Employability as an ethos in translator and interpreter training

Claire Cuminatto*, Roger Baines, Joanna Drugan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


‘Employability’ is now a key term in university strategies in the UK and increasingly across Europe. Pressure to implement such strategies can lead to bolted-on rather than embedded activities within curricula. This paper argues that employability should be an embedded ethos, particularly for translation and interpreting courses. Employability can be addressed effectively by using real-world applications of learning, to enrich the discipline but also to provide distinct types of intellectually stimulating content. The University of East Anglia (UEA) has a long history of this approach. We outline UEA case studies of effective practice at Masters and undergraduate level, including students working for real clients. Such an endeavour poses logistical and ethical challenges: how can we integrate real-world contexts without taking work away from professionals? This issue can be unwisely ignored or a source of academics’ reluctance to engage in such activities. Using original data from a recent alumni survey and semi-structured interviews, we map the outcomes of such an ethos and ask whether engaging in real-world oriented activities as students affects the professional paths of alumni.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
JournalInterpreter and Translator Trainer
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017


  • Employability
  • ethics
  • interpreting
  • professional practice
  • transferable skills
  • translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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