Using interdisciplinary research to inform interpreter-mediated consultation training

Shuangyu Li, Jennifer Gerwing, Philippe Humble, Antoon Cox, Peter Pype, Demi Krystallidou, Angela Rowlands

Research output: Other contribution


The use of interpreters in healthcare is associated with the quality of care. Training for clinicians and interpreters is enhanced by interdisciplinary research. The presenters discuss several innovative approaches that informed training and clinical practice, drawing on methods of conversation analysis, gesture study, interactional linguistics and linguistic ethnography.
Individual presentations
JG et al proposed a heuristic for training to develop skills to observe interpreter’s gestures as a control in interaction. This was based on their psycholinguistic investigation of body-oriented gestures, which analysed (1) how GPs and patients integrate gesture and speech when referring to regions of the body and (2) how interpreters reformulate these gesture-speech composites.
SL developed a set of three-themed communication strategies for clinicians to better manage interpreter mediated GP consultations, informed by a conversation analysis of generic features of the ways doctor, patient and interpreter took turns to speak.
AC et al developed an e-learning programme for Emergency Department (ED) clinicians, allowing busy doctors to develop awareness of language and cultural barriers and improve skills in managing interpreted consultations. This was a result of their interactional sociolinguistic research in a multilingual ED. The project won the Belgian Language Industry Award for "best language project 2014".
DK et al introduced an integrated curriculum between their medical and interpreting schools. Their interactional linguistics-informed training focuses on specific (non-) verbal interactional patterns that aim at achieving and increasing patient involvement in interpreter-mediated consultations.
In response to UK’s national drive to promote diversity training in health schools, initiated by Diversity in Medicine and Healthcare Committee, AR developed communication teaching for medical students. Its format provides an arena for incorporating the results of other presentations.
The complexity of interpreter-mediated consultations requires integrated approaches from all relevant disciplines, in order to capture a wide range of interactional dynamics and inform training.
Original languageEnglish
TypeConference paper
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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