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Using rating scales to assess interpretation

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Abstract

Over the past decade, interpretation assessment has played an increasingly important role in interpreter education, professional certification, and interpreting research. The time-honored assessment method is based on analysis of (para)linguistic features of interpretation (including such items as omissions, substitutions, un/filled pauses and self-corrections). Recently, use of descriptor-based rating scales to assess interpretation has emerged as a viable alternative (e.g., Angelelli 2009; Han 2015, 2016; J. Lee 2008; Tiselius 2009), arguably providing a basis for reliable, valid and practical assessments. However, little work has been done in interpreting studies to ascertain the assumed benefits of this emerging assessment practice. Based on 17 international peer-reviewed journals over the last twelve years (2004–2015), and other related publications (e.g., scholarly books, reports, documents), this article provides an overview of practices in scale-based interpretation assessment, focusing on four major aspects: (a) rating scales; (b) raters; (c) rating procedures; (d) reporting of assessment outcomes. Problem areas and possible emerging trends in interpretation assessment are examined, identifying a number of future research needs.
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Keywords: interpretation assessment; rating scales; reliability; validity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 26, 2018

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  • International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting
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