The Linguist

The Linguist 52,2

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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FEATURES Users gain experience of interpreting in settings that can be impossible to get access to as a trainee and by clients and end-users to learn about interpreting. There is also shared communal space for learning and working together. There are four working modes, which are linked to the different user activities. The interpreting practice mode is populated with tailormade monolingual monologues and bilingual dialogues, which are presented by robot-avatars acting as role players. The student, represented by his/her own avatar, joins them to interpret. There are currently 330 monologues and dialogues in a range of languages, including Chinese, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Russian and Spanish. Some materials were created by cutting and editing the existing monolingual BACKBONE and ELISA corpora and inserting questions in other languages; other materials were created from new corpora. All of the materials include an interpreting brief, which strengthens the credibility of the interpreting scenarios. Linked to the interpreting practice mode is the learning activity mode. Virtual world pedagogy stresses the importance of directed learning – ie, that the student is not 'let loose' in the virtual world with no structure or focus. With that in mind, this mode gives students access to a range of activities and exercises that are designed to support preparation for interpreting assignments and the acquisition of interpreting skills, and also to give them a chance to reflect on their own preparation, skills and interpreting performance. Clients, meanwhile, have access to materials that they can use to learn about the work of interpreters and how to work with them. The exploration mode is an in-world area that presents clients (and novice interpreters) with resources such as information panels, dynamic Prezi presentations, and videos of Vol/52 No/2 2013 good and bad practice, together with examples of interpreting scenarios, inviting users to consider the issues that may arise. Finally, in the live interaction mode, trainee interpreters and clients can come together to carry out role-play simulations. The key advantage here is that users can meet at a time that suits them, anywhere in the world, in order to interact and learn together. The development of the IVY environment culminated in London in November 2012, with a successful one-day seminar. It was attended by some 70 participants, primarily from across Europe, representing all of the key stakeholders, including speakers and participants from the European institutions, interpreter trainers, professional interpreters, researchers, and interpreting service users and providers. Speakers invited to showcase ICT-based solutions in interpreter training included Claude Durand and Fernando Leitão from the European Commission's DG Interpretation, who presented the Speech Repository and Virtual Classroom initiatives; and Susanne Altenberg and Katerina Dara-Lepoura from the European Parliament, DG Interpretation and Conferences, who reviewed the European Parliament's present and future e-learning needs. Brooke Townsley (Middlesex University) reported on the work of the EU project Building Mutual Trust 2, which aims to deliver interactive online materials for legal professionals working with interpreters. The IVY environment has been trialled with interpreting students at the University of Surrey (UK), Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland), and the University of Thessaloniki (Greece), and the outcomes of the evaluation phase are currently being assessed. The last two years have been heavily focused on the development of the environment prototype, and it is clear that more research is needed to find out whether the virtual world is a viable and useful platform for training interpreters and their clients. The new EU-funded EVIVA project,6 also coordinated at Surrey, has been designed to evaluate how users learn with ICTs, with specific reference to video-based materials, videoconferencing and virtual worlds. Notes 1 EU Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) project 511862-LLP-1-2010-1-UK-KA3-KA3MP, University of Surrey (coordinator; UK); Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland); Steinbeis GmbH & Co KG für Technologietransfer (Germany); Bangor University (UK); Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Germany); Bar Ilan University (Israel) 2 Sandrelli, A & de Manuel Jerez, J, 2007, 'The Impact of Information and Communication Technology on Interpreter Training' in The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, 1(2), 269-303 3 English Language Interview Corpus as a Second-Language Application (developed by Dr Sabine Braun, then of University of Tübingen) 4 BACKBONE: Corpora for Content and Language Integrated Learning, LLP project 143502-2008-LLP-DE-KA2-KA2MP (coordinator: University of Tübingen) 5 Hansen, I & Shlesinger, M, 2007, 'The Silver Lining: Technology and self-study in the interpreting classroom' in Interpreting 9(1), 95-118 6 Evaluating the Education of Interpreters and their Clients through Virtual learning Activities, LLP project 531140-LLP-1-2012-1-UK-KA3KA3MP. University of Surrey (coordinator); University of Cyprus; Adam Mickiewicz University; Steinbeis GmbH & Co KG für Technologietransfer; Bangor University INSIDE IVY A virtual court room (left); interpreting practice mode in a meeting room (right); and using live mode to simulate a meeting (far left) APRIL/MAY The Linguist 15

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