Attentional control in interpreting: A model of language control and processing control

Y. Dong, Ping Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 The Author(s).Interpreting is a complex bilingual task, placing high demands on both language control (i.e., source language not interfering in target language production) and processing control (i.e., multi-tasking carried out in concert under time pressure). On the basis of empirical evidence in the literature, we propose an attentional control model to account for both language control and processing control. Specifically, language control in interpreting is achieved by a structural framework of language-modality connections (established in interpreting training and stored as task schema), and by focused attention that helps build, strengthen and adapt the framework through monitoring, target enhancement, task disengagement, shifting, and working memory. In contrast, processing control in interpreting is achieved by divided attention via coordination and working memory, and by language processing efficiency that includes mastery of both languages and the appropriate use of interpreting strategies. Implications of this model for general bilingual language control are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • attentional control
  • bilingual control
  • interpreting
  • language control
  • processing control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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