Feasibility of Digital Multimedia Language Labs for Interpreting Instruction as Perceived by Interpreting Instructors in Saudi Arabia
Keywords:multimedia language lab, language lab, digital lab, compute lab, interpreting teaching, interpreting instruction, interpreting instructors
The College of Languages and Translation (COLT) prepares translators and interpreters. Some of the courses that the students take are language courses such as listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and 4 types of interpreting courses (simultaneous, consecutive, liaison and sight). COLT has installed 4 multimedia language labs (MLLs) currently used for teaching listening courses, in addition to interpreting courses. Each MLL consists of a teacher's station and 40 student stations each with a computer, headsets, and an audio box. The MLL software consist of XClass, a multimedia classroom management software, a Digital Language Lab Software (DLL) software for improving the students’ oral listening skills, and WaveLab Mastering and Audio Editing Software. The presentation aims to find out whether the MLL is feasible for interpreting instruction and factors that affect lack of utilization of MLLs in interpreting instruction at COLT based on the instructors' views. A sample of 10 interpreting instructors and an IT specialist was interviewed. It was found that only 20% use the MLL in interpreting instruction (simultaneous and sight interpreting). By contrast, 80% use the MLLs as a classroom, use the speakers, text on a flash drive and MP3 players. They believe that MLLs are not suitable for teaching consecutive and liaison interpreting. They reported hardware and software problems, instructor-related, student-related, and technical support issues. The study concluded that normalization and attitude change towards new technology, hands-on practice, and availability of technical support on site are crucial in adapting the MLLs to interpreting instruction. The study reports results and some recommendations.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Reima Al-Jarf
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