Logo for CIT 2020 Conference - Transforming Interpreter Education

Understanding the Next Generation of Interpreters: Implications for Pedagogy & Practice

by Pamela Sue Conine & Jen Hayes

Interactive Workshop

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In recent years, there have been significant shifts in society, particularly in K-12 education, shaping the generation of learners who are entering the interpreting profession. As a result, entering students bring diverse perspectives on which teaching approaches are most successful for their learning and development. Based on when a person is born will determine their comfort with technology, social interactions, critical thinking and creativity, resource sharing, and classroom expectations. Layer this on the fact that young students and interpreters are not only the product of their generational experiences, they are continuing individual cognitive and social development processes, which impact their readiness for learning the complex work of an interpreter. Furthermore, seasoned interpreters who are educators and mentors may struggle to reconnect with the novice perspective due to their skill progression and inevitable “expert blind spot”. This poses a challenge to interpreter educators, mentors and trainers, in the development and delivery of curriculum, especially as there is an influx of young people who are facing very different realities than older generations. In this interactive workshop, the presenters will paint a picture of the varying and multiple demands of educating, mentoring, and training future interpreters based on current research regarding generational differences and educational approaches. Additionally, the presenters will propose strategies for working with the diverse needs of individuals in our field, as well as pose questions that will ignite reflection and planning for participants and their interpreter education programs, teaching or mentoring practice, or future interactions with new interpreters entering our field.

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the many influences that shape the perspectives and experiences of the novice interpreting students and mentees we work with.
  • Recognize patterns, assumptions, and oversights that experts make when working with novice interpreters.
  • Discover effective strategies to support novice interpreters and promote meaningful learning experiences.

A white woman with blond shoulder-length hair smiles at camera showing teethPamela Sue Conine, MS, NIC-Master, CI/CT, has been the Coordinator and Clinical Associate Professor for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee-Interpreter Training Program since 2007. She received her masters from UW-Milwaukee in administrative leadership and supervision in education and her BS Degree in education with a focus on interpreting. Mrs. Conine is an RID-NIC Master interpreter and works in a variety of settings including post-secondary, theatrical, and religious. She believes strongly in community involvement and service. It is through those rich experiences, interpreters develop the cultural and linguistic competence to serve all members of the community with compassion and quality. This is what she tries to bring to her teaching and interpreting every day.

A woman with reddish-purple hair swept off to one side wearing a black leather jacket sits at a table with her head on clasp hands looking at the cameraJen Hayes, MS, NIC, is an interpreter, educator, and mentor. Since earning her master’s degree in ASL/English Interpreting Pedagogy through the University of North Florida in 2017, Jen has been honing her ability to connect with interpreters in meaningful ways through curriculum development, teaching, and mentoring. She has over 15 years experience interpreting primarily in post-secondary, medical, and professional settings. Over the past several years, Jen has developed an interest in supporting interpreters who work in K-12 educational settings. This interest has blossomed while supporting a research project aimed at impacting interpreters who work in education, working as a facilitator with the TIPS program, and developing a statewide mentoring program for interpreters in education. If you find Jen during a rare free moment, you will find her enjoying time with her husband and four children, dabbling in photography, or decorating cakes.