A focus-group study: Students’ perceived benefits from learning with practitioners’ note-taking and consecutive interpreting demonstration videos

Maggie Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This project sets out to videotape interpreters’ processes of note taking and consecutive interpreting, followed by note-symbol explaining. The videos are to serve as scaffolds for interpreter training. To explore students’ perceived benefits from learning with practitioners’ videos, a focus-group study was carried out with four Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) undergraduates having completed two interpreting courses. The experiment consisted of four parts: (1) Each subject was instructed to perform consecutive interpreting for an English news recording lasting about 3 minutes, assess the quality of the delivery according to the rubrics used in the interpreting courses, and describe their performance at a retrospective interview. (2) Videos of a practitioner interpreting the same recording were presented to the subject. (3) The subject was assigned to interpret another related English news recording into Chinese, assess their work, and share with the researcher if and what they had benefited from the videos. (4) The subject was to fill out a post-project questionnaire mainly regarding the user-friendliness of the videos.
Inspired by the practitioner’s performance and explanation, all subjects showed improvements in the second interpreting exercise as their notes were simplified and increasingly to-the-point, hence saving time and freeing up short-term memory for better analysis of the source text and thus coming up with better interpretations. They believed a demonstration video repository would be a valuable self-learning aid complementary to classroom learning.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)105-159
Number of pages54
JournalCurrent Trends in Translation Teaching and Learning E (CTTL E)
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • consecutive interpreting, demonstration video repository, interpreter training, note taking, scaffolding

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