Construct definition in interpreter testing (Joint Colloquium with ILTA)
Organizer: Helen Slatyer from the Translation and Interpretation Program at Macquarie University in Sydney
Interpreting studies is often referred to as an “
However, despite advances in our understanding of interpreting, the discipline still lacks comprehensive and empirically supported constructs of interpreter performance that can serve as the basis for defining constructs for testing. Historically, national testing systems for accreditation and certification have based their tests on hypothetical notions of professional interpreting performances and scored the performance on the basis of the accuracy of the interpretation using a ‘points-off’ system for errors. Combined with a lack of validation research, interpreter testing for the purposes of certification has been beset by a lack of validity and reliability.
This two-hour symposium presents recent work that
Questions of validity in simulated medical interactions as the basis for testing medical interpreters
Heiyeon Myung, Macquarie University
The authenticity of test materials is a valued quality of performance tests that
This paper outlines the features of ‘authentic’ doctor-patient communication and compares this with the simulated and interpreted communication in order to examine the degree of authenticity achieved in roleplayed interpreter tests. The main aim is not to negate the value of simulations for interpreter testing, but to provide evidence for a re-think of how to prepare a more authentic communicative roleplay for interpreter performance assessment.
Keyword correspondence as a construct for accuracy in interpreting: designing a certification exam for interpreters in Taiwan
Minhua Liu, Hong Kong Baptist University
This paper describes the process through which a construct for accuracy in interpreting was identified and validated in a Taiwanese certification exam for interpreters. In an attempt to develop a more objective measure to assess quality in interpreting, specifically in the context of large-scale examinations, we explored how well an interpreting output corresponded to the original speech on a set of keywords selected from the original speech. Ten student interpreters with Mandarin Chinese as either their A language or on equal par with their English participated in the study. They each interpreted two English speeches into Mandarin and two Mandarin speeches into English consecutively. For each language direction, one speech was interpreted in a short consecutive mode while the other in long consecutive. The procedures yielded 40 consecutive interpretations in four conditions. Two native speakers of Chinese selected the keywords in the Chinese speeches and two native speakers of English
Getting the interaction right. Testing the interactional competence of interpreters in a national certification test.
Helen Slatyer, Macquarie University, Adolfo Gentile, NAATI, Magdalena Rowan, NAATI & Nora Sautter, NAATI
Our understanding of the interactional dynamics of interpreter-mediated communication is shifting towards a more communicatively engaged interpreter who interacts with the other interlocutors in the conversation to better manage the communication. Interpreters are no longer expected to be passive, neutral and detached (Llewellyn-Jones & Lee, 2013; Mason & Ren, 2012). When it comes to testing interpreters for the purpose of certification, test tasks and scoring procedures need to assess the ability of interpreters to skillfully and implicitly allocate turns, take the floor and initiate repair as required (Levinson, 2016; Sacks, Schegloff, & Jefferson, 1974) using gaze, voice, and body language (Davitti & Pasquandrea, 2017; Mason, 2012). Responses to a national survey of the knowledge, skills
This paper traces the test development process starting with the interactional sociolinguistic literature on interpreter mediation in dialogic communication and how this research translates into the development of a test construct. We outline the test specifications, test methods
Discussant: Claudia Angelelli,