Ever had that feeling no matter what you do, you are just going around in a circle? You are not alone! An essential part of being an interpreter is about reflective practice, which involves thinking about and trying to make sense of the things that happen when we are working (Oelofson 2012). It is no easy task!

Reflective practice its roots in adult learning theory (Kolb 1984) and reflective thought (Dewey 1933). Reflective thoughts have many forms it can be about collecting information and analysing it, organising ideas and carrying them out.  It can be about observation, looking for patterns and connections piecing things together to form a complete picture. It can be innovative or intuitive. Put simply it is about paying attention and having ideas.  It is all about curiosity and there are many models of reflective practice around to give the curious interpreter a starting point. (see for example Gibbs 1998, Johns 1995, Schön 1978).

Brushing up on your reflective skills can be really useful as an interpreter and putting to use just some of the skills above can really improve your knowledge. But is reflective practice enough to improve actual interpreter practice?

We have just had a magnificent summer of sport in the UK with many great athletes winning gold. Athletes train for years and years before they win competitions and they are not alone. Musicians also need ten years of training before they win competitions (Ericsson et al 2007) does their approach to becoming an expert have anything to teach interpreters? - A question for another day. 










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