Prosody Teaching Matters in Developing Speaking Skills for Farsi-English Interpreter Trainees: An Experimental Study


The present study investigates the effect of explicit teaching of prosody on developing speaking skills for Farsi-English interpreter trainees. Two groups of student interpreters were formed. All were native speakers of Farsi who studied English translation and interpreting at the BA level at Tafresh University, Iran. Participants were assigned to groups at random, but with equal division between genders (6 female and 6 male students in each group). No significant differences in English language skills (TOEFL scores) could be established between the groups. Participants took a pretest before starting the program. The control group listened to authentic audio tracks in English and had discussion about the issues in them, watched the authentic English movies, discussed about the issues in the movie and had discussion on proposed hot issues in pairs in the classroom, while the experimental group spent part of the time on theoretical explanation of, and practical exercises with, prosodic features of English. The total instruction time was the same for both groups, i.e. 21 hours. Students then took a posttest in speaking skills. The results show that the prosodic feature awareness training significantly improved the students’ speaking skills. These results have pedagogical implications for curriculum designers, interpreting programs for training future interpreters, material producers and all who are involved in language study and pedagogy.

Keywords: Curriculum Designers, Interpreter Trainees, Prosody, Speaking Skills

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 82-91 (Download PDF)

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