Enhancing the Learning Experience of Interpreting Students outside the Classroom: A Study of the Benefits of Situated Learning at the Scottish Parliament

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to observe and analyse the potential benefits of the situated learning experience for MSc interpreting students enrolled in the Conference Interpreting and Translation programme at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh by taking them outside the classroom and confronting them with the realities of a working parliament (the Scottish Parliament).
Our curriculum already includes a number of activities designed to draw on theories of experiential learning developed by Lave and Wenger (1991) generally, and D'Hayer (2006) specifically for interpreter education, for instance in the shape of simulated multilingual conferences organised in a university interpreting laboratory. However, this study is designed to analyse the benefits of taking situated learning one step further, by placing students in the real, live environment in which professional interpreters work: an interpreting booth, during a live Scottish parliamentary session. By taking the learning experience out of the usual academic environment and into a professional setting, we intend to use a mixed-method approach in order to examine how students react to the experience and to what extent it contributes to focusing their study strategies and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-106
Number of pages15
JournalInterpreter and Translator Trainer
Volume10
Issue number1
Early online date8 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • situated learning
  • conference interpreting
  • interpreter training
  • Scottish Parliament
  • applied skills

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