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MATI’s 4th Brown Bag Webinar: Lifelong Learning

08/02/2014 1:55 PM | Alaina Brantner
On April 24, former MATI president and current Vice President of the NCIHC Enrica Ardemagni presented for the fourth of MATI’s Brown Bag Webinar Series for medical interpreters. Her presentation was titled “Interpreting: A Lifelong Learning Experience.”



Ardemagni began her presentation by contextualizing lifelong learning historically, as well as by clarifying how the topic fits in with formal education and training. She went on to discuss the characteristics that define the deliberate learning inherent in formal education, including a focus on intention and outcomes and an understanding of the specific reasons for working to obtain a skill, with the goal of retaining and using learned skills. However, since the field of interpreting is still viewed by many as a fall-back profession for bilinguals, Ardemagni notes that most professionals rely on organized adult education for training, which lacks in the deliberate learning structures of formal education that would identify the many competencies required for interpreting, along with the structure within which to obtain all of those competencies.



According to Ardemagni, lifelong learning in interpreting therefore requires professionals to pursue and organize their own continual learning in order to continually respond to changes in language, cultural, technology and societal institutions. This is especially true since the failure to actively pursue lifelong learning may lead to declines in skills or the fossilization of incorrect language use or professional behaviors. To continually achieve lifelong learning, Ardemagni suggested the pursuit of courses or degrees, on-site trainings and webinars, along with reading and listening in a professional’s working languages.



As far as developments in lifelong learning, Ardemagni noted that many questions remain, including the impact of this pursuit at home and abroad, how to recognize the various forms of learning, time and money investments to be made and additional research upon which instructors can draw in the formation of training programs. What is certain is that lifelong learning requires self-motivated learners, the creation of educational material, time, support from employers and stakeholders (not to mention the identification of stakeholders), along with funding and salaries that match professionals credentials.



As stated above, Ardemagni’s presentation was the fourth in the MATI Brown Bag Webinar Series. This webinar was offered free to MATI members and non-members alike and was very well attended, with over forty registrations. MATI is currently seeking future presenters for the Brown Bag Series. To suggest a presenter or propose a topic, please email matiemail@gmail.com.
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