Interpreting as Interaction: Interpreting Theory for the Real World

FOR BOTH SPOKEN AND SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS:

Interpreting as Interaction: Interpreting Theory for the Real World introduces a different mindset for interpreters. Starting with real life interpreting examples, Cecilia Wadensjo, a Swedish-Russian interpreter, undertook groundbreaking research that began with actual interpreter performance and then found theory that fit the real life data. Wadensjo’s resulting theory suggests that meaning does not exist in words at all but is an activity – something built together by people in interaction – and she analyzes interpreting from this perspective. In this workshop, Marlene Elliott takes this research as Wadensjo presents it in her book Interpreting as Interaction and guides us through activities to bring this research to life and apply it our everyday work as sign language interpreters. Many interpreters feel this approach frees them to embrace all of their experience and wisdom and creates a framework for greater fluency in their work. Practical application is the cornerstone of this workshop. If you usually find theoretical talk boring, tedious, or disconnected from the real world, this is the workshop for you!

Language of Presentation: English

Diagnostic Assessment for Interpreters: Using Division of Energy Theory to Improve Your Work

Diagnostic Assessment for Interpreters: Using Division of Energy Theory to Improve Your Work

Why do we stay stuck in the same interpreting habits? How can we change long standing patterns? Can interpreters develop a plan for growth that really works? Division of Energy theory provides answers to these questions. This innovative technique for self-analysis  gets to the root of how we work – how we divide our energy into various parts of the interpreting task. This process also examines how our interactions with people and situations influence our work while examining the interpreter- centered tasks of listening, processing and producing equivalent renditions of messages. This workshop includes theory, self-examination, reflection and practice techniques.

Length: Can be either one or two days

Language of Presentation:  English

Medical Interpreting That Really Works

With Marlene Elliott, CI/CT | August 20, 2011 9AM– 4PM | Wenatchee, WA | North Central ESD Center, Cottonwood Retreat Center, 430 Olds Station Road | .6 CEUs | $65 |

This workshop lays a foundation for interpreters wanting to work in medical settings and gives the experienced interpreter a new framework for re-examining their work. From the perspective of interpreting as interaction, interpreters will explore the myriad specific interactions that encompass medical interpreting. Together we will examine the kinds of talk that commonly happen in these interactions and the functions of this talk. We will explore how the interpretations for these functions naturally need to vary in order to be geared to the specific recipient present. We will explore social boundaries and culture in relation to waiting in the medical environment including how to professionally “chat” with clients when it is socially and culturally necessary. Finally we will explore resources for on-going development in medical terminology and expressing medical concepts in other languages.

Length: one day

Language of Presentation: English

What Kind of Interpreter Do You Want to Be?

One of the first steps towards real growth as an interpreter is to be able to visual what we want our work to look like. This workshop leads participants through a series of exercises designed to define what YOU really want from your professional development. When we know where we are going, we can map out a plan to get there. This workshop is not about gaining skills but defining goals and plans to achieve them.

Length: one day

Language of Presentation: English

Who Says It’s ASL? Who Says It’s Not?

This workshop looks at the history of the field of linguistics, specifically the rise of Chomsky’s search for Universal Grammar and its near domination of the field until recent times. We look at how Universal Grammar views language usage, how it excludes the people who use the language and how this approach influenced early ASL linguistics and, to a large degree, ASL linguistic research today. We look together at how the academic validation of ASL has changed its status in the hearing and academic worlds, who has access to ASL linguistic information, and the relationships between Deaf people who own and use the language and the people who study it academically. We look together at how interpreters perceptions of language use influence their decisions and how these perceptions influence their interactions with Deaf people.

The aim of this workshop is to broaden participants’ perspective about their own work, their thinking, and the decisions they make.

Length of Activity: Can be either one or two days

Intended Audience: Working sign language interpreters, certified Deaf interpreters (CDIs ), ASL instructors, ASL students and Deaf people

Language of Presentation: If Deaf people are present I would prefer to present in ASL. If not, then I could present in English or ASL.

