A case study of the use of storytelling as a pedagogical tool for teaching interpreting students

Jemina Napier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article details the findings of a systemic functional linguistic case study of university classroom talk, and in particular an evaluation of the storytelling that occurs in classroom talk and its functioning as a pedagogical tool with interpreting students. The data consists of two hours of naturalistic classroom talk that occurred with sign language interpreting students discussing the topic of interpreting ethics. The 'chunks' of the text comprised of storytelling were identified, and the stories were classified into genres. The study revealed exemplum stories to be the most common story genre, and that story genres were used by both the teacher and students to make meaning within the learning process. The findings of this study are innovative in that they demonstrate that storytelling is a feature of pragmatic teacher-student interaction, and is a pedagogical tool used to engage with sign language interpreting students in order to relate practical experience to theoretical constructs, which could be considered by spoken language interpreter educators if culturally appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
JournalInterpreter and Translator Trainer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Classroom talk
  • Interpreter education
  • Problem-based learning
  • Storytelling
  • Systemic functional linguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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