Program Schedule


Summer Quarter

Essential Language Skills for Interpreters: Spanish/English

This course is designed for highly bilingual students to improve language skills in both languages and elevate proficiency to professional levels.  Students in this course will work individually and in teams to tackle texts, drills and games with the objective of achieving higher and more sophisticated levels of expression, while closing proficiency gaps between both languages. This course strives to provide students with the language and cultural building blocks essential to be successful in the interpretation program.

Readings in a broad range of topics, both in English and in Spanish.
Comprehension testing, writing drills and oral presentations.
Identifying cultural differences in communications.
Vocabulary building blocks: learning roots and origins of words to build vocabulary.
Basic grammar drills in both languages. Review of common errors in both languages.
False cognates, idiomatic expressions and regionalisms in both languages.
Lateral thinking: conversion of concepts, parallel forms of expression, English to English and Spanish to Spanish.

Introduction to U.S. Law for Court Interpreters

This course introduces students to the legal concepts embodied in terminology to be learned and practiced in subsequent courses. Students learn the fundamentals of criminal and civil courts in both the federal and California systems. Instruction explores the stages of criminal and civil proceedings and basic legal concepts relevant to each stage, such as the constitutional rights of defendants in criminal cases.

Legal Interpreter’s Practicum

Designed exclusively for students in the Certificate Programs in Interpretation and Translation, this course provides a comprehensive overview of the administrative operations of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  Students will gain an understanding of how the courts work and how cases are processed through the system; the functions of the various courts; the duties of the court staff, such as the court clerk/judicial assistant, court reporter, and bailiff; and the role, responsibilities, and obligations of the court interpreter. Professional conduct for court interpreters and ethical issues will also be discussed. Students receive classroom instruction conducted entirely in English.

The practicum will include one day in court observing and shadowing court interpreters in a courtroom setting.  Observation of interpreters is scheduled during the court’s regular hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The required observation must be completed prior to the final class.  Students maintain written journals of their observations and thoughts for submission at the final class.  Although students do not interpret in the courts, they learn about professional practices and performance standards by observing practicing interpreters.

NOTE: Depending upon the knowledge, skills, and ability of a student, the student coordinator/mentor may determine that a student is qualified to interpret in some off-the-record matters with the approval of the attorneys in each particular matter.

Fall Quarter

Sight Translation: Spanish/English

This course emphasizes the acquisition of appropriate vocabulary and practice in solving problems of contrastive syntax. Materials are drawn from legal, financial and economic, and basic technical texts that relate to medicine, the automotive industry, etc. Students are required to prepare technical glossaries in assigned areas.

Sight Translation: English/Spanish

The acquisition of legal, penal, jury process, medical, financial, real estate and automative vocabularies necessary and essential for court interpretation; and techniques for understanding, research, and translation of legal texts.

Winter Quarter

Consecutive Interpretation: Court Proceedings-Spanish/English

Using actual trial transcripts and other legal documents, this course emphasizes practice in consecutive interpretation in courtroom situations; sight translation also is practiced. Topics include court procedures, etiquette, and the job market, as well as the background appropriate for exams given by federal, state, and county agencies, including practice on various types of exam questions. Lecturers include lawyers, judges, state officials, and interpreters.

Consecutive Interpretation: Administrative Hearings and Depositions-Spanish/English

Using audiotapes and a variety of documents, this course emphasizes practice in consecutive interpretation in adjudicatory hearings (ALRB, DSS, DMV, and others) and escort and interview interpretation; sight translation also is stressed. Topics include specialized vocabularies, procedural information, etiquette, protocol, and the job market. Instruction also covers related exams and practice on exam questions.

Spring Quarter

Simultaneous Interpretation: Spanish/English

This course covers simultaneous modes of interpretation with some consecutive interpretation as related to court and adjudicatory hearings in chuchotage. Instruction includes practice in the Rozan method of note taking; materials include court proceedings and selected articles. Extensive use of tapes for practice in décalage and simultaneous translation of legal and political speeches and lectures.

Advanced Legal Interpretation Skills: Spanish/English

This course is carefully designed for a comprehensive approach to upgrade the students to a higher level of proficiency and mastery of the interpreting techniques they have learned in the previous courses.