Logo for CIT 2020 Conference - Transforming Interpreter Education

CoRe Approaches to Transforming Interpreting Practices Through Critical Thinking!

by Betsy Winston

Poster Session

Date | Time | Room

Return to 2020 Conference Schedule

Effective interpreters require highly developed critical thinking skills and advanced communicative competence, which must include both language and pragmatic competence in each working language. As educators, we can actively transform the future of interpreting and of our students as we guide them toward development and mastery of these skills and competencies. Assessing their progress is both essential and extremely challenging! Cognitive Reflection (CoRe) activities like Think Aloud Protocols, Stimulated Recalls, and Directed Reflections are valuable assessment and self-assessment tools that support student learning and development (Kiraly, 2000; Russell and Winston, 2014). As an added benefit, educators can gain valuable insights about student progress and about our own teaching strategies and approaches.

This presentation shares findings and insights from longitudinal research about the usefulness and impacts of cognitive reflection (CoRe) activities in interpreter education (Winston, Pending). This research is long-term and includes a collaboration with a federally funded national demonstration program for early career interpreters. Assessment of cognitive reflection (CoRe) activities reveal the various levels of cognitive complexity (basic to complex) that students experience as they learn and grow. CoRe activities offer opportunities for students, experienced interpreters and teachers to gain valuable insights into several aspects of interpreting, including their:

  1. socio-cultural awareness of consumers’ intentions, needs, and goals,
  2. skills and practices,
  3. understanding of linguistic and pragmatic processes required for effective interpreting,
  4. meta-awareness of L1 and L2 competencies, and
  5. growth toward more complex and higher levels of critical analysis (e.g. Anderson et all, 2001: Bloom’s Taxonomy).

These learning opportunities are valuable for everyone, whether as students progressing through preparation program or as experienced interpreters strengthening their professional practices.

Analyzing the cognitive reports produced by interpreters at many levels, from student to novice to professional also provides insights into our own teaching and assessment strategies, helping us:

  • identify more specific criteria for choosing source materials for interpreting practice and assessment;
  • understand more clearly how our discourse impacts (intentionally or otherwise) student understanding of the interpreting process;
  • increase opportunities for developing critical thinking skills;
  • streamline assessment activities;
  • identify thresholds of mastery as students develop from basic to advanced critical analysis skills in translation and interpreting.

Understanding how to stimulate and track our learning through the use of CoRe activities is an essential skill for every interpreter, mentor and educator!

References

Anderson, L.W. & Krathwohl, D.R. Editors. (2001) A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: a revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.

Kiraly, D. (2000). A Social Constructivist Approach to Translator Education: Empowerment from Theory to Practice. Northampton, MA: St. Jerome Publishing.

Russell, D., & Winston, E. (Betsy). (2014). Tapping into the Interpreting Process: Using Participant Reports to Inform the Interpreting Process in Educational Settings. Translation & Interpreting, 6(1), 102–127. doi:ti.106201.2014.a07

Winston, E. (Pending). Assessing and Stimulating Cognitive Complexity in Interpreting Education. Colorado: TIEM Center.

Participants will be able to:

  • identify more specific criteria for choosing source materials for interpreting practice and assessment;
  • understand more clearly how our discourse impacts (intentionally or otherwise) student understanding of the interpreting process;
  • increase opportunities for developing critical thinking skills;
  • streamline assessment activities;
  • identify thresholds of mastery as students develop from basic to advanced critical analysis skills in translation and interpreting.

A white woman with reddish-brown curly shoulder-length hair wearing brown jacket with green shirt smiles at cameraDr. Betsy Winston directs the Teaching Interpreting Educators and Mentors (TIEM) Center. Her expertise includes teaching and research in interpreting, curriculum development, assessment, discourse analysis, interpreting skills development, educational interpreting, and distance education. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics (Georgetown University), an M.A. in Linguistics with a focus in American Sign Language (Gallaudet University), and an M.Ed. in Technology & Education (Western Governors University). Dr. Winston received the Mary Stotler Award (CIT/RID 2000) for her contributions to the field of Interpreter Education, and the Outstanding Service to Interpreting award (NAD 2016), as a member of the RID Certification Committee.