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Research interests and activities

My research focuses on new methods and modalities of interpreting and translation, especially videoconference-based (VC) and remote interpreting, which is used increasingly to deliver interpreting services in business, legal and healthcare contexts, and and audio description, an important media access service for blind and partially sighted people and an emergent modality of intersemiotic translation. I am also interested in other (new) technologies and their application to the field of interpreting and interpreter education, and in the design and use of spoken and multimedia corpora for language and interpreter training.

My research interests in a nutshell:

Broadly speaking:
– Interpreting
– Audiovisual Translation
– Applied Linguistics

And more specifically:
– Videoconference-based and remote interpreting
– Videoconference communication, especially legal videoconferencing
– Interpreting and new technologies
– Intersemiotic translation, especially audio description
– Communication processes and strategies in interpreting
– Pragmatics and interpreting
– Spoken language and spoken corpora

Video-Mediated Interpreting
The use of videoconference-based and remote interpreting is a continued research interest of mine, especially its growing uses in public service interpreting. In my initial work in the area of videoconference and remote interpreting, I analysed the adaptation strategies which interpreters develop in this unfamiliar and difficult form of interpreting.  More recently, I have worked on assessing the use of VC interpreting in legal proceedings. In addition to leading several multinational European projects in this field, I have worked closely with the European Council Working Party on e-Law (e-Justice) to develop guidelines for VC interpreting in legal proceedings and have advised the Metropolitan Police Service in London and the London Probation Trust on the introduction of VC interpreting. 

AVIDICUS 1 – Assessment of Videoconference Interpreting in the Criminal Justice System  (EU DG Justice, JLS/2008/JPEN/03, 2008-2011, project leader).
AVIDICUS 2 – Assessment of Videoconference Interpreting in the Criminal Justice System  (EU DG Justice, JUST/2010/JPEN/AG/1558, 2011-2013, project leader).
Building Mutual Trust 2 (EU DG Justice, JUST/2010/JPEN/AG/1566, 2011-2013, partner).
London Probation Trust – Analysis of videoconference communication and interpreting in European cross-border resettlement cases (2012-2013).

Interpreting in Virtual Reality
The thought of interpreting in a 3D virtual world such as Second Life or an Open Sim is an interesting expansion of more ‘classic’ forms of ‘remote interpreting’ via telephone or video link. Apart from that, virtual worlds are also useful for simulating interpreter-mediated situations. The rise of migration and multilingualism throughout the world requires professional interpreters to master an ever broadening range of communicative scenarios and skills in business, legal, medical and many other settings. Teaching such skills is difficult to achieve with traditional methods. I am currently leading a European consortium which is developing the first 3D virtual learning environment for interpreting students and users of interpreting services. More info: http://www.virtual-interpreting.net.

IVY – Interpreting in Virtual Reality (EU Lifelong Learning Programme, 511862-2010-LLP-UK-KA-KA3MP, 2011-12, project leader)
EVIVA – Evaluating the Education of Interpreters and their Clients through Virtual Learning Activities (EU Lifelong Learning Programme, 531140-LLP-1-2012-1-UK-KA3-KA3MP, project leader)

Spoken Corpora in Interpreting
Another long-standing research interest of mine is the design and use of multimedia corpora. I am particularly interested in how we can make spoken corpora and corpus analysis techniques fruitful in the context of communication, language and interpreter training. I have developed the ELISA English Language Interview corpus, which is now widely used in language and interpreter training, along with a method for the pedagogical exploitation of such corpora. In BACKBONE, this idea was expanded to create further video corpora for English and several other languages, and to develop additional tools and resources for interpreter training. More info: http://www.corpora4learning.net.

ELISA – Exploration of an English-Language Interview Corpus as a Second-Language Application (University of Tübingen 2003-04, project leader).
SACODEYL – Compilation and Open Distribution of European Youth Language (EU Sokrates-Minerva, 2005-08, partner).
BACKBONE – Content and Language Integrated Learning (EU Lifelong Learning, 143502-LLP-1-2008-1-DE-KA2-KA2MP, 2009-10, partner).

Audio Description
My interest in audiovisual media has also led me to conduct research into audio description, an emergent practice helping blind and partially sighted people to follow and enjoy audiovisual content (e.g. films, TV programmes, theatre plays). I am particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to audio description as a complex form of intermodal mediation. In 2007, Margaret Rogers and I organised an interdisciplinary research seminar on Audio Description for Visually Impaired People: Towards an Interdisciplinary Research Agenda to contribute to developing audio description as an academic discipline. Project report: http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/reports/AUDIO-report.html.

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