Senior Lecturer, MA & BA (Hons) Interpreting: BSL/English
- Email address S.Bown@wlv.ac.uk
- Phone number 01902 32 2672
- Location MH 215, Mary Seacole Building
- Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
- Institute School of Social, Historical and Political Studies
- Areas of expertise
British Sign Language / English Interpreting:
Pedagogy: design of learning outcomes/curriculum/assessment for interpreter education & training in the areas of: critical reflective practice; domain and transferable skills for student employability; Think aloud/write aloud protocols & the 'collective mind' in interpreting & translation; situated learning; sight translation; translation in visual media settings; novice to advanced interpreting & translation skills; placement learning, supervision of intepreters in practice/development of the critically reflective practitioner; ethical approaches and practice decisions of sign language interpreters
Sarah Bown is a Senior Lecturer for the NRCPD professionally accredited MA & BA (Hons) British Sign Language/English Interpreting programmes at the University of Wolverhampton.
For over two decades, she has worked extensively with external professional accreditation bodies and as Course Leader, between 1999-2017 led the emerging BA programme to many important achievements including, the accreditation award of the highest level of professional registration (Registered Sign Language Interpreter, RSLI) by the professional registration body – the National Registers for Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind people (NRCPD). The first and currently only BA programme in the UK to achieve this recognition. Alongside Kristiaan Dekesel (Subject Head), she was instrumental in the proposal for University approval for the establishment of the Masters in Interpreting programme.
As part of her Higher Education (HE) remit, she has been a driving force within curriculum/assessment design, innovation and modernisation of training programmes, in particular in the area of work based learning, which has led to excellent levels of annual professional graduate employability and requests for consultancy across the sector (National and International).
She has extensive experience within the field of deafness (over three decades) and has within her HE and professional roles, acted in an advisory/consultancy capacity and developed a range of collaborative partnerships at international (e.g. European Union), national (e.g. interpreting service provision,) and regional level (e.g. NHS, Social Services, Lifelong Learning Network). Recent advisory roles include membership of the Steering Group for the review of the National Occupational Standards in Interpreting (spoken and signed language).
A former manager of services and professional teams in key domains for example; Social Services, Education, Interpreting services and other non-statutory organisations, with a central responsibility for quality service provision, funding applications, cross sector collaboration and public/private sector service level agreements. She has acted as a consultant for a range of interpreting services; service development, quality enhancement, establishment of new services and funding streams.
Her work as a qualified interpreter covered all key domain areas e.g; community settings, health, social services, employment, legal, media, education and conferences. Extensive community/employer links have resulted in the enhancement of student opportunities, for example, the joint collaboration of student 'taster' days known as 'A Day in the Life of' with interpreting agencies based within charitable Deaf organisations.
Sarah is a Registered interpreter, ‘Professional Standards Advisor’ and Interpreter 'Supervisor' with the NRCPD. A full member of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (ASLI), a 'Senior Fellow' and 'Academic Associate' of the Higher Education Academy and has regularly provided trainee teacher mentorship for the University's 'Institute of Learning Enhancement'. She was presented with the Vice Chancellor's Award for ‘Teacher of the Year' for excellence in learning and teaching pedagogy by the 'Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching' at the University of Wolverhampton, and is the founder and facilitator of ‘IRIS’ – International Research Interpreting Seminars for the Interpreting subject within the Faculty of Business, Arts & Social Sciences at The University of Wolverhampton. She is a member of the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters (efsli) 'Committee of Experts' and a contributing/co-author to their seminal pan-European research publications for the development of HE learning outcomes and assessment guidelines for interpreter training courses across Europe.
Her research to date has spanned the pedagogy of interpreter education and training, employability, reflective practice and placement learning, deaf people and access to healthcare.
She is convenor and Chair for the University's Interpreting & Deaf Studies 'Subject Advisory Board.'
- Interpreting education & training: Curriculum, assessment design & pedagogy
- Sight Translation and British Sign Language
- Scaffolding skills & supervision for the development of the reflective/reflexive practitioner & student employability
- Critical reflective practice within interpreter education
- Think/Write Aloud Protocols, the 'Collective Mind' and application within the development of interpreting and translation skills.
