Category Archives: interpreting

Nicodemus, B. and Swabey, L., Eds. (2011) Advances in Interpreting Research

Nicodemus, B. and Swabey, L., Eds. (2011) Advances in Interpreting Research: Inquiry in Action. Amsterdam: John Benjamins

In the introduction to this volume, the editors mention “a need for publications for interpreters interested in research, aspiring researchers in interpreting studies, and interpreting educators” (p. 2). As a person who fits into at least two of those three categories, I found this volume to be an engrossing and extremely useful read.  Rather than give an in-depth review or synopsis of the whole book, I’m going to highlight specific chapters and concepts which I found most relevant to my own work.

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Fontes, Lisa A. (2008) Child Abuse and Culture & (2008) Interviewing Clients Across Cultures

Fontes, Lisa A. (2008) Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families. New York: Guilford Press

Fontes, Lisa A. (2009) Interviewing Clients across Cultures. New York: Guildford Press

I’m not going to write a long post about these two books, but it’s not because I don’t find them useful.  In fact, my primary reason for posting is to strongly recommend them to interpreters and to all professionals who work in multicultural or multilingual settings.  There’s a fine line between exploring cultures and descending into generalizations and stereotypes.  There are few non-interpreters who really ‘get’ interpreting and interpreters.  Fontes, in my opinion, does an excellent job in both areas.

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Bachman and Palmer (2010) Language Assessment in Practice: part 2

Bachman, L. and Palmer, A. (2010) Language Assessment in Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

In chapter 16, the authors discuss rating language performance in situations where the response to the assessment stimulus is extended and relatively unlimited in scope, and language use is situated or in the form of discourse.  These are situations in which it is not possible or practicable to use a rating system in which specific tasks or items are scored.  Thus, rating of these types of assessments is done by describing the person’s level of ability as demonstrated by the response. 

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Bachman & Palmer (2010) Language Assessment in Practice: Part 1

Bachman, L. and Palmer, A. (2010) Language Assessment in Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


This is a detailed, exhaustive guide to developing and using language assessments.  I learned a lot  from it about all stages of the language assessment process, including a lot of useful theoretical and practical knowledge about issues surrounding development, administration, and scoring of language assessments. There are numerous examples in the book, and a website of sample materials available for further study.  Each chapter also has exercises at the end.  I skimmed a lot of it, but read several sections with greater attention.  There are several things I got out of this book that I want to explore in more depth and attempt to apply to assessing interpreting performance. To facilitate reading, I’m going to divide it up into multiple post.

Notice: All the information about language use and assessment in this post is from the book cited above, and is noted as such throughout.  All portions of this post related to interpreting are my own work and protected by my copyright.

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