Florida International University

Department of Modern Languages










SPT-4802 is a course in Spanish/English interpretation, oriented toward a variety of settings --legal, medical, business, immigration-- with emphasis on court interpreting. This course is the continuation of SPT-3812. It covers different aspects of interpreting and provides extensive practice in all modes of interpretation, both in class and in the language laboratory, with emphasis on the consecutive and simultaneous modes. Particular attention will be paid to interpreting techniques and to incremental exercises for developing memory, accuracy, and speed. This course meets on Saturdays from ______ to _______ at _______.


Goals: a) to prepare students for further courses in interpretation and related subjects, leading to an FIU Certificate in Legal Translation and Court Interpretation; b) to enhance student fluency and confidence in both languages through contextualized intensive practice in all modes of interpretation; c) to develop memory, note-taking techniques, speed, accuracy, and stamina in consecutive and simultaneous interpretation for a professional level of performance; d) to develop a high standard of professionalism through increased knowledge of the field, its business practices, social issues, and code of ethics. 


Requirements:   This course will have written and oral exams whose content and format will be discussed in class. Class participation and performance will also be evaluated. A portfolio of problematic vocabulary, phrases, and expressions (whether specialized, idiomatic, or slang), with their translations, will be maintained by each student, shared with the class, and turned in periodically for a grade. The material for this portfolio should be drawn from the assigned language lab tapes. Language lab assignments are listed weekly on the syllabus. Attendance is MANDATORY. Absences will severely affect your class participation and performance grade, as will tardiness.  Be ON TIME.


Final Grade will be calculated as follows:


20%     Midterm Exam (take home)      

30%     Final Exam (in class)                     

30%     Participation & performance    

20%     Portfolio



Textbook and materials:

*de Jongh, Elena M.  An Introduction to Court Interpreting: Theory & Practice. Lanham, MD:  University Press of America, 1992.

*Photocopies and audio materials will be provided in class by the instructor.

*Audio Tapes are available in triplicate at the language lab located at the English Language Institute (ELI) Building, room 203. These tapes are for in-lab use only; they cannot be checked out. Tapes are 30 minutes long (or less) on each side.  Check with ELI for operating hours.

***Each student must have a battery-operated tape recorder or “dictaphone” for standard size cassette tapes.



Sequence of Topics


Aug.   28                   

Introduction to the course.  Keeping a Portfolio.

The FIU Certificate in Legal Translation and Interpretation.


Sept.     4                   

The history of interpreting and current state of the profession.

[reading: de Jongh, pp. 1-23; + photocopied handout]


Sept.   11                   

The interpreting process. The training process.

[reading: de Jongh, pp. 25-33]

Practice in ST, CI + memory exercises  [lab tape CT-112]


Sept.   18                   

The modes of interpretation. Certification tests.

[reading: de Jongh, pp. 35-52]

Practice in ST, CI & SI  [lab tape CT-113]


Sept.   25                   

Note-taking. Attention and memory enhancement.


Oct.      2                   

Court interpreting. Internet resources.

[reading: de Jongh, pp. 87-102; 113-125]

Practice in CI + memory exercises  [lab tape CT-115]


Oct.      9                   

Civil cases.

[reading: de Jongh, pp. 102-108]

Practice in CI + memory exercises  [lab tape CT-117]


Oct.    16                   


[reading: de Jongh, pp. 109-112]

Practice in SI + concentration exercises  [lab tape CT-74-1]


Oct.    23       

(Take home midterm due)        

Language registers.                         

[reading: de Jongh, pp. 53-86]

Speed building in SI  [lab tape CT-56]


Oct.    30                   

Medical interpreting.

[reading: photocopied handout]  [lab tape CT-39]


Nov.     6                   

The insurance field.

[lab tape CT-40]


Nov.   13       

Business interpreting.

[lab tape CT-74-2]                       


Nov.   20       

Conference and escort interpreting.                                       

[lab tape CT-74-3]


Nov.   27                   

Career Development.


Dec.     4                   

Final Exam     (Bring your tape recorder.)