Logo of the International Journal of Interpreter Education (™)

Volume 8(1) ~ May 2016

Creative Commons License - Attribution, Non-Commercial, No-DerivativesISSN # 2150-5772 – All views or conclusions are those of the authors of the articles and not necessarily those of the editorial staff or the publisher. 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.

Open Access

The IJIE is now open access without a membership or subscription.


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


Research Informing and Underpinning Interpreter Education

Inked Crezee and George Major, Editors
Auckland University of Technology

Correspondence to: CITjournaleditor@gmail.com

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The International Journal of Interpreter Education is a dedicated platform for interpreter educators around the world. Our collective experiences as interpreters, educators and journal contributors encompass a wide range of perspectives and our readership includes educators and researchers from countries with long established interpreter education programmes, as well as from countries that have only recently started to experience an influx of visitors, migrants and refugees, and thus the demand for trained interpreters. This journal provides a forum for sharing new ideas and developments, and bringing together innovative research from both signed and spoken language interpreter education research and pedagogy.

We welcome submissions including research articles based on conference presentations and Open Forum contributions, such as conference reports, opinion pieces, and presentations of teaching case studies. We particularly encourage educators in countries where interpreter education is in the early stages of development to consider the contributions they could make to this forum.

In the recent Volume 7(2) of this journal, Jieun Lee and Moonsun Choi of Ewha Womans University in South Korea contributed their research-based recommendations for interpreter training for asylum interview settings, in response to the growing number of asylum seeker applications and the recent passage of the Refugee Act (2013) in South Korea. Japan is now making provision for an increasing number of overseas visitors who need interpreting services, especially in the healthcare setting. On 14 May 2016, the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies (Aichi Prefecture), hosted an inaugural symposium on medical interpreting organised by Professor Teruko Asano, a scholar noted for her successful advocacy for the rights of court interpreters in Japan. We briefly outline the symposium papers here because they reflect topics and themes on which we welcome future submissions to the journal.

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Research Articles

Lost in the Shuffle: Deaf-Parented Interpreters and Their Paths to Interpreting Careers

Amy Williamson


Deaf-parented individuals have experiences as child language brokers (Napier, in press) and as native and heritage users of signed language (Compton, 2014) prior to engaging in a formal interpreter education program or seeking training to become an interpreter. Anecdotally, deaf-parented interpreters say that educational opportunities do not meet their specific needs and skill sets but instead are designed for the L2 user of signed language. A goal of this study was to expand the limited research that currently exists in the field of interpreter education as it relates to L1 users of American Sign Language (ASL)—specifically, deaf-parented individuals. This study finds that they are achieving national credentials and education and training as interpreters through some coursework, formal and informal mentorships, and workshops, usually after already entering the field through informal induction practices within the deaf community. Participants in this study outline specific areas of skill weaknesses and share their perspectives on educational offerings that they have found most beneficial. The results of this research can benefit the field of signed/spoken language interpreting by influencing curriculum design and teaching approaches so that the unique demographic of deaf-parented interpreters is recruited to and retained within the profession. This article presents some of the principal findings pertinent to induction practices and interpreter education from a larger study of deaf-parented interpreters (Williamson, 2015).

Keywords: Coda, deaf-parented interpreter, interpreter education, heritage language, deaf, induction practices.

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Interpreter Intervention and Participant Roles in Witness Examination

Eva Ng

The University of Hong Kong


The court interpreter code of ethics in general requires interpreters to restrict their function strictly to interpreting and to refrain from clarifying ambiguity with the speaker, especially with the witness. The code usually suggests that permission be sought from the court if interpreter intervention is unavoidable. Empirical studies show, however, that departure from this ethical code is commonplace. Drawing on an authentic courtroom trial in the High Court of Hong Kong, and using Goffman’s (1981) participation framework as the analytical tool, this article aims to illustrate how the court interpreter changes her participant role in the court proceedings by initiating turns with the speaker. It discusses the impact of such interpreter intervention on the co-present court actors and its pedagogical implications for interpreter education.

Keywords: interpreter intervention, interpreter-initiated turns, participant role, court actors.

