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Editorial: The Evolution of Interpreter Education Research and Dissemination

Volume 6 (1) ~ May 2014

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

Editorial: The Evolution of Interpreter Education Research and Dissemination

Jemina Napier, Editor
Heriot-Watt University

Correspondence to: CITjournaleditor@gmail.com

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Welcome to the first issue of Volume 6 of the International Journal of Interpreter Education. For this editorial, which will be my final editorial as Editor of IJIE, I would like to review the evoluton of interpreter education research and dissemination over the last five volumes of the journal.

We have seen the contributions to the journal shift over time to reflect the way that interpreter education research is evolving as its own subdiscipline of interpreting studies. Franz Pöchhacker (2010) discusses the importance and the role of research in interpreter education, and the publication of a journal that is specifically focussed on this activity not only gives us the opportunity to disseminate our research and share teaching acitvities, but also provies validation to the scholarly examination and exploration of interpreter education in spoken and signed languages.

In my editorial for Volume 1 of IJIE in 2009, I suggested that there were “burgeoning relationships in interpreter education” and envisaged IJIE playing a significant role in contributing to best practices in interpreter education. I borrowed various metaphors from the interpreting studies literature to emphasize that we need to “mine for diamonds” in interpreter education (as per Angelelli, 2004), and to lead interpreting students by the hand and mentor them into the profession. The first volume was dominated by signed language interpreter educator contributors, and although IJIE is published by an American organization that focuses primarily on signed language interpreter education and training (the Conference of Interpreter Trainers [CIT]), we have witnessed a significant increase in the number of contributions to the journal from spoken language interpreter educators. This shift further validates the need for information exchange across languages and modalities, as I addressed in my editorial for Volume 5(1) in 2013.

In addition to several research papers, Volume 2 featured commentary papers in which experienced interpreter educators shared their thoughts, curricula, and perceptions on the application of interpreting theory to interpreter education. IJIE has provided a forum, in addition to the biannual CIT convention, for educators to share their ideas about what works well in the classroom. It was also in Volume 2 that we introduced the Student Section, whereby aspiring interpreter education scholars—graduate students who have completed research projects related to interpreter education and who are experienced interpreter educators but may not have the experience of writing for publication—could submit their written work to the dedicated section in the journal.

Volume 3 concentrated on discussions of broad educational theory in adult and higher education and how it can be applied in interpreter education. This broader discussion of learning and teaching theories has been a common theme in many of the articles in IJIE, and has provided a strong foundation to frame our discussions and considerations. In this volume, we also began to recognize the importance of providing student-centered learning, and empowering students to learn.

In 2012, the journal moved to two issues per year, in order to accommodate an increasing number of submissions. Volume 4(1) included papers that discussed testing of interpreting students, ethics, and technology. Volume 4(2) featured papers on educating interpreters that were presented at the Critical Link: Interpreting in the Community conference in Birmingham, U.K., in July 2010, and my editorial contrasted the emergence of community interpreting and research in the spoken and signed language sectors.

In 2013, Volume 5(1) continued the theme of comparing spoken and signed language interpreter education research by exploring the similarities and differences and intersections of modalities in interpreter education, and Volume 5(2) confirmed the growing trends in interpreter education research, and the importance of evidence-based pedagogy, featuring several papers that were presented at the CIT convention in 2012.

This current issue of IJIE provides insight into the psychological skills that we need to develop in interpreting students (Atkinson & Crezee), the student perspective on interpreter education (Mo & Hale), how interpreter education is evolving in China (Zhan), and an innovative approach to providing an intensive interpreter training experience (Bentley-Sassaman, Houser, & Morrison). We also have two book reviews that are particularly relevant to interpreter educators (Bowen-Bailey and Major).

It is with regret that I have tendered my resignation as IJIE Editor, but I plan to remain on the editorial board. It has been a rewarding experience to see the journal flourish and to see more interaction between spoken and signed language interpreter educators, and new and experienced researchers. CIT has called for expressions of interest for a new editor, and I encourage you to think about it or recommend the opportunity to your colleagues. Furthermore, there is still a rolling call for manuscripts, so do consider submitting something for consideration in the Research or Commentary sections. If you are not sure where your manuscript might fit, do not hesitate to contact the new Editor, or any member of the Editorial Board, for advice.

As with previous volumes, I end my editorial with a quote. This quote I feel encapsulates the ethos that I have tried to embed within IJIE, and the ongoing values that I believe we all wish to see in the further development of the spoken and signed language conference and community interpreting profession.


Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today (Malcolm X).



Angelelli, C. (2004). Medical interpreting and cross-cultural communication. London, England: Cambridge University Press.

Pöchhacker, F. (2010). The role of research in interpreter education. The International Journal for Translation & Interpreting Research, 2, 1–10.