Next Workshop: March 12, 2011: Who Says It’s ASL? Who Says It’s Not? |South Puget Sound Community College|9 am- 3:30 pm with a half hour brown bag lunch|$40  |

Contact Variety Sign: Understanding the significance of a “third system”

In 1989 Clayton Valli and Ceil Lucas published groundbreaking linguistic research in their volume Language Contact in the American Deaf Community, a book which has tremendous implications for interpreters. This workshop explores their research findings, breaks it down into easily understandable pieces, and explores what this shift in perspective means for interpreters.

Valli and Lucas discovered that James Woodward’s original description of the language contact between ASL and English as a pidgin was not accurate and the hypothesis of a Pidgin Sign English or PSE was not supported in their research. Because of their findings, they reject the label of PSE as a misnomer and propose an alternate description of the contact between ASL and English as Contact Variety Sign or CVS. Where Woodward had described ASL and English existing on a continuum, Valli and Lucas describe a rule-governed third system.

In the ensuing years since this original research was published, the field of linguistics has largely embraced this description, endorsing these findings of a third system. Despite this profound shift, the label PSE has persisted in the interpreting community. If interpreters continue to conceptualize ASL and English as existing on a continuum that allows an infinite number of mixing of features, they can never gain fluency in CVS. Thus, the term PSE is not only out-dated, it leads us to inaccurate work.

If interpreters are expected to use this rule-governed system of CVS accurately, they need the opportunity to learn the rules that govern this system. This workshop begins the journey of learning the rules that make CVS work.

Length of Activity: One day workshop

Intended Audience: Working sign language interpreters. This workshop is also open to certified Deaf interpreters (CDIs ), Deaf people who work as Deaf interpreters or are practicing to become Deaf interpreters, ASL instructors, ASL students and Deaf people

Language of Presentation: If Deaf people are in attendance the preferred language is ASL. Voice interpretation will not be provided.

Next Workshop: January 15, 2011: Contact Variety Sign: Understanding the significance of a “third system” South Puget Sound Community College|9 am- 3:30 pm with a half hour brown bag lunch|$40  | 

Applied Discourse Analysis

Applied Discourse Analysis

“If car parts are words and phrases, an assembled car is a language, and the rules of the road (including signs and signals) is discourse,” according to Theresa Smith. When we are free to recognize and use discourse signals we feel the fluency and ease that we desire in our interpreting. This workshop is an exploration of those signs and signals in both ASL and English. Tapping into the experience of the group, exploring through inquiry, looking at language samples, reflecting on our own experience and insight, we take what we know and have learned and practice applying it. The goal of this workshop is not only greater awareness of discourse structures but also mastery in using them in our work.

Length of Activity: One day workshop

Intended Audience: Working sign language interpreters

Language of Presentation: If Deaf people are present the workshop is conducted in ASL. If no Deaf people are attend the workshop will be in a mixture of ASL and spoken English. No voice interpretation is provided.

 

Technical Interpreting: What can I do when I don’t understand?

( I haven’t taught this one in awhile – the shortest I ever did it was 2 days. I don’t think I can do it in less than that.)

Interpreting in 12 Step Meetings

This workshop will use a top-down analysis of 12 step meetings as a guide for preparation and effective interpretation. Starting with understanding the nature of the interaction and the strong context of shared experience along with highly ritualized forms we will look at critical concepts such as powerlessness, progression of the addiction/illness, one day at a time, and a higher power. Participants will have the opportunity to both view and practice making this kind of talk “come alive” in ASL as well as make the link between the frozen phrases from the texts salient in voice interpretations.
Making the Most of Observations
(a method for learning from other interpreters and for analyzing our own work, especially good for newer interpreters)

Length of Activity: one or two days

Intended Audience: Working sign language interpreters

Language of Presentation: If Deaf people are present I would prefer to present in ASL. If not, then I could present in English or ASL

Access to the Visual Environment – Interpreters as Access or Hindrance?

(looks at the experience of Deaf people using interpreters and how the decisions we make either create access or blocks for them in accessing the total visual environment)

Length of Activity: one or two days

Intended Audience: Working sign language interpreters

Language of Presentation: If Deaf people are present I would prefer to present in ASL. If not, then I could present in English or ASL