Logo for CIT 2020 Conference - Transforming Interpreter Education

Extending Interpreter Interpreter Education Through Mentorship and Extension Program: Nigeria As a Model

by Oladipupo Wumi Omobosola & Olabisi Kafayat Olatunji-Olawepo

Poster Session

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Nigeria is the most populous nation of African continent with a population of approximately two hundred and one million (201m) people, occupying about 923,768km2 (United Nations World Population Prospects 2019). Being a United Nations (UN) member State, Nigeria shares all of UN Developmental goals. Consequently, Inclusive Education for all categories of individuals, including the Deaf without discrimination is paramount to the country. Sequel to this, the use of Educational Interpreters for effective inclusion of the Deaf students is imperative. However, it has been observed that the country, despite making use of interpreters both the classroom and other environment, has no formal Interpreter Training Programme (ITP) to prepare practitioners for core Interpreting skills, (Ademokoya 2017). Though, Educational Interpreters learnt Sign Language at different levels as some units courses in Deaf Education, many Interpreters in the country have no formal knowledge of either Deaf Education or Sign Language but only leverage on the contact with the language either through religious or other civil society organization. Whichever the case is, no knowledge is sufficient to effectively interpret without appropriate ITP. Note worthy is the fact that there are professional organizations that have been making significant efforts to ensure there is appropriate ITP to prepare Interpreters for the professional skills the job requires. Major in this struggle is Educational Sign Language Interpreters Association of Nigeria, (ESLIAN). ESLIAN has been advocating for professionalization of Sign Language Interpreting as well as raising the bar of the service delivery in the country. To this end, this study investigated the perspective of interpreting practitioners on:

  1. Awareness of ITP;
  2. Willingness of the existing practitioner to undergo ITP and
  3. Feasibilities of extension and mentorship of ITP in Nigeria.

Being a survey study, structured questionnaire was administered to two hundred and fifty (250) interpreters in different settings and States across the country. The items were developed to elicit perspective of the respondents on the scope of the study. The researcher made use of descriptive statistics of frequency counts and simple percentage to analyse the data. Consequently, it was found that:

  1. Though, no Interpreter in Nigeria has been trained on any ITP, they are aware it exists;
  2. More than 90% of the respondents are willing to enrol for the programme if made available and accessible;
  3. Accessibility is primarily contingent upon a number of factors ranging from affordability, proximity and flexibility.

The researchers therefore make some recommendations based on the findings to include:

  1. Conference of Interpreters Trainers (CIT) should collaboration with ESLIAN to facilitate, coordinate, establish or organize an ITP in Nigeria, either through Satellite campus/centre or mentorship programme for the already practising ones to mentor/train others (train the trainer);
  2. CIT should link up ESLIAN with potential Institutions that run ITP;
  3. The ITP should be made affordable for the sake of having a sustainable start up.

Participants will learn about:

  • New methods in developing interpreter Training Program in Developing Countries;
  • Channeling way forward on a Universal Interpreter Training Program;
  • Introducing Collaboration between Interpreter Trainers and National Interpreters Association; and
  • Exposing the link between the producer and consumers of Interpreting Training.

A black man with short black hair and a moustache and goatee wearing a white shirt and brown time smiles at camera in front of purple backgroundOladipupo Wumi Omobosola holds Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE); Bachelor Degree in Education (B.Ed) and Masters Degree in Education (M.Ed), (Deaf Education). He is one of the foremost Educational Interpreters in Nigeria, serving at Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Oyo State Nigeria with over thirteen years experience. Oladipupo played prominent roles in efforts to get Sign Language Interpreting standardized in Nigeria, the efforts that culminated into formation of a Professional Association named Educational Sign Language Interpreters Association of Nigeria (ESLIAN). He is the current elected and serving Pioneer National President of the Association. Oladipupo is a great visionary who believes not in any impossibility. He has championed so many causes at different capacities and contributed immensely to the body of knowledge in interpreting. Oladipupo is a scholar; He has many scholarly conference attendance and publications, both local and international to his credit. He seeks knowledge at all cost.

A black man with a short goatee and short black hair wearing a white button down shirt looks directly at the cameraOlabisi Kafayat Olatunji-Olawepo is a holder of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) and Bachelor Degree in (Deaf) Education (B.Ed). She is a friend of the Deaf and to her credit have been a member of the Deaf Community for well over two (2) decades. Presently she works as a Sign Language Interpreter at Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Oyo State Nigeria with over 8 years work experience. She is part of the foundation member of the Educational Sign Language Interpreters Association of Nigeria (ESLIAN). She is currently serving the Association at the capacity of National Financial Secretary. She has worked in various capacities to promote Deaf education and contributed immensely to the body of knowledge in interpreting. She is a scholar with research interest in Deaf Education and Interpreting.