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Community Interpreting as a Profession

My name is Holly Mikkelson and I am the Director of the Spanish Community Interpreting Graduate certificate, which is a program that is available to students who are not enrolled in the masters program but who would like to be trained as community interpreters.

The courses begin with all online instruction and that happens from the fall through the spring semester.

And then beginning in June, students come to Monterey and we have face to face instruction where they’re actually practicing interpreting.

“Okay, let’s try another little scenario. So Annette will be our witness this time. If you could try to give longer answers to give Erin some practice in intervening, if necessary.”

The bulk of the program teaches students the basics of legal, medical, and educational social services interpreting. However, the last portion focuses specifically on certification test preparation. So throughout the course, the students get the basic skills that they need, and then at the end, we go into detail about what they specifically need to know just to pass the tests.

I think that this course does an excellent job of giving a detailed overview of the different fields where you can work and really use your language skills as an interpreter.

One of the things that differentiates this course from others is the hands-on nature of it and the fact that we actually simulate real life interpreted scenarios.

You are really right on the ground, in the trenches when people have a family crisis or something happens to them that changes their life. And community interpreters allow people to tell their story. They allow service providers to communicate effectively and provide the service they’re supposed to. So it’s very rewarding to be able to use your language in a way that really makes a difference in someone’s life.

It is a cold, but sunny day here in Vermont.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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