Aims: This unit is designed to equip students with the full range of skills and techniques in public service interpreting that are required for work in this particular field. The aim is to maximise each student's potential so that as many as possible of the group achieve the standard necessary for professional work.
After completing the unit, students should have assimilated all the principles and techniques of this area of work. They will therefore have developed an understanding of the professional context in which public service interpreting takes place, enabling them to tackle a wide range of interpreting assignments with confidence and success. Students will also have gained an understanding of the role of public service interpreters and their relationship with particular clients or users, together with an awareness of the kind of ethical issues that are likely to arise in the course of their professional work.
Public service interpreting is an exercise in direct communication between individuals that involves transferable key skills such as listening, analysing arguments, oral expression and an awareness of one's own performance. The main intellectual skill developed in this unit is the ability to switch rapidly between language directions while acting as intermediary in a sophisticated dialogue, applying linguistic knowledge so as to deliver a satisfactory performance for the clients or users. All these skills are developed progressively through classwork and constructive feedback.
This unit builds on the knowledge and skills acquired through the liaison interpreting units in Semester 1. It continues to develop students' technique, confidence and ability to deal with a wide range of realistic work situations. Immigration, police/court and medical contexts are among those covered. Within these fields, selected specialist areas are explored with an emphasis on teaching students how to research terminology and build glossaries, working in teams where appropriate. The ethical dilemmas and cultural issues that can result from the use of interpreters will also be discussed. Interpreting skills are practised through role-play scenarios that are defined in advance, allowing preliminary research by the interpreters. The TV studio is used frequently as a venue, and performances are videotaped for later analysis by the students and their instructors.