Forced to go online: A case study of learning consecutive and simultaneous interpreting under Covid-19 in Iraq
Keywords:Online learning, synchronous, asynchronous, consecutive interpreting, simultaneous interpreting
This paper explores the perspectives of Iraqi undergraduates studying consecutive and simultaneous interpreting (CI, SI) in the Department of Translation at Mustansiriyah University in Iraq following the sudden transition to the online environment due to Covid-19. The online mode of teaching and learning has never been adopted in Iraq before. This study, therefore, aims to investigate the challenges and opportunities that have emerged from this unprecedented experience of online learning. It does so by adopting a mixed-method approach combining an online survey and two online focus group sessions. We also conducted two online pilot experiments to test the feasibility of the Zoom app to teach CI and SI synchronously. The main findings of this study suggest that while a synchronous online learning environment would potentially contribute to enhancing interpreting skills, the online mode cannot totally replace actual classes in the Iraqi higher education context unless a rigorous infrastructure is first established.
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