Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Relay Interpreting with iPads in Higher Education

Veronika Nenickova, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University (Czech Republic)


Relay or indirect interpreting is one of the interpreting modes where the message is conveyed from the source language to the target language via the medium of a third one.  In other words, the interpreter does not listen to the speaker but to another interpreter. Relay interpreting is common at large conferences and during official sessions in, for example, the European Parliament.

In interpreter training, the equipment accessibility is one of the keys to success. However, not all universities have enough quality equipment to cover all the training needs at all times. Moreover, it may not be flexible enough to facilitate tasks designed by the teacher. In such cases, using iPads may be just the solution.

At the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, we succeeded in developing a way of iPad implementation in relay simultaneous  interpreting practice that received positive feedback from both teachers and students. iPads gave us the needed flexibility. There are of course other benefits to using iPads, such as, for example, the price. In comparison to simultaneous interpretation equipment, iPads are much cheaper. Furthermore, they are portable, which means they can be moved from classroom to classroom, and easy to use. And finally, they can accommodate multiple trainings seminars at different language departments throughout the semester/year.

Our solution is based on a set of instructions and steps that have to be followed in a particular order to ensure success of the exercise. They involve setting up “a scene”, ensuring a wi-fi connection, adjusting audio volume and using a video player and an audio recording application. Two iPads and two sets of headphones are necessary for a pair of students working together. The number of students practicing at the same time is limited only by the number of iPads. The recordings made during the practice can be used later in the seminar e-learning course where self-evaluation, peer evaluation, teacher feedback and self-reflection take place.

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