The Interpreter and Translator Trainer vol:8 issue:3 pages:399-417
Dialogue interpreter training has traditionally focused on the way in which the interpreter manages, and maintains, verbal interaction between the primary participants while it seems to overlook the importance of specific non-verbal aspects that are inherent in mediated interaction. This article presents an alternative method for the training of medical interpreters by drawing on research on non-verbal communication in interpreter-mediated consultations with a view to drawing attention to the interpreter's impact on the patient's inclusion in a patient-centred framework during mediated consultations. More specifically, it provides evidence of non-verbal interaction that might open up new trajectories in the interpreters' training by foregrounding the impact of the interpreter's and others' direction of gaze and body orientation on the accomplishment and maintenance - or lack thereof - of a patient-centred framework of communication. The present article reports on findings that emerged from the analysis of selected excerpts of authentic interpreter-mediated consultations within the framework of a training experiment. Coded instances of interaction are analysed by relying on Goffman's 'ratification process', Goodwin's 'participation and engagement frameworks' and Norris' 'modal density foreground-background continuum'. Hospital ethical approval and participants' written informed consent were obtained prior to the collection of data.