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Understanding the Work of Designated Healthcare Interpreters

Laurie Swabey1, Todd S. K. Agan2, Christopher J. Moreland2, and Andrea M. Olson1
1St. Catherine University, 2University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio


Interpreters who work regularly with a deaf health professional are often referred to, in the U.S., as designated healthcare interpreters (DHIs). To date, there have not been any systematic studies that specifically investigate the work of DHIs, yet the number of deaf people pursuing careers in the health professions continues to grow (Zazove et al., 2016), and the number of qualified DHIs to work with these professionals is insufficient (Gallaudet University, 2011). Before educational programming can be effectively developed, we need to know more about the work of DHIs. Using a job analysis approach (Brannick, Levine, & Morgeson, 2007), we surveyed DHIs, asking them to rate the importance and frequency of their job tasks. The results indicated that the following task categories are relatively more important: fosters positive and professional reputation, impression management; demonstrates openness to unpredictability; and builds and maintains long-term relationships with others. Tasks rated as more frequently performed included: dresses appropriately; decides when and what information to share from the environment; uses healthcare-specific knowledge; and demonstrates interpersonal adaptability. We discuss the results of the importance and frequency of the tasks of DHIs and consider the implications for education and future research.

Keywords: designated interpreter; deaf healthcare professional; sign language interpreting; interpreter education; job analysis, designated healthcare interpreter

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Open Forum

Interview with Kim de Jong, Interpreting and Translation Service Manager

Delys Magill and Kim de Jong


Kim de Jong is the manager of interpreting booking services for the Counties Manukau District Health Board in Auckland, New Zealand. In this interview she describes the challenges of meeting the needs of a culturally diverse population within the constraints of a large organization. She also shares her observations on the skills and knowledge an interpreter must have before undertaking work in healthcare.

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Book Review: The Routledge Handbook of Interpreting

Sabrina Schulte

Sabrina Schulte

Mikkelson, H., & Jourdenais, R. (2015). The Routledge handbook of interpreting. New York, NY: Routledge.

The Routledge Handbook of Interpreting is a comprehensive reference book in the field of interpreting. It covers the history and developments of interpreting to the present time, addresses various settings in which interpreters are employed, and concludes with a discussion of issues currently confronting the interpreting field.

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Dissertation Abstracts

Dissertation Abstracts

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In this section, we regularly feature abstracts of recently completed doctoral or masters 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. For this issue we have opted to include two abstracts submitted by PhD students whose work is nearing completion. We would 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 inform our readers of new research relating to interpreter and translator education.

Intercultural communication: Challenges in interpreter-mediated medical encounters

Sophia Ra
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Email: s.ra@student.unsw.edu.au
Degree: PhD dissertation, University of New South Wales (in progress)

This study set out to examine crosscultural issues that may cause a challenge in interpreter-mediated medical encounters. as well as interpreters’ perceptions as to what extent they might be able to offer cultural brokerage in similar contexts. A total of 20 interpreter-mediated medical encounters were observed in a large hospital in Sydney, Australia, followed by semi-structured interviews with five of the interpreters. This hospital was chosen because it serves a large population of migrants from a range of different ethnic backgrounds. Findings suggested that interpreters face challenges relating to end-of-life situations, family involvement, patient autonomy and informed decision making, as well as non-verbal communication. The study also identified institutional barriers resulting in a lack of briefing or debriefing sessions for interpreters. Finally, both medical professionals or patients seemed to entertain unrealistic expectations about the role of the interpreters. The study found that cross-cultural misunderstanding was less of an issue for the interpreters involved than first thought. The study also explores the potential risk of interpreters playing the role of cultural advisors.

Achieving accuracy in a bilingual courtroom: Pragmalinguistic challenges and the role of specialized legal interpreter training

Xin Liu
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Email: xin.liu6@student.unsw.edu.au
Degree: PhD dissertation, University of New South Wales, in progress

This study used a mixed methods approach to examine the most common pragmalinguistic challenges for trainee interpreters in achieving accuracy when interpreting cross-examination questions from English to Chinese, as well as the role of specialized legal interpreter training. In an adversarial courtroom, questions are used strategically by legal professionals to maintain control over witness testimony. In a bilingual courtroom, it is crucial that lawyers’ intended questioning strategies be adequately relayed from one language to another. Failure to do so can affect the effectiveness of courtroom questioning and potentially even the outcome of a case. However, achieving such a high level of accuracy is extremely demanding due to the intricacy of courtroom discourse. This thesis consists of two components: a discourse analytical study of trainee interpreters’ pragmatic accuracy in a moot court exercise and a quasi-experiment with trainee interpreters from the Master of Interpreting & Translation program at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Complete Version of the Journal

The listing below has the complete articles as well as an opportunity to download a PDF version of each article or the complete journal.