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Online Reading Group (London)

October 30 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Free – £10.00

Update: Our chosen paper is Mediating identities- Sign language interpreter perceptions on trust and representation Please download and read ahead of Monday’s discussion group. N.B Please only attend the reading group if you have read the paper and no summarising of the paper will take place at the start of the session.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 878 8247 4983
Passcode: 296566


This is our monthly reading group where a journal article or book chapter related to the world of interpreting – both spoken language and signed language – will be selected and read. The reading group will be giving us the opportunity to discover new research which will inform our practice and to discuss topics in a safe and supportive environment.

The format for the event will be an introduction to the paper followed by breakout rooms for small groups to discuss the paper – We can discuss such things as what did you learn? What did you like? What did you not like? What did you not understand? How might this inform your practice? What other CPD might you look to undertake because of reading the paper?

Key dates:

Saturday 21st October – Registration and voting opens. You will need to supply your name and an email address upon registration.

Tuesday 24th October – voting closes at 23:59.

Wednesday 25th October – The chosen paper will be uploaded here on the event page to download.

Sunday 29th October – Registration closes. So still time to register, read the paper and join us!

Monday 30th October, 7:00pm – 8:00pm – Online meeting to discuss the paper.

(Zoom will open at 6:45 for a mini social chinwag!)

If you are registering after voting has closed, you will not have a say in which paper will be selected and the winning paper will be listed below. This is to ensure we have ample time to read the paper before the event. (Top tip – register early next month!). Please do not worry if your preferred paper is not chosen this time as papers receiving a significant number of votes can be added to another month’s list.


Here is a handy document for anyone after a few tips or a refresher in how to get the most out of your social science article reading experience. Please click on title:

How to Read (and Understand) a Social Science Journal Article


This is a FREE event for members and will be worth 1 unstructured CPD point. Obviously you can decide on an individual basis to allocate more CPD points to this session for pre-session reading/reflection time and post-session reflection/further discussion time.

Non-members are welcome to join for £10.00.

We look forward to seeing you on 25th September.

Paul Michaels and your ASLI team; Anna, Shaunett and Tess

Please email us with any questions at: southeast@asli.org.uk

Papers to choose from:

  1. Coping with Vicarious Trauma in Mental Health Interpreting (Knodel, 2018) Abstract: This research explores coping strategies used by American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters who work in mental health settings. Due to the highly emotional nature of such assignments, interpreters are at an increased risk for experiencing vicarious trauma. This study also investigates the available training regarding vicarious trauma in current interpreter education. Previous research has typically recognized the need for self-care and focused on general suggestions for coping; the present work uses firsthand accounts from practicing interpreters. To uncover interpreters’ personal experiences, the researcher created an online survey that resulted in 222 qualifying responses. Of the total number of respondents, 83% expressed that they have experienced vicarious trauma as a result of interpreting in mental health settings. However, 58% reported that they have not received any training related to managing the emotional impact of such interpreting assignments. Debriefing was chosen as the most utilized strategy (80%), but was also identified by some interpreters as a potential breach of confidentiality. While some interpreters have refined their own self-care routines, there is still a significant gap in educating interpreters about managing the adverse effects of vicarious trauma.


  1. Conceptualizing emotion in healthcare interpreting: A normative approach to interpreters’ emotion work (Hsieh and Nicodemus, 2015) Abstract: Objectives: By juxtaposing literature in signed language interpreting with that of spoken language interpreting, we provide a narrative review to explore the complexity of emotion management in interpreter-mediated medical encounters. Methods: We conduct a literature search through library databases and Google Scholar using varied combinations of search terms, including interpreter, emotion, culture, and health care. Results: We first examine (a) interpreters’ management and performance of others’ emotions, (b) interpreters’ management and performance of their own emotions, and (c) impacts of emotion work for healthcare interpreters. Conclusion: By problematizing the roles and functions of emotion and emotion work in interpreter-mediated medical encounters, we propose a normative model to guide future research and practices of interpreters’ emotion management in cross-cultural care. Practice implications: Quality and equality of care should serve as the guiding principle for interpreters’ decision-making about their emotions and emotion work. Rather than adopting a predetermined practice, interpreters should evaluate and prioritize the various clinical, interpersonal, and therapeutic objectives as they consider the best practice in managing their own and other speakers’ emotions.


  1. Mediating identities: Sign language interpreter perceptions on trust and representation (Napier, Skinner, Young and Oram, 2020Abstract: Deaf people’s lives are frequently predicated on working with interpreters. Identity becomes known and performed through the translated self in many interactions with hearing, non-signing people. Taking an interdisciplinary approach in combining interpreting studies, deaf studies, applied linguistics, and social research, the ‘Translating the Deaf Self’ project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), sought to explore the experience of deaf people and other stakeholders of the lived experience of being translated. Drawing on discourses of identity, representation and trust, this paper gives an overview of the findings from two focus groups with sign language interpreters (n = 7) on their perspectives of the experiences of deaf signers being ‘known’ through interpreting. Social constructionism underpinned our approach to data analysis and the dominant theme of ‘trust’ was examined with reference to a framework for trustworthiness developed by Alan Jones and Samantha Sin. In particular, we focus on the issue of trust in relation to representation, relationships, ability and boundaries. The main findings demonstrate that sign language interpreters are acutely aware of the responsibility they have to represent deaf signers, especially at work, and thus represent their professional and deaf identities, and the important role of trust for deaf professionals to feel represented through interpreters.



October 30
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Free – £10.00




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