court interpreting teaching techniques for a multilingual class
Thread poster: Ana Belen Garcia Luque

Ana Belen Garcia Luque
Local time: 16:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 5, 2007

Dear all,

I am going to attend a job interview for an Interpreting lecturing position. The selection test focuses on Court Interpreting and I have been asked to design a 2 hour-lesson programme for a 20 student-class (6 different languages) and provide theoretical and practical guidelines. I am specialised in Conference Interpreting so I don't really know how to prepare a court interpreting lesson which does not focus on a specific language (Spanish in my case) but on 6!

Could you please give me any tips or recommendations regarding practical exercises and activities?

Thanks in advance,
Ana García


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
Are you Qualified? Jul 5, 2007

Ask yourself that question first, because what is being required seems to be out of your area, and when they interview you they are likely to find that out.


SvetlanaS  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:28
English to Russian
Focus on tecnhical aspects Jul 5, 2007

I think court interpreting can be challenging because newcomers are not familiar with court procedures, court protocols, ethics and etiquette. Even simple issues can be useful - who to talk to; who not to talk to; where to find your place; briefing; what to expect from a client; what to expect form a court officers etc.


Patricia Baldwin
United States
Local time: 07:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
Techniques Jul 6, 2007

If you are an interpreter, focus on interpreting techniques ....
Start by teaching techniques:

Simultaneous Interpreting Techniques
Multi tasking

You can have handouts printed out, of some legal article you can download form internet, i.e.congressional news or a UN report, have some members of your audience read and others shadow, paraphrase and lastly multi task (write the numbers 1 to 100 then from 100 to 1 backwards on a piece of paper as they repeat what they hear, no translating yet).

After you have completed these exercises, which fine tune an interpreter's speed and problem solving skills, you are ready to have them interpret.

Again ,even though it is not your field, you can have them interpret a few sentences one by one, you can choose a legal issue and have it translated beforehand, so do not worry about the terms.

For a simultaneous interpretation you can use a witness deposition or a jury selection voir dire or questionnaire. Lots of examples in google.

Consecutive Interpreting Techniques
Teach Memory techniques and note taking skills (not excessive of course)
Memory Techniques:
Main Idea
Controversial Content
Detailed Information
Verbatim Recall of Testimony
The value of focusing on key words as an aid to memory.

Take a recorder and have them listen to your own voice reading a legal text (that you will have prepared and recorded in advance) a cross examination of a burglary case or a medical deposition and have your audience take turns in translating 6 sentences each. They listen to 6 sentences, and then start their consecutive rendition.

Explain that you are focusing on your 2 target and source languages for the exercise but that the techniques are good for any language.

You can give the Spanish English interpreters the site of the California Court Interpreter's Glossary (google it) and if you think you have time , print out the first 5 pages and hand them out. Other languages? Just google the Court Interpreters either Federal or State glossaries (first 2 or 3 pages) and hand them out. They'll love to have something to take home and will certainly look for more later.

You should also visit the Prometrics Court Interpreter's oral test website
where you get many practical hints on how to could add those to your presentation. The written test is not too valuable for your presentation as it is a TOEFL clone...grammar and reading comp, not very good for interpretation techniques.

Do not worry at all, you will certainly shine!



Ana Belen Garcia Luque
Local time: 16:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
I am qualified in conference interpreting Jul 6, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:

Ask yourself that question first, because what is being required seems to be out of your area, and when they interview you they are likely to find that out.

Of course I asked myself that question and I am well aware that Court Interpreting is not my area of specialisation, but when I applied for this position they knew my area was conference, so I guess they are expecting to find people ready to work and prepare themselves on different areas, just to test them. That's why I think it is worth trying... otherwise, why was I shortlisted?


Ana Belen Garcia Luque
Local time: 16:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
THANK YOU Jul 6, 2007

Dear Patricia,

Thanks so much. I really appreciate all your comments!



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court interpreting teaching techniques for a multilingual class

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