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Elisabet Tiselius

Universitetslektor Studierektor

Visa sidan på svenska
Works at The Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism
Telephone 08-16 13 38
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 D
Room D 514
Postal address Institutionen för svenska och flerspråkighet 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I'm a senior lecturer in Translation studies with a focus on interpreting. I'm also director of studies for interpreting at the Institute for Interpreting and Translation Studies, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism at Stockholm University.

defended my thesis in 2013 at the Univeristy of Bergen (Norway) my thesis dealt with professional experience and expertise among conference interpreters.




At BA-level in interpreting and sign language interpreting I supervise BA-theses and teach the following courses: 

At MA-level I teach the following courses in interpreting:

Course development

As director of studies for the interpreting courses at TÖI I have developed courses both for the conference interpreting training and the public service interpreting training. I have developed the master's program in interpreting and the completely new program for public service interpreting. I have also developed the new course for interpreting teachers, Pedagogy and didactics for interpreting teachers. Currently, I am preparing to launch our course for public service interpreters at another university in Sweden.


I supervise students at all levels with studies in interpreting. My areas of expertise are cognition in interpreting and sociology in interpreting.

I supervise three PhD theses currently: 

Aleksandra Adler who has a project within my VR project "The inisible process - cognition and working memory in dialogue interpreting".

Gro Hege Saltnes Urdal whose thesis at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences deals with students' Education and Buildung on their way to become interpreters for the deaf-blind. Gro's defence is planned to January 2019.

Johanna Granhangen Jungner at Karolinska instituet. Johanna's thesis deals with communication over language barriers in child oncology care. Johanna will defend her thesis in December 2018.


Research interests

My research deals with cognitive processes in interpreting and translation, and interpreters' and translators' development of competence and expertise as part of these processes. I also study deliberate practice in interpreting as a charachteristics of expertise. 

Another area of my research deals with children as langauage brokers for their families, and the communicative processes of children in families with limited Swedish proficiency in their encounter with the surrounding society. 

At TÖI, I survey, develop and monitor the assessment at entrance tests and final tests. I also work with pedagogical and didactical approaches to interpreting training.


Currently, I have three ongoing projects:

”Invisible process? Opening the black box of the community interpreter” (with Birgitta Englund Dimitrova). The project deals with cognitive processes in dialogue interpreting. We investigate them with psychometric instruments, but also through experimental role plays and retrospection. This project is funded for four years (2017-2020) by the Swedsh Research council (VR 2016-01118). You can find the project summary here.

”Communication over language barriers in highly specialized paediatric care” (with Johanna Granhagen-Jungner and Pernilla Pergert, KI). The project investigates interpreting and communication over language barriers among families with limited Swedish proficiency. We use quesionnaires, interviews and observations. This project has recieved funding from Stiftelsen Frimurare Barnhusen, Sällskapet Barnavård and the Swedish Childhood Cancer foundation 

”Communication between schools and parents - Child language brokers’ view.” The project has not yet recieved funding but got quite alot of attention in the media through a documentary on Swedish radio.

I also continue to publish about my previous project on competence development, expertise, and deliberate practice among conference interpreters. 

Reserach cooperation

Member of the research group ”Childhood cancer health care research”, at the Department for Women's and Children's health at Karolinska institutet.

Member of the research network TREC (Translation, Research, Empiricism, Cognition), which is an international network for reserach on cognitive proceses in interpreting and translation.

2016 – 2019 Board member of the European Society for Translation Studies.

Professional cooperation

I'm a professional interpreter, authorized by the Swedish authorization agency Kammarkollegiet and a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). I'm also an accredited conference interpreter to the European institutions. My working languages are English, French, Danish and Swedish.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2016. Birgitta Englund Dimitrova, Elisabet Tiselius. Reembedding Translation Process Research, 195-214

    This article discusses cognitive aspects of professional community interpreting. We give an overview of earlier research into community interpreting, arguing that cognitive aspects have largely been neglected. We propose that in building a model of the mental processes of the community interpreter, different kinds of monitoring are a crucial and pervasive component. Monitoring contributes to and enables the double function of the interpreter: translating and managing the interaction of the interpreted encounter. We furthermore stress the importance of the notion of professional self-concept for explaining the interpreter’s decision-making and exemplify this by analyzing turn-taking in two Swedish-Spanish interpreted encounters.

  • 2016. Johanna Granhagen Jungner (et al.). Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing 33 (2), 137-145

    PURPOSE: Children and families with a foreign background and limited Swedish proficiency have to communicate through interpreters in childhood cancer care centers in Sweden. Interpreter-mediated events deal with many difficulties that potentially hinder the transfer of information. The purpose of our study was to explore interpreters' experiences of interpreting between health care staff and limited Swedish proficiency patients/families in childhood cancer care.

    DESIGN: Using purposive samples, we interviewed 11 interpreters individually. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

    FINDINGS: Analyses of the data resulted in the main theme of creating a meeting point of understanding, constructed from 3 subthemes: balancing between cultures, bridging the gaps of knowledge, and balancing between compassion and professionalism.

