Theatrical training for interpreting students and its effectiveness for consecutive interpreting performance

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This paper presents a theatrical training that is specially designed for interpreter education and reports its effectiveness in improving Chinese-to-English consecutive interpreting performance. Inspired by Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed and some public speaking courses and workshops, the proposed theatrical training, as one of the training sessions in PSTIS (Public Speaking Training for Interpreting Students), aims to incrementally enhance interpreting students’ postural and gestural performance in consecutive interpreting through four stages of activities, exercises, and practices. In order to learn the effectiveness of the proposed theatrical training for interpreting students, the trained subjects (n = 3) were interviewed to gather their feedback on the benefits they obtained through the training. Additionally, a pretest-posttest experiment was carried out to compare the postural and gestural performance between the trained subjects and the untrained subjects (n = 2). The assessment of the five subjects’ postural and gestural performances involved the participation of Chinese-and-English-speaking assessors (n = 9) and non-Chinese-speaking target audience members (n = 7) watching video recordings of their pre-test and post-test performances. The results show that the proposed theatrical training can assist interpreting students in understanding the appropriate postures and gestures to perform and effectively reducing their interpreting anxiety and consequent occurrences of unconscious improper body postures and gestures in consecutive interpreting in public. Moreover, it enhances interpreting students’ willingness and ability to use gestures for expression. Collectively, these improvements contribute to the trained subjects’ more enhanced consecutive interpreting performance compared to the untrained subjects.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 02 Nov 2023
EventAPTIS 2023: The teaching and learning that matter today - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 01 Nov 202303 Nov 2023


ConferenceAPTIS 2023: The teaching and learning that matter today
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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