Virtual Classes as an Innovative Tool for Conference Interpreter Training
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Virtual Classes (VCs) make up a pedagogical tool taking advantage of the idea of remote interpreting and videoconferencing for simulations of interpreting. At present, the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw, is the only interpreter training center in Poland to offer such a blended learning model. The aim of this paper is to present the findings of a longitudinal study based on observations of various stages of VCs in which both the trainers and trainees have been involved. The material for the study consists of the author’s field notes from observations, including the trainers’ and trainees’ opinions, as well as written documents in the form of draft scripts prepared for each VC. The results of the study show that VCs make up an effective component of a blended learning model. Although they cannot replace face-to-face training, they provide both professional and pedagogical opportunities for the trainees. Furthermore, VCs are associated with organizational, technical, and pedagogical effort on the part of the trainers. In general, an overwhelming need for development of this component as contributing to innovative interpreter training should be underlined, as well as for further research in the field.
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