SHORT COURSES FOR CONFERENCE INTERPRETERS WITH ENGLISH B
Organised by Christine Adams and Zoë Hewetson
We are members of aiic, freelance conference interpreters and interpreter-trainers. Christine Adams trained at ETI and is Geneva-based for work; she works for a range of organisations there, including the WTO, WIPO and the IPU. Zoë Hewetson did the EC ‘stage’ and is London-based for her work with the EU Institutions, the IMO and other international organisations.
We have combined training with interpreting for many years and ran the now-closed University of Westminster MA, Conference Interpreting from 2006 to 2011. Recognising that there was a need for opportunities for colleagues to work on their B in a practical, supportive environment, we started running six-day intensive programmes in central London. There is a market for ‘retour’ interpreting in international organisations and the private market and many colleagues are being encouraged to upgrade their English C to a B. Since 2014, our short courses for interpreters with English B have provided colleagues with an opportunity to take time out of working life to spend six days in London and concentrate specifically on their output in English and improve their pronunciation, vocabulary, confidence and delivery.
The two courses run during the last two weeks of August. We generally advertise them – through heads of booths, on the aiic website and through aiic regional secretaries - in October or November to establish which A language groups we might have. That decision is taken at the beginning of the year. We can accommodate two groups of six to ten participants for each language. Registered participants are sent information about travel into London and accommodation and regular updates about the course programme. We send out a list of topics to prepare so they are in a good position to deliver and interpret speeches on subjects relevant to working life. Once in London they combine speaking, interpreting and listening to colleagues working with a lecture on British politics, debates, voice coaching and English enhancement. The programme is intensive and the working environment constructive.
In addition to the August courses we have also organised a consecutive refresher course for colleagues interested in giving some careful thought to note-taking and presentation in a mode that is still valued even if it is less frequently used than before. Colleagues should feel free to contact us with requests for specific courses in London or elsewhere.