MULTILINGUALISM AND EDUCATIONAL INTERPRETING – INNOVATION AND DELIVERY

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It is generally acknowledged that educational interpreting is a relatively uncharted domain within the field of language practice. Multilingualism and Educational Interpreting: Innovation and Delivery represents pioneering work in this relatively new field as far as interpreting in oral languages is concerned. The chapters included in this sixth volume of the Van Schaik series, “Studies in Language Policy in South Africa”, essentially emanated from a colloquium on educational interpreting that was hosted by the guest editor, Marlene Verhoef, at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University (NWU) of South Africa during July 2007, the first of its kind to be held locally. Additionally, some relevant conference papers presented outside the colloquium were also included. The volume takes into account the South African language political context and presents educational interpreting as a practical means for the realisation of a multilingual teaching-learning environment in the South African educational sector. It also contains detailed overviews of educational interpreting as a developing genre in the field of professional interpreting and covers some of the core technical aspects involved, such as factors influencing the interpreter?s performance, challenges regarding interpreter turn-taking and the uniqueness of the educational interpreting process and product. Interesting comparisons are made between educational interpreting and other genres of interpreting whilst the role of educational interpreting within the educational communication setting is explored. The data presented in this book are unique and confirm the viability of research into interpreting as an evolving discipline within language practice in South Africa. Comments by the three reviewers of the manuscript of Multilingualism and Educational Interpreting: Innovation and Delivery underline the scholarly value of this book. The two international reviewers remarked as follows: ? ?The volume as a whole is an interesting record of and a reflection on the practice of educational interpreting as done at the NWU and as such a worthwhile contribution to the literature on interpreting.? ? ?It is seldom that one has an opportunity to read a collection of papers which have been so thoughtfully assembled. In this case, they represent a courageous and determined effort to bring linguistic equity to educational institutions in South Africa, and in particular the NWU. The knowledge and experience which have been gained in this process contribute to the field of applied linguistics and also to the domain of language planning. I would be surprised if this volume is not read widely beyond South Africa.? The national reviewer echoed their appraisal: ? ?My general impression is that the manuscript … presents new research in a relatively unique South African context. Not only does it address various issues in educational interpreting, but it also opens up the field for other researchers.? To the extent that South African lessons learnt on the planning and implementation of multilingual language policies at tertiary level may be of value to other institutions locally and abroad, the same would apply to South African experiences gained in educational interpreting. It is hoped that Multilingualism and Educational Interpreting: Innovation and Delivery will fulfill such a function and as such is a must read for all scholars interested in the intricate relation between language policy, language planning and language practice.

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