations differ based on the existence or lack of personal and professional experiences with cancer? (b) How do these translated terms compare to the same terms expressed directly by a deaf medical professional working in the oncology field? (c) How does a Deaf interpreter’s extralinguistic knowledge related to cancer potentially influence deaf consumers’ experience with the translated target text products? Translation products from two Deaf interpreters who were self-identified balanced bilinguals, one familiar with cancer and oncology and one not, were analyzed using Fillmore’s (1982 & 1985) frame-semantic model. Both interpreters’ translation products were compared with a deaf oncologist’s narrative text. The deaf oncologist’s narrative text, with his extralinguistic knowledge, maintained more form but had flexibility in offering meaning-based explanations of specific cancer concepts. Interview data from both Deaf interpreters were analyzed using Thornberg’s (2012) informed grounded theory, confirming that extralinguistic knowledge allowed interpreters to break from form. However, the majority of deaf cancer patients and survivors who participated in focus groups to review the translation products expressed that retention of form implied that the Deaf interpreter without extralinguistic knowledge had the appropriate medical knowledge and oncology-related interpreting experience.


Gile, D. (2009). Basic concepts and models for interpreter and translator training(Rev. ed.). Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins North America.

Fillmore, C.J. (1985) Frames and the semantics of understanding. Quaderni di semantica 6, 222-254.

Fillmore, C.J. (1982) Frame semantics. In The Linguistic Society of Korea (Ed.), Linguistics in the morning calm(p. 111-137). Seoul, Korea: Hanshin Publishing Company.

Thornberg, R. (2012, June). Informed grounded theory. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 56(3), 243-259.

An Investigation of Administrators’ and Teachers’ Perception of Educational Interpreters’ Role in K–12 Education

An Investigation of Administrators’ and Teachers’ Perception of Educational Interpreters’ Role in K–12 Education

Stephen Fitzmaurice
Department of Interpretation and Translation, Gallaudet University
Email: sfitzma@clemson.edu
Degree: PhD thesis, Gallaudet University


Research on the role space of educational interpreters has historically focused on descriptions of tasks educational interpreters are engaged in during their work day.  This case study uses role theory to examine the perceptions of administrators and teachers on the role space of American Sign Language–English educational interpreters.

Through a series of qualitative interviews with 17 state administrators, district administrators, school administrators, general education teachers and teachers of the deaf, and a statewide questionnaire with 18 respondents the perceptions of the role space of educational interpreters in South Carolina are examined.  Data from interviews and questionnaire responses are analyzed to determine common themes contributing to role ambiguity, role conflict, and role overload for educational interpreters.

Factors contributing to different perceptions among administrators and teachers include the role metaphor ascribed to the educational interpreter, the status of the educational interpreter in the school system, definitions of who is perceived to be responsible for the education of deaf students, and whether the school district is in an urban or rural area.

Findings reveal the perceptions of administrators and teachers in the educational system set the stage for a series of role conflicts and subsequent role overload for educational interpreters.  Implications and some concrete future direction to making educational interpreting more effective are discussed.

Keywords: perception, role, educational interpreters

Domain-Specific Activities in ASL–English Interpreting and Their Relevance to Expertise Development

Domain-Specific Activities in ASL–English Interpreting and Their Relevance to Expertise Development[1]

Adams, Krista
Department of Interpretation, Gallaudet University
Email: krista.a.adams1@gmail.com
Degree: Master’s thesis, Gallaudet University


This exploratory mixed-methods study examined domain-specific activities practiced by expert American Sign Language (ASL)–English interpreters. Qualitative data were collected through interviews for initial identification of domain-specific activities, making it possible to establish a list of 19. Then, quantitative data were analyzed from responses to a questionnaire regarding five characteristics of the identified activities: (a) relevance to improvement, (b) requisite effort, (c) inherent enjoyment, (d) frequency, and (e) competence improvement goal. Of the 19 identified activities, four were rated as highly relevant to improvement of interpreting. Characteristics of the four activities were compared with the professional development activities recommended in the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional Conduct (CPC), as well as with related domain-specific activities in other professions. Given their higher ratings, defining characteristics, and similarities to activities in other professions, the four activities identified could result in greater performance gains for ASL–English interpreters than the activities recommended in the CPC. The findings may serve to guide interpreters in selecting professional development activities and enhancing their interpreting performance.

Keywords: domain-specific activities, expert, professional development

[1]This study has since been published: Adams, K. 2017. Domain-specific activities in ASL–English interpreting and their relevance to expertise development. Interpreting, 19(2), 186-208.

Complete Version of the Journal

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