Learning Approaches and Study Habits of Conference-Interpreting Students

Aymil Dogan
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hacettepe University, Faculty of Letters, Ankara- Turkey

Problem Statement: There is a correlation between the final grades of conference-interpreting students and their study habits and learning approaches, namely surface, deep and strategic approaches.
Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the responses of the conference-interpreting students given to the Learning Approaches and Study Habits Inventory, ASSIST, in accordance with their final grades in the conference-interpreting course. Of the three approaches, “surface approach” refers to rote learning, “deep approach” means learning by developing an understanding of the subject matter, and “strategic approach” is a combination of the first two.
Method: A descriptive method is used, where the data is collected by a self-report inventory.
Findings and Results: There is a significant correlation between the final grades of the students and the deep-learning approach. The students who attained high scores through the deep approach have high final grades in interpreting. No significant correlation was found between the strategic approach and the final grades. Most of the students preferred the strategic approach, and a bit fewer of them preferred the deep approach, while the fewest of them chose the surface approach.
Conclusions and Recommendations: Conference-interpreting students mostly prefer the strategic learning approach, followed by the deep approach, with little difference in the grade results. The surface approach, on the other hand, is not preferred by most students. However, in the strategic approach, they can use both surface and deep approaches according to the situation, which means they are flexible enough to switch from one to another. The students receiving high grades from their exams also rate higher in their deep approach preference. It is recommended that the above-mentioned inventory be administered to both professionals and students to see the difference between them. Furthermore, other profession-based inventories should be developed to be administered along with ASSIST. Conference-interpreting students are different from other students in processing information; this quality should be considered while developing such instruments.
Keywords: Conference-interpreting, deep learning approach, strategic learning approach, surface learning