• Autopoiesis: scaffolding the reflective practitioner toward employability

      Bown, Sarah (Conference of Interpreter Trainers, 2013-05-01)
      Sign language interpreters confront a diversity of complex situations in their everyday work. To be able to consider and appropriately respond to such situations, interpreters need robust cognitive reflective frameworks to support them. Since 1993, the University of Wolverhampton’s BA (honors) Interpreting British Sign Language/English course has delivered undergraduate training to aspiring sign language interpreters. The end product has been high levels of “appropriate” graduate employability success, in part due to the strong correlation between what employers regard as essential and desirable in an employee, and the attributes demonstrated by the reflective practitioners created by the program. In this article, the author looks at a range of perspectives in relation to reflective learning, discusses its application in interpreter training, and argues that reflection is one of the essential skills required for effective practice. In order to achieve this skill, however, interpreter educators must establish robust scaffolding frameworks during training. The author provides examples of methods used to build these cognitive frameworks during placement learning modules. It is in part the building of interpreting students’ cognitive reflective framework during training that will provide them with the necessary key tools for professional practice and lifelong learning.