Mar 2011

ARSAD in Barcelona

I participated in the 3rd Advanced Research Seminar on Audio Description in Barcelona. The presentation I co-authored with Iwona Mazur dealt with methodological considerations of AD reception research. Here’s the abstract:

AD reception research: Some methodological considerations

AD reception research, or collection of feedback from the blind and partially sighted as the target audience of audio described films, seems to be one of the best sources of information to be applied when creating both AD standards and audio descriptions proper. To date, the two most prominent examples of such research have been the AUDETEL project, aimed at the development of AD guidelines, and the “Bollywood for All” project, involving ‘market research’ for Bollywood productions (Rai 2009), both carried out in the UK.

This paper presents experiences gained by the authors when conducting two reception studies. The first one involved a questionnaire distributed to 18 viewers with vision dysfunctions immediately after the screening of audio described “Serce na dÅ‚oni” by Krzysztof Zanussi. The other one is a larger-scale work-in-progress, whose results will be applied in the development of Polish AD standards reflecting the preferences of the blind and visually impaired viewers in Poland, where the participants are being interviewed and presented with AD samples.

The authors discuss various methodological issues, including problems with obtaining a sufficient number of participants, reflecting feedback from visually-impaired AD consultants in the surveys and discovering user preferences. It is suggested that responses concerning objectivity or subjectivity of descriptions should be elicited indirectly (implicitly) rather than directly (explicitly) and that research results are more meaningful if interviews involve comprehension questions and AD samples.

Erasmus teacher mobility in Rome

I’m currently in Rome to teach audio description as part of the Erasmus teacher mobility scheme.

IVY kickoff meeting

I’ve just returned from the kickoff meeting for the IVY Project. Here’s a brief description of the project.

The rise of migration and multilingualism in Europe requires professional interpreters in business, legal, medical and many other settings. Future interpreters therefore need to master an ever broadening range of interpreting scenarios and skills. This is difficult to achieve with traditional teaching methods and in times of reduced teaching contact hours. Also, in many of the emerging interpreting scenarios, a client-side understanding of what working with an interpreter involves is crucial, but efforts to educate potential clients of interpreters are scarce and normally separate from interpreter education. Addressing the needs of future interpreters and users of interpreters in higher education, vocational training and adult learning contexts, this project will use the exciting features of 3D virtual environment technology to create an adaptive 3D virtual environment that supports the acquisition and application of skills required in interpreter-mediated communication.