Case conferencing/Supervision in Interpreting
Robyn K. Dean, M.A., C.I./C.T.
In his book, The Courage to Teach , Parker Palmer says, “The growth of any craft depends on shared practice and honest dialogue among the people who do it.” However, Palmer is concerned that the current dialogue in the teaching profession is reduced to the technique of teaching and fails to appreciate the human issues of the profession. He suggests that in reducing the profession of teaching to mere technique, we diminish the human-ness of the teacher and “…people do not willingly return to a conversation that diminishes them.”
These comments regarding the teaching profession are also true of the interpreting profession. Yet, the growth of our craft depends on the ability of professionals to share information about effective practice in a clear and honest manner. Palmer suggests that the teaching profession begin a new topic of conversation, structure that conversation with ground rules, and provide the leadership for this honest dialogue to happen.
Talking about your work for the purposes of improvement – reflective learning practice – has many other names: peer consultation, case conferencing, supervision , etc., and is used by many professions as a tool for professional development and the maintenance of ethical behavior. Given the parallels that the interpreting field shares with these other professions it is noteworthy that this common practice is rather foreign to the field of interpreting. However, establishing such a practice within the interpreting field poses many challenges. Some of the barriers include a long history of interpreters feeling criticized by their colleagues, beliefs about the mandate of confidentiality, and doubts about the benefits of discussing one's work with peers.
In this workshop, we address these barriers directly, employ a practice profession approach to interpreting using the demand-control schema, and outline how one might employ this professional development strategy—a strategy that does not place analysis of one's work in an abstracted hypothetical but in the tangible and practical experiences of daily work.
- To learn how to identify and structure dialogue about the interpreting event using the dialogic work analysis.
- To gain practice and experience in case presenting
- To understand the importance validation in supervision and how to use it as a technique in encouraging behavioral change.