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Optimizing Conference Interpreter Training through research Introductory thoughts Daniel Gile Gile Optimizing.

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Presentation on theme: "Optimizing Conference Interpreter Training through research Introductory thoughts Daniel Gile Gile Optimizing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Optimizing Conference Interpreter Training through research Introductory thoughts Daniel Gile Gile Optimizing train Intro1

2 Formal training (1) Preliminary questions: 1. Is formal training for transltrs and interprtrs necessary? The existence of successful self-trained translators and interpreters proves that the answer is ‘no’ 2. Is formal training for translators and interpreters better than training on the job? Not necessarily. Not always. It is our job as trainers to make sure that it is, inter alia by: - Making our students progress faster than on-the-job-trainees - Making our students achieve higher skills - Giving them other advantages (better access to the marketplace, better positions…) Gile Optimizing train Intro2

3 Formal training (2) Ideally: Gile Optimizing train Intro3 With formal training Without formal training Skill level time t1t1 t2t2

4 Formal training (3) Actually not one but many skill components, different learning curves with and without training Gile Optimizing train Intro4 Skill level time t1t1 t2t2

5 If it ain’t broke… Formal training as it exists in many programs… works (more or less, but at least to some extent) Temptation: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” My suggestion: don’t apply this principle Seek to optimize If you can…you might be able to - get better results - make the process less difficult and more enjoyable This is worth some efforts Gile Optimizing train Intro5

6 Where/what to optimize? 1. Before training: Admission procedures - What problems/weaknesses? Upstream training? - What problems/weaknesses? 2. During training: Syllabus - What problems/weaknesses? Training methods - What problems/weaknesses? Instructor attitudes - What problems/weaknesses? Materials - What problems/weaknesses? Testing - What problems/weaknesses? 3. Final testing at graduation: Preparation for 1st steps in professional life - What problems/weaknesses? And those who fail the exam? - What problems/weaknesses ? Gile Optimizing train Intro6

7 Steps to optimization? 1. Identify problems/weaknesses… and areas for optimization - From students - From instructors - From marketplace reactions 2. Try to identify causes 3. Try to develop strategies and test them In all cases, evidence-based Systematic collection of evidence Why? Because changes often difficult to implement (human resistance, administrative/bureaucratic obstacles) Make sure the investment has good chances of success Gile Optimizing train Intro7

8 Why research? Essentially, research (scientific research) is a critical exploration of reality which acknowledges the vulnerability of human observation and inferencing and tries to push back associated limitations with various tools Technical tools, both physical and conceptual But more importantly, underlying norms, in particular Systematic skepticism and caution Gile Optimizing train Intro8

9 Research vs. other sources of input No claim is made that - research is the only source of input for optimization - or the best Intuition, reflection, authoritative opinions etc. In fact, as will show later, research has clear limitations But it also has advantages Chief among them: it can open new doors by systematically challenging received ‘wisdom’ before accepting it and serves as a ‘counter-power’ to it Use it as input, to be assessed and accepted…or not! Gile Optimizing train Intro9


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