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Title: The involvement of interpreters in psycho-counseling : attitudes of and evaluation by Chinese international students
Authors: Zhang, Huanming
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Abstract: Objective: In this study, we aimed to investigate whether the relatively low psycho-counseling participation rate of Chinese international students in Singapore is due to their English proficiency, and what are their attitudes toward the involvement of psychologically trained interpreters in psycho-counseling. Participants: A total number of 75 Chinese international students studying in large public universities in Singapore were recruited for Experiment 1 of this study. In Experiment 2, two graduate students majoring in Translation and Interpretation at a public university in Singapore were recruited for a mock psycho-counseling task, and their interpretations were evaluated by two participants of Experiment 1. Methods: Two separate experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, participants anonymously completed an online survey in Fall 2017. The survey consists of four different instruments— Demographics, Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation Scale (SL-ASIA), The Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help (ATSPPH), and The Attitudes Toward the Involvement of Interpreters in Psycho-counseling (ATIIPC). While SL-ASIA and the ATSPPH were both adapted from previously developed and published instruments, they were modified to better fit the social and cultural environment of Singapore. The ATIIPC was designed by the author and his supervisor specifically for this study. The data from this survey were recorded for both qualitative and quantitative analyses. In Experiment 2, two recruited interpreters interpreted two mock psycho-counseling video clips from English into Chinese. The interpretation process was recorded, and contents transcribed for linguistic and qualitative analyses. Subsequently, after the interpretation, an interview was conducted and recorded by the author with the interpreters, respectively. Two participants separately evaluated the quality of two interpretation transcripts and provided linguistic remarks. Results: The results of Experiment 1 showed that neither the participants’ English proficiency nor their acculturation level showed statistically significant correlations with their attitudes toward seeking psycho-counseling. It was also found that the idea of having interpreters in psycho-counseling had no effect in increasing Chinese international students’ awareness and willingness in seeking psychological help. In Experiment 2, the qualitative analysis of the interpreters’ performance and interpretation results demonstrated inaccuracies and linguistic differences, which are mainly caused by the recruited interpreters’ insufficient training in the medical and psychological fields, and their natural linguistic backgrounds.
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