    DISCUSSION: Our result shows that in order to create a sustainable meeting point of understanding, it is necessary to explain both the context and cultural differences. These results suggest that the responsibility for information transfer lies with both the health care profession and the interpreters. Tools have to be developed for both parties to contribute to creating the meeting point of understanding.

  • Chapter Accuracy
    2015. Elisabet Tiselius. Routledge encyclopedia of interpreting studies, 3-4
  • Chapter Expertise
    2015. Elisabet Tiselius. Routledge encyclopedia of interpreting studies, 152-155
  • 2014. Elisabet Tiselius. Fleks: Scandinavian Journal of Intercultural Theory and Practice 2 (2), 1-14

    Students of public service interpreting come from a variety of backgrounds. A typical groupof interpreting students includes a mix of students from different immigrant communitiesand from Norway’s majority population group, as well as students from varied educationalbackgrounds. Students have also had varying private and professional experiences withinterpreting. This heterogeneity represents a challenge for teachers attempting to create alevel playing field for all students, but it is also an asset for students, for instance because itcreates communities of learning (Bielaczyc and Collins 1999). Furthermore, in theinterpreter training field there is a lively methodological and didactic discussion, often withevidence-based pedagogical papers (Napier 2013). There are, however, fewer publicationson general pedagogical approaches to interpreter training (Sawyer 2004 and Gile 2009being important exceptions). This article looks at interpreter training in Norway anddiscusses the pedagogical approach it represents. The aim is to suggest how a level playingfield in interpreter training can be created from a pedagogical and methodologicalperspective using common higher education methodologies such as critical incidenttechnique (Chell 2004), constructive alignment (Biggs 2003) and experiential learning (Kolb1984), several of which are already in use in interpreter training in Norway.

  • 2013. Elisabet Tiselius (et al.).

    Avhandlingen undersöker tolkningsprocessen och tolkprodukten hos konferenstolkar med olika lång tolkerfarenhet. Detta görs utifrån expertteorin (jmf Ericsson, Charness och Hoffman 2007) tillämpad på tolkning. Enligt expertteorin använder mycket skickliga utövare, oberoende av fält, samma typer av processer och strategier för att nå den absoluta toppen inom sitt gebit. En viktig del av expertteorin är medveten eller avsiktlig övning (deliberate practice), en särskild typ av övning som mycket skickliga utövare använder sig av för att förbättra sin insats.

    Avhandlingen bygger på fyra olika studier om två olika grupper av deltagare. Deltagarna simultantolkar ett eller två tal från engelska till svenska. Två grupper – en tvärsnittsgrupp med nio deltagare på tre olika tolkerfarenhetsnivåer (ingen erfarenhet, kort erfarenhet och lång erfarenhet) samt en longitudinellgrupp med tre deltagare som spelats in vid två olika tillfällen med 15 års mellanrum – analyserades utifrån både process och produkt data. Tolkprocessen studerades genom att analysera och kategorisera process problem, monitorering och tolkstrategier som tolkarna rapporterat om under retrospektion efter tolkning. Tolkprodukten analyserades genom holistiska bedömningsskalor, en för förståelighet och en för nivån på informationsöverföring. Vidare genomfördes också djupintervjuer med deltagarna i det longitudinella materialet. Syftet var att undersöka hur de uppfattade medveten/avsiktlig övning och hur de såg på sin utveckling och övning av tolkfärdigheten. En viktig del av avhandlingen, förutom resultaten, är utvecklingen av de holistiska bedömningsskalorna (utvecklade från Carroll 1966) och utvecklingen av metoden i djupintervjustudien.

    Slutsatsen i avhandlingen är att det finns en mätbar skillnad i tolkfärdigheten mellan tolkar med liten eller ingen tolkerfarenhet och tolkar med lång tolkerfarenhet. Denna slutsats fick dock inte stöd i det longitudinella (och intra-individuella) materialet. Skillnaderna mellan grupperna i tvärsnittsmaterialet var också tydliga i processdata. Erfarna tolkar stöter på färre process problem än tolkar med kortare erfarenhet. Det fanns också tydliga skillnader vad gäller förekomsterna av monitorering (alltså kontroll av tolkprocessen och produktionen) mellan erfarna tolkar och övriga deltagare. Monitorering verkar vara en skiljelinje mellan erfarna och oerfarna tolkar, de erfarna tolkarna hade mer process kapacitet tillgänglig för att monitorera sig själva. Detta stöddes också till viss del av djupintervjuerna, där deltagarna rapporterade hur de ständigt utvärderar sig själva i syfte att förbättra sin insats. Ett nyckelantagande som slogs fast i början av projektet – nämligen att erfarna tolkar skulle hävda i djupintervjuerna att de ägnade mycket tid åt att öva färdigheten – fick, till författarens förvåning, inte stöd. Tolkarna rapporterade om många övningslika aktiviteter, men hävdade samtidigt att de inte övade.

    Avhandlingen avslutas genom ett önskemål om fler studier med fokus på medveten/avsiktlig övning bland tolkar. Dessutom föreslår författaren också att termen “experttolk” eller “expert” ska användas med stor försiktighet i forskningsstudier om just expertkunnande i tolkning. Författaren efterlyser också en bredare diskussion om expertkunnande och medveten/avsiktlig övning. 

Show all publications by Elisabet Tiselius at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 19, 2018

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