- Deaf sign language users and interpreter mediated job interviews
- Access to health care for deaf communities
- Sign language interpreting in sexual health settings: curriculum design & situated learning
- Deaf Women and the Menopause
Senior Fellow and Academic Associate of the The Higher Education Academy
‘Committee of Experts’ Member: EFSLI - European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters
NRCPD - Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI/MRSLI)
NRCPD – ‘Professional Standards Advisor’
MASLI - Registered Member of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (professional membership)
EFSLI - Member, European Forum Sign Language Interpreters
EFSLI/T - European Forum Sign Language Interpreter Trainers
NDCS - National Deaf Children’s Society – (professional membership)
EALTA - European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (member)
Senior Fellow of the The Higher Education Academy
QCF Assessor Qualification
Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education: University of Wolverhampton
CACDP 'Register of Interpreters for the Deaf' (MRSLI)
Bachelor of Arts Interpreting: BSL/English University of Wolverhampton
Recent conference presentations and publications
Bown S. & Dekesel K. (2021) The Change of Life Project: Deaf Women and the Menopause. Summary Infographics. Wolverhampton. University of Wolverhampton. https://signhealth.org.uk/resources/the-change-of-life-project-deaf-women-and-menopause/
Bown, S., Aldersson, R. Dance, R. & Mclean, R. (2020) Reflex Action. In Newsli, the Association of Sign Language Interpreters, issue 112, pp11-16
Bown S, & Cresswell, T. (2020) Access to Health and Social Care Services for deaf and hard of hearing people in Wolverhampton. Paper presented at the University of Wolverhampton Deaf Studies: 'Health, Mental Health & Well-Being Conference. 19th February 2020. Wolverhampton. UK.
Bown, S. Aldersson, R. & Dekesel, K. (2020) Supporting patients who are deaf who use a signed language in general practice in
Bown, S. & Dekesel, K. (2019, 18th September) “Great Expectations” – To what extent does the use of a sign language interpreter, influence the decisions made by interview panels, when interviewing deaf applicants? [Webinar presentation], in Association of Sign Language Interpreters Webinar series. UK
Bown, S. & Dekesel, K. (2019) Is the interpreter getting you your job?: to what extent do sign language interpreters influence interview panel decisions during interpreter mediated employment interviews? In You are (f/h)ired! Proceedings of the 26th efsli Conference Dubrovnik, 14th-16th September 2018. Kindle Direct publishing, pp26-39
Bown, S. Travers, A. & Walton-Ashmore, C. (2019) Why Personal Matters. In Newsli, the Association of Sign Language Interpreters, issue 109, pp13-21
Whistance, T, Bown, S, Green, K. Engaging British Sign Language/ English interpreting students through the use of situated learning. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 2, p. 149-160, jan. 2019. ISSN 2399-1836. Date accessed: 24 Jan 2019.
Bown, S. (2019) Deaf and hard of hearing women Menopause survey - Birmingham and Solihull results. Wolverhampton: University of Wolverhampton
Hughes, T. & Bown, S. (2018) The use of Situated Learning in the training of Sign Language Interpreters working in the Healthcare domains in, “What’s up Doc?” Interpreting in the Medical, Mental and allied Health Care Settings: Proceedings of the 25th efsli Conference Toulouse, France, 9th -10th September 2017, Brussels: efsli pp 35-52
Bown, S. & Dekesel, K. (2018) ‘Help or hindrance?’ Who is the real candidate during interpreter-mediated employment interviews? In Newsli, the Association of Sign Language Interpreters, issue 106, pp17-23.
Bown, S. & Dekesel, K. (2018) ‘Great expectations’: Do interpreted job interviews affect the employability opportunities of Deaf candidates? Paper presented at efsli - European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters conference, ‘You are (f/h) ired’, Dubrovnik, 14-16th September 2018.
Bown, S. & Dekesel, K. (2017) Access to Health and Social Care Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in Wolverhampton. Wolverhampton: Healthwatch.
Bown, S. & Whistance, T. (2017) The use of Situated Learning in training BSL/English interpreters. Paper presented at University of Wolverhampton, Annual Research Conference, 20 June 2017.
Bown, S. & Whistance, T. (2017) The use of Situated Learning in the education of healthcare interpreting for British Sign Language/English interpreters. Paper presented at efsli - European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters conference, ‘What’s up Doc?’ Toulouse, 9-10 September 2017
Bown S. (2016) Reaching Your Critical Potential: Developing critical reflection for professional practice; an example from a PSRB programme. Paper presented at Teaching and Learning Conference, University of Wolverhampton 19-20 September 2016
Bown, S. & Whistance, T. (2016) Understanding client talk: How does that make you feel? Student engagement, Student perspective: Inter-disciplinary 'situated learning' - Contextualising British Sign Language student interpreter training in a clinical nursing lab. Paper presented at, RAISE (Researching, Advancing & Inspiring Student Engagement), Loughborough, UK, 8-9th September 2016. http://raise-network.ning.com/page/raise16
Bown, S. and Dekesel, K., Stone, C. (Eds.) (2015) Mind Tricks. Our brain is the limit. Cognitive processes in Sign Language Interpreting: Proceedings of the 22nd efsli Conference Antwerp, Belgium, 12 -14 September 2014, Brussels: efsli
Bown, S. and Dekesel, K. (2015) “Shared mind – shared effort”: the cognitive processes and strategies applied by trainee sign language interpreters in Mind Tricks. Our brain is the limit. Cognitive processes in Sign Language Interpreting: Proceedings of the 22nd efsli Conference Antwerp, Belgium, 12 -14 September 2014, Brussels: efsli. pp12-47
Bown, S. & Dekesel K. (2014) "Cooking without recipes" - The cognitive processes and strategies applied by trainee sign language interpreters. Paper presented at EFSLI – European Forum for Sign Language Interpreters, Antwerp, Belgium, 12-14th September 2014
Leeson, L., Bown, S., Calle Alberdi, L. (2013) Assessment Guidelines for Sign Language Interpreting Training Programmes. Madrid: Print House/efsli.
