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Comparing Student Self-assessment and Teacher Assessment in Korean-English Consecutive Interpreting: Focus on fidelity and language


Self-assessment in interpreter training has been recognized as an important tool to motivate learners and help them learn to evaluate their own performance. The literature on this topic shows that students’ self-assessment ratings positively correlate with trainers’ assessments, but there are certain differences between the two groups in terms of interpretation quality assessment. The present study wishes to contribute to research on self-assessment as a learning tool by comparing students’ self-assessments with teacher assessments in terms of a set of quality categories and identifying in what areas students need more guidance to draw pedagogical implications. For data collection, 20 first-year graduate students of Korean-English interpretation conducted self-assessment of their sentence-by-sentence consecutive interpretation in both directions. Two broad quality categories were applied, which are fidelity to the source text and target language adequacy, along with the three sub-categories of fidelity which are omissions, misinterpretations, and additions. An experienced interpreter trainer was recruited to perform assessment of the students’ consecutive interpretations based on the same quality categories. The results show that the students tended to focus more on target language quality in both directions while the teacher applied stricter criteria in evaluating fidelity of the interpretations. For instance, the study
found several instances where students marked parts of their interpretations as target language errors while the trainer marked them as fidelity errors such as omissions and misinterpretations. The results suggest that the students were not consistent and reliable detectors of errors in their interpretation performance during self-assessment. This may be partly attributable to the fact that the participants were in the second semester of the two-year long graduate program, and in the process of learning how to evaluate the quality of interpretation accurately. Pedagogical implications of the findings are discussed, including the kind of guidance needed for students to learn how to conduct self-assessment more successfully.


self-assessment, interpreter training, quality of interpreting, fidelity, target language quality



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