Design and implementation of conference interpreting practicum

Elma Ju*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Training of conference interpreters is practice-oriented; in addition to lecturing and exercises in the classroom, opportunities to work under authentic conditions outside the classroom are equally important. However, practicum courses are not simply putting interpreter trainees in a real-life situation where interpretation services are needed. Rather, careful thought must be given to the role of a practicum course in the overall training program, and how it is linked to the rest of the curriculum before having students engage in appropriate learning activities in the field under proper supervision. This study first draws on theories of experiential learning and communities of practice as well as skill acquisition studies for key elements of an interpreting practicum course. Efforts are then made to collect and compile information about existing practicum offered by T&I schools/ programs on this island. The researcher conducts content analysis of the course syllabus based on the key elements proposed by the experiential learning and communities of practice theories. The analysis outcomes serve as a basis on which the researcher interviews instructors of these courses with a view to gaining more insights into why the practicum is carried out the way it is, what challenges there may be in implementing the course design and the expected or perceived benefits the students reap from the practicum. As reflection is an essential part of experiential learning, the researcher also seeks to get hold of the students’ reflections on their participation in various activities in the practicum. Such reflections provide another means of validating the related theories as well as the instructors’ perceptions. Based on the aforesaid analysis and interviews, the researcher will make suggestions as to how an interpreting practicum can be designed and delivered with a more solid theoretical footing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournalCompilation and Translation Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Community of practice
  • Experiential learning
  • Interpreting practicum
  • Skill acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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