Stepping into the future: virtual reality training for community interpreters working in the area of family violence

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Since the beginning of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced universities around the world to engage quickly and efficiently with online teaching platforms. Yet even before the pandemic hit, many programmes had been addressing challenges related to globalisation and technologisation within the teaching and learning context by moving to online or blended teaching and learning modes. In both the immediate pre- and post-pandemic context, movement towards the use of innovative technologies such as virtual reality (VR) to enhance the student experience have occurred in disciplines that heavily rely on practice-based learning (such as the health sciences and psychology). This paper describes an innovative approach to community interpreter training, which is in high demand in Australia. The VR project under examination here aims to provide evidence-based, pedagogically-sound, authentic, situated learning scenarios in a safe, virtual environment so that students are better prepared to deal with the complexities of the role of an interpreter in family violence (FV) settings. Using the VR platform, trainees will be given the opportunity to engage in simulated interpreting tasks working with victims of FV, social workers, police and other field-specific protagonists. In this article, we outline the methodology applied to the provision of interpreter training in this specific VR context. This methodology will serve as a blueprint for other institutions ' particularly those offering specialised interpreter training ' looking to minimise the threat to face-to-face contexts introduced by the pandemic, but also eager to expand into more experiential teaching offerings that reach beyond traditional modes used for interpreter training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-275
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Specialised Translation
Issue number36b
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Community interpreting
  • Family violence
  • Public service interpreting
  • T&I training
  • Virtual reality

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