Research on interpreting has advanced over many years, involving interdisciplinary input from education, linguistics, sociology, and psychology, with studies of the interpreting process, interpreter-mediated discourse, and the role of the interpreter, to name but a few. With increased understanding of interpreting, comes the need to reflect on how we can most effectively educate and train interpreters to function at the highest level to meet the needs of the clients and consumers who rely on their services.
Interpreter education research is an emerging sub-discipline which crosses over adult education, applied linguistics, educational linguistics, and translation studies. Interpreter education can occur in various milieu, including: ad hoc professional development workshops, formal college and university programs, internships; face-to-face or online. Traditionally signed and spoken language interpreters have been trained separately, with little dialogue or information exchange. Since the seminal work of Cynthia Roy (1989, 2000) and Cecilia Wadensjö (1998), however, an understanding has emerged that spoken and signed language interpreters working in the community experience the same challenges in terms of managing their role and mediating communication. Resulting from this understanding, educators and researchers have recognized the value in collaboration across all languages, including spoken and signed languages. Examples can be seen of research projects, education programs and short training courses worldwide, that seek to explore and enhance the skills and knowledge of all interpreters, regardless of the languages that they interpret between.
The Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT) was established in 1979, with the goal of enabling information exchange between signed language interpreter educators and trainers in the United States, facilitated through a biennial convention. In more recent times, CIT has opened its proverbial doors to signed language interpreter educators and trainers from other countries, and spoken language interpreter educators and trainers. With Dr Cynthia Roy as Series Editor, Gallaudet University Press has established the Interpreter Education Series, which features contributions from spoken and signed language interpreters alike. The rich discussions that have transpired from the broader membership of CIT, and the publication of the Interpreter Education Series, have been welcomed by all in the field. Thus the need for a scholarly peer-reviewed journal was pressing – hence the establishment of the International Journal of Interpreter Education (IJIE).