Friday, 15 July 2011

"6-Up: Research on signed language interpreting in Australia" - Jemina Napier

The title of the presentation "6-up" is related to the number 6, since it is now 6 years on since WASLI has been established. We are growing up as WASLI, we have developed different policies and networks throughout the world.

Sign language interpreting work is also growing up. Over the years we have seen a shift more evidence collected on interpreting, how we work and what we do. We then know what we do and put this into education and further research.

In the last ten years there has been an explosion on sign language interpreting research. Nadja Grbic found that 908 different texts had been published from x till 2008. Towards the end of the 1990's there was a rapid increase.

In the last six years how many more has been published: over 100 publications have been published. Research is done in different settings: medical, legal, etc. It is important to research the function of the interpreter in different contexts. We must collect this evidence and then we are better informed.

Locally, in Australia, since 2005 the sign language interpreting research has "grown up". Jemina and Della Goswell have published but also various phd students are involved. All these are interpreters who have become researchers. It is important that research is not just done in academia.

The research projects involved different subjects such as:
  • Legal settings: deaf juror comprehension, interpreting in court via video conferencing, interpreting with indigenous Australians in legal settings.
  • Education: language contact in academic lectures - comparing interpreters & lecturers, performance continuation
  • Medical: Medical Sign Bank project, interpreter-mediated medical consultations
  • Perceptions: investigating what deaf people think of interpreting and vice versa, and what language do we need to discuss interpreting, occupational overuse syndrome (RSI)
  • Pedagogy: how do we teach interpreting, use of discourse, blended learning
The research has had an impact on policies in Australia. Jemina then shared some comments of stakeholders in the field, what they think of the impact of the research.

The research in Australia did not only have a local impact, but also globally. We can compare the research data. And the results can feed into policies as well, but also then will influence the teaching and then the research again.

Anyone who is a practioner can become a researcher or a "practisearcher". It does not matter where you are from you can make a difference.

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