The week from 1 to 5 October was busy: the students had their first mock conference, the first virtual conference with the European Commission, there was a series of master-classes on note-taking from Brian Gentle, DG SCIC interpreter, and finally there was a celebration of the International Interpreter’s Day!
The mock-conference was the first serious test of the students’ achievements in the first month of studies: they prepared short speeches on a broad range of issues themselves and interpreted those of their fellows. Understandably, there were difficulties: the speeches were over difficult, the memory did not always work, or sometimes anxiety interfered with logic and coherence. Yet constructive feedback from the trainers will certainly help students to concentrate on their individual weaknesses and improve performance.
It was specifically this topic – setting individual training goals and tailoring the study process to address individual needs – that was the highlight of the first virtual conference with the European Commission conducted by Carlos Garcia Vico, DG SCIC interpretor. The conference tackled the organization of selt-training. The students discussed the concept of self-training in general, the kinds of activities the term comprises and the necessity to set individual training goals and monitor results while training independently or with a study buddy. Again they practiced interpreting their partner’s speeches in consecutive, trying to formulate a specific study aim for each activity and give feedback on achieving it. Without doubt the virtual conference was useful, and the students will be more mindful about organizing their self-training. We are thankful to the European Commission for this important contribution to the SCIT study process.