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Multilingual interpreter education curriculum design and evaluation
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 23:29 authored by Helen Slatyer
Australia, like many other signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees (1951) that have become the destination for asylum seekers, has recognised the importance of providing language services to support the successful settlement of new arrivals, migrants and humanitarian entrants to Australia, who don’t speak the mainstream language. However, despite the promise held in the policy statements aimed at supporting settlement through the provision of language services, the quality and availability of interpreting and translation services have often fallen short of the minimum required. The fluctuation in service provision and quality is particularly a problem for rare and emerging languages due to an ever evolving migrant demographic. The small number of speakers in some language communities renders the recruitment, training and testing of translators and interpreters problematic creating a gap in the provision of translation and interpreting services. This thesis reports on a study that set out to design, trial and evaluate a multilingual curriculum model that would be suited to the education of interpreters from smaller language communities in Australia. Drawing on constructivist and transformationist models of education, the curriculum model was developed from a reflective and collaborative action research orientation. The interdisciplinary research design draws on interpreting studies, education, evaluation and applied linguistics to inform the design and evaluation processes. The thesis situates the curriculum within its social, political and professional context and describes the collaborative processes set up for the design and evaluation of the model. The evolution of the curriculum is tracked through the different design, implementation and evaluation phases where data informed each step in the process. The final curriculum model reflects the needs of key stakeholders (interpreters, employers, educators and professional bodies) and the views of the participants in the study. A model for an integrated curriculum development and evaluation process is also proposed.