TECHNIQUES IN DEVELOPING LISTENING SKILLS WHEN TEACHING INTERPRETERS
Listening training plays an important role in teaching interpreters. In this regard, educators and psychologists consider the listening stage in the process of translation to be a complex receptive mental and mnemonic activity, which is associated not only with the perception of speech messages, but also with their comprehension and analysis. The aim of the research is to work out a system of exercises, taking into account the principle of sequence and gradual introduction of difficulties. The experiment involved a group of students who were willing to switch from General English course to English for Interpreters course (EIC) and had to catch up with the group having attended EIC for two years.
The article presents three stages and the results of the experimental study conducted in the group of 14 second-year students. At the first stage the initial level of the students’ listening skills was identified by offering them a set of audio tasks to spot difficulties to minimize or eliminate. The second stage was devoted to developing a set of exercises and employing it during the lessons. The set included five types of exercises based on “from the simple to the difficult” principle: “Repeat after the speaker” exercises, “Hear and recognize” exercises, “Memorize” exercises, “Process information” exercises, “Listen-repeat-translate chain” exercises. The third stage was the diagnostic one, the students’ progress was tested by providing them with the tasks identical to those from the first stage. The exercises proved to be effective and the students demonstrated progress in listening and comprehension.
Moreover, the study has shown that students improved not only the skills in question but also their grammar, pronunciation, and speaking skills. The findings of the study could provide practical guidance to English for Specific Purposes teachers working with future interpreters.