[Note: Publication including contribution from EU wide interpreter educators and practitioners from the efsli/Trinity College Dublin, Working Seminar, February 2013, plus contribution by members of the Efsli Committee of Experts. Formally launched at the European Parliament, Brussels, 17 December 2013]
Contributor as a member of the Efsli Committee of Experts: Efsli (2013) Learning Outcomes for Graduates of a Three Year Sign Language Interpreting Training Programme. Madrid: Print House/efsli.
[Note: A 2 year collaborative project involving interpreter educators and practitioners across Europe. With contribution by the Efsli Committee of Experts. Formally launched at the European Parliament, Brussels, 17 December 2013]
Bown, S. (2013) Autopoiesis: Scaffolding the Reflective Practitioner Toward Employability, International Journal of Interpreter Education, 5(1), pp. 51-63
Workshop Lead/facilitator: "Assessment on the job (internships)" at: EFSLI – European Forum for Sign Language Interpreters, Trinity College, Dublin, 27 & 28 February 2013: III efsli Working Seminar - towards a model curriculum for sign language interpreters across Europe, "Quality assessment": a European model for Sign Language Interpreter Education & Training
Bown, S. (2013) Assessing Placement Learning: Closing the gap between theoretical constructs and professional practice. Round table presentation at: EFSLI – European Forum for Sign Language Interpreters, Trinity College, Dublin, 27 & 28 February 2013
Bown, S. (2012) Reality Bites! Making it real within the context of an interpreter training programme: presented at: EFSLI –European Forum for Sign Language Interpreters, ITAT, University of Graz, 17-19 September 2012
Bown, S. & Dekesel, K. (2012) Vom-Blatt-Übersetzen: Probleme und Lösungen aufzeigen in Das Zeichen, Volume 26:92, pp596-601
Bown, S. & Dekesel K. (2012) Phased by translation: identifying the challenges and solutions in sight interpretation. in Cardinaletti, A. (Ed.) Sight translation, sight interpreting meeting at the cross modes: sign language interpreters as translators Marston Gate: Amazon pp.23-33
Bown, S. & Dekesel K. (2011) Phased by translation: identifying the challenges and solutions in sight interpretation: Presented at EFSLI – European Forum for Sign Language Interpreters, Vietri Sul Mare, Salerno, Italy 16 – 18 September 2011
Bown, S. & Dekesel K. (2011) The Citoyen Interpreter, Third Community Interpreting Research Seminar in Ireland, Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin, 10-11 February 2011
Bown, S. & Dekesel K. (2010) The Reflective Interpreter as Global Citizen: European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters 10-12 September 2010, Glasgow
Bown, S. & Dekesel K. (2009) Reflection in Practice II: Developing and embedding students' reflection for professional practice and employability: the student perspective. University of Wolverhampton, Placement Learning & Employability Conference 25 June 2009
Bown, S., Dekesel K., & Jolly C. (2007) Head teacher’s conference 1 March 2007 Walsall, Sign-in-School: the regional/national initiative of introducing British Sign Language (BSL) as part of the secondary school curriculum
Bown, S. & Williams S. (2007) Reflection in Practice: developing student reflection for professional practice University of Wolverhampton, Placement Learning & Employability Conference 26 June 2007
Bown, S. (2007) Retention, Relevance and Employability, University of Wolverhampton, HLSS Staff Conference 5th September 2007
Bown, S. (2004) Student Engagement: B.A (Hons) Interpreting BSL/English, a transferable model University of Wolverhampton, HLSS Staff Conference, Workshop 5 November 2004
Please see Biography
These currently include:
- Introduction to Interpreting Issues - theory and practice
- Sight Translation
- Translation Agency (translation for media)
- Work Placement - interpreting in practice & development of the critically reflective practitioner
- Simultaneous & Consecutive Interpreting
- Business & Community Link independent study
- Engaging with services (service provision to deaf communities, social analysis, access to health services)
Sarah enjoys all aspects of working with students across the undergraduate programme. She particularly enjoys working with first year students emerging into sign language interpreting and final year students emerging into professional practice as developing critically reflective practitioners.
Her scope of module authoring and teaching experiences include: Introduction to interpreting, theory and practice, Sight Translation, Translation for media settings; Simultaneous & Consecutive Interpretation, Second language fluency, Ethical practice & approaches, role boundaries & dilemma decision making processes, Specialist Settings & situated learning, Conference Interpreting, Public Speaking, Work based learning, supervision and critical reflective practice, Health care access and social analysis within deaf communities.
She is the founder, author and module leader/tutor for the internally/externally acclaimed final year Work Placement modules (UK wide) for sign language interpreting.