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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FREN3073 Theory and Practice of Interpreting (French and English)

20 creditsClass Size: 18

Module manager: Terry J. Bradford

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of Level 2 French or at discretion of the module leader.

Module replaces

FREN3070 – Bilingual Liaison Interpretingand (in part)FREN3880 – Introduction to Professional Translation & Interpreting

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides sound grounding in the theory and practice of interpreting. As such, it potentially provides a route into further academic research into interpreting studies, professional practice as an interpreter, or – simply – improved language skills.


Underpinned by theory from linguistics and interpreting and translation studies, this module gives you the opportunity – through role-play and simulated scenarios – to practise different modes of interpreting (chuchotage, community, business liaison, and sight translation). The aims are to:
 expose you to theories pertaining to interpreting;
 raise questions of ethics – as well as linguistics;
 and to examine what it means to be a professional interpreter.

Learning outcomes
1. You will acquire knowledge and a deep understanding of different modes of interpreting.
2. You will gain insight into theoretical and critical questions surrounding interpreting, which you will engage with through research.
3. You will develop the ability to reflect on questions – theoretical and ethical – surrounding interpreting.
4. As well as improving your general ability in French, you will – in particular – improve your spoken French (fluency) and on-the-spot adaptability.
5. You will be able to interpret – and to sight-translate – appropriately in a range of professional contexts.
6. You will understand the necessity for research – both linguistic and conceptual – in interpreting.

Skills outcomes
This is a very hands-on module, as much of its time is devoted to practice through role-play. As well as improving language skills (vocabulary, grammar, register, translation skills, and adaptability), you will grow in confidence and professionalism. Through interpreting, you should also improve your research skills, emotional intelligence, and diplomacy.


Block 1: Sight translation (ST) - Foundations of Interpreting Studies:
Translation techniques, specialist vocabulary, ethics.
Block 2: Community interpreting (CI) - Process, Product, Performance:
Defining CI, preparation, etiquette, advocacy.
Block 3: Business liaison (BL) - Professionalism:
Register, research, note-taking, diplomacy.
Block 4: Chuchotage (Ch) - Back to Basics:
Technique, research.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours20.00
Private study hours160.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

You will be encouraged to engage with online resources provided by way of independent interpreter training (20 hours).

Private study will embrace:

1 Research/preparation for subject-specific role-plays (approx.40 hrs)
2 The theory and practice of interpreting and language skills (approx. 120 hrs)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

In Semester 1, you will receive written feedback on a draft essay. Throughout both semesters, on an almost weekly basis, you will receive informal feedback – from the tutor as well as your peers – on role-play performance.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation2,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Practical spot test exam (1)0 hr 20 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

A week before the exam, you will receive a subject-specific key-word. This will enable you to research and prepare for the exam (as you would in the professional world).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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