Curricular design and implementation of a training course for interpreters in an asylum context


  • Annika Bergunde UNHCR Austria
  • Sonja Pöllabauer University of Graz


interpreting in asylum interviews, interpreter training, lay interpreters, experiential learning, blended learning


Asylum settings increasingly require interpreting in language combinations for which few formally-trained interpreters are available. The consequences of this have been comprehensively discussed in the literature. This paper describes a project entitled QUADA: Qualitätsvolles Dolmetschen im Asylverfahren (High-Quality Interpreting in Asylum Proceedings), the aim of which was to develop a viable approach to improving interpreting quality within asylum settings in Austria. The project was initiated by UNHCR Austria and co-financed by the European Refugee Fund and the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior. It involved the development of a training curriculum as well as the production of a handbook for trainees and trainers. The article commences with a brief overview of research on interpreting in asylum proceedings and the challenges associated with designing training programmes for community interpreting in general, and for asylum settings in particular. It then describes in detail the project and various project phases, addressing theoretical, pedagogical and organisational aspects.