Interactive Potpourri

Six Interactive Situations for Interpreting Practice

Overview of this Project

The idea for this project grew out of my experience mentoring interpreters working towards taking the NAD Interpreting Assessment. What became quickly apparent in that work was the relatively small number of interactive situations available for interpreting practice. Several of the people who I was working with had already worked through the videotapes that were commercially available, and