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Videoconference-based training in bilingual videoconferencing

All professionals taking part in videoconferences (VCs) in legal proceedings should receive an induction to VC. Given the increase in legal proceedings requiring the services of an interpreter, such training should also cover bilingual videoconferencing. The training will increase the participants’ understanding of VC as a tool for communication and will help them to evaluate the appropriateness (or otherwise) of using VC in a particular proceeding. Professionals should be trained to develop an understanding of:

  • the key concepts relating to VC as a tool for distance communication;
  • the rationale for using VC in legal proceedings and the legal provisions that apply to the use of video links;
  • the (current) differences between the uses of VC at national and cross-border level;
  • the different options for the distribution of VC participants (including an interpreter) in legal proceedings;
  • the affordances and limitations of VC communication including bilingual VC communication involving an interpreter;
  • the basic principles of (bilingual) communication in a VC and strategies for managing the communication flow in a VC including effective turn-taking and avoidance of overlap;
  • the main strategies for managing a (bilingual) VC including management of sound and images, visibility of participants and eye contact.

This training can be conducted face-to-face, or—as we have shown in several training pilots in AVIDICUS3—the medium of VC itself can be used for delivery.

Regardless of how the training is delivered, training sessions should encourage the active participation of those attending through hands-on tasks. Participants should be made to interact with others through the VC equipment in simulations, i.e. with practical activities such as role plays. In order to organise realistic role plays, different groups of stakeholders should be trained together in their respective roles. If possible, technical staff should also attend joint training sessions in order to familiarise themselves with the legal professionals’ and interpreters’ needs while developing confidence in the use of the equipment. Joint training allows potential VC participants to increase awareness of their respective professional needs and will enable them to develop common approaches to the resolution of difficulties and conflicting needs.

Customised support for the planning, design and implementation of solutions for bilingual video-conferencing and practical training for legal professionals and legal interpreters are available through the AVIDICUS 3 project. An outline of this training is available here: AVIDICUS 3 training outline. If you are interested in our training, please contact Prof Sabine Braun at training@videoconference-interpreting.net.