This article reports on students’ process of Bildung expressed as their construction of professional identity as interpreters for deafblind individuals. With a qualitative research design and critical discourse analysis, focus group discussions were used to gain insight into which discourses students drew upon when constructing their professional identity at different stages during their education. Data from the focus group discussions were analyzed by using Fairclough's (1989, p. 112) values of features, experiential and expressive values. The findings indicate that students drew upon intersecting and antagonistic discourses in the construction of their professional identity. At the beginning of their education, and before meeting deafblind people, students emphasized discourses that were based on their previous experiences. They mainly described deafblind people by drawing on a care needing discourse, and the interpreter by operating a caring discourse. Later on in their study, students also operated the discourses that were made available to them in class and in the field of practice, such as an independence discourse related to deafblind people, and a technical, a reflective and a collaborative discourse related to the professional interpreter. Students also drew upon a student discourse in all focus group discussions. This entails that during their study, students went through a process of Bildung, which was manifested in their construction of their professional identity.



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