The Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation (SSTI) is the non-profit educational and research foundation of NAJIT, the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators. One of its goals is to foster connections between empirical research and the actual practice of judiciary interpreting and legal translation. During the NAJIT 2017 Annual Conference SSTI sponsored a panel on Building bridges between theory and practice: Evidence-based research in legal interpreting and translation, which raised so much interest among NAJIT members that SSTI decided to sponsor its first conference along the same lines.
Given widespread consensus among educators and practitioners alike about the highly under-researched nature of evidence-driven standards of training and education, SSTI is calling for research papers that address current gaps in these standards for judiciary interpreters. SSTI is particularly interested in how empirical evidence is linked to standards of practice in the United States and elsewhere as well as to training and how it is correlated with credentialing practices. Justifiably, Claudia Angelelli has described the US’s approach to interpreter training and testing as “putting the cart before the horse,” resulting in accreditation mechanisms that lack the underpinnings which usually precede certification. In the US, novice interpreters have access to testing and accreditation but not to education with research-driven curricula.
In order to explore how research advances judiciary interpreters’ education and, therefore, performance, SSTI invites both conceptual and empirical contributions on issues including but not limited to:
· International models and standards for research-driven judiciary interpreter education
· Judiciary interpreter education in vocational, professional and university settings
· Relationships between standards of training and interpreter certification exams
· Methodologies to derive valid and reliable standards for training and education
· Professional entry-level minimal educational thresholds
· Current gaps between readiness-to-work and readiness-to-credential after completion of training or education programs
· Buy-in from end-users of interpreting services and the (perceived) market value of judiciary interpreter training and education
· Service learning and standards for training and education
· Training and education standards for continuing education
· Self-instruction for judiciary interpreter certification purposes
The SSTI Board will consider proposals from individual presenters as well as panel proposals (3-4 papers). Panel proposals should be submitted as a single document, with the title of the panel and a brief rationale that ties all the papers under a single theme, followed by abstracts for the individual papers and a bio sketch for each presenter. SSTI intends to publish selected papers in a peer-reviewed edited volume. Presenters will be contacted after the conference with specific instructions regarding submission of their papers and detailed information about the peer-review and publication process