Learner factors, self-perceived language ability and interpreting learning : An investigation of Hong Kong tertiary interpreting classes

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23 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-196
Journal / PublicationInterpreter and Translator Trainer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Numerous interpreter training programmes have been developed to meet the demands for high quality interpreting. Most, if not all, universities of Hong Kong offer interpreting courses. However, empirical studies on interpreting pedagogy are extremely limited. This paper explores the interplay between learner factors, language ability (self-perceived) and interpreting learning in Hong Kong tertiary classrooms. A learner information cluster was developed by the authors to collect information on individual learner factors. It was found that learner factors such as gender, motivation and personal habits, are closely related to students' language learning and interpreting learning. Female students tend to perform better than male students in interpreting classrooms. Personal habits, for example, the habit of reading English- and Chinese-language newspapers, have an impact on students' self-perceived language abilities (in English and Chinese) and their learning of interpreting. The results also indicate that language abilities and interpreting ability are closely connected. Furthermore, in interpreting between English and Chinese, learners' self-perceived overall competence in the English language is the most important predictor of their success in interpreting learning, while their self-perceived English writing ability is the second-most important predictor. © St. Jerome Publishing.

Research Area(s)

  • Individual differences, Interpreter training, Interpreting achievement, Language learning, Learner factor