Traditionally, many European interpreter training institutions in higher education contexts have focused mostly on conference interpreter training to prepare its students and graduates for work in international business, technical, or diplomatic contexts. Spurned by societal changes, which lead to more diverse and transcultural societies, over the last twenty years the focus in some university training curricula has been expanded to also include interpreting in inner-social public service settings (e.g. interpreting in legal, medical, therapeutic, and social service settings), a field, that has come to be known as Public Service Interpreting (PSI), also referred to as dialogue or community interpreting. PSI, however, is still in many countries a field with a low degree of professionalisation and institutionalisation, that is characterised by the use of non-trained interpreters (lay interpreters) or interpreters with only little training. If training is available, it is still often offered outside a higher education context and in heterogeneous, often short-time training formats. Students and graduates of traditional higher education interpreter training institutions often have little insight into this field and are sometimes ill prepared for the ethical and professional challenges arising in such contexts. Recent geopolitical developments, that have resulted in mass migration, have made the need for overcoming language barriers in a humanitarian and migration context and in social service settings even more prevalent in many countries along European migration routes and host countries. Research has helped to shed light on the challenges and ethical dilemmas in high-stake encounters over the last two decades, yet the challenges of interpreting in a humanitarian and migration context still often remain undiscussed or under-represented in higher education classrooms, which is also the case in the projects partners’ countries which lie along migration routes and have served as reception and host countries. The overarching aim of this project thus is to raise awareness among interpreting students, as well as teachers of interpreting at higher education institutions for ongoing geopolitical developments and how these impact interpreting in both an inner-social and specifically transnational/transborder context. The project will address the needs of those working in such fields and make students and teachers in a higher education context understand the challenges of not only mediating in such a context, but also of the need for adequate management of language service provision and ensuring the facilitation of access to information resources for stakeholders and refugees. By giving voice to stakeholders (interpreters, institutional representatives) and those in need of information (migrants and refugees), and drawing on their ample individual experience, we aim to shed light on the most prominent issues pertaining to this domain. We will develop a range of sustainable, easy-to-use digital training material that is based on the authentic experience and insight of both those working in the field (interpreters, institutional representatives) as well as refugees as those who are most in need of information delivered through the services of interpreters. Based on a survey-based needs assessment in reception centers and transit zones, as well as interviews with stakeholders, we will produce a range of sustainable training materials (vod-/podcasts, user training videos, game-based simulations) that will complement existing resources and be available for students and teachers on a training platform. Students and teachers will be involved early in this process, both in the production of the planned material and the review and feedback process.


Projektzeitraum 01.05.2022 - 30.04.2024
Fördergeber EU

Department für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften

Zentrum für Angewandte Spieleforschung

Projekt­verantwortung (Universität für Weiterbildung Krems) Mag. Natalie Denk, MA
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