Tailoring T&I curriculum for better employability: An exploratory case study of using internship surveys to inform curriculum modification

Xiangdong Li – Xi’an International Studies University, China


Xiangdong Li, 2018: "Tailoring T&I curriculum for better employability: An exploratory case study of using internship surveys to inform curriculum modification", Onomázein 40, 159-182.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.40.10

Resumen:
T&I scholars advocate an experiential approach, for example, internships, to bridge curriculum-employability gap. However, the advantage of using internships to diagnose curriculum problems and tailor it to market needs is under-researched. This exploratory case study aimed at investigating interpreting students’ internship responsibilities, the effect of internships and their inadequacies in internships, and ultimately diagnosing curriculum problems and making modifications accordingly. Twelve third-year MA students interning as interpreters contributed to the study through online questionnaires. The survey highlights that interpreters are supposed to provide both interpreting (mostly consecutive) and translation services in the local market, that internships can effectively upgrade their interpreting skills particularly professionalism, and that the interns’ linguistic competence still needs improving. Accordingly, translation courses should be available for interpreting students; consecutive interpreting should be given more pedagogical attention; more internship opportunities should be introduced to the T&I curriculum and language enhancement courses should be added. This contribution provides a conceptual model for T&I curriculum development and demonstrates how to diagnose curriculum problems and tailor the curriculum to market needs. As an initial effort, the present study will hopefully lead to changes in curriculum development norms in collegiate T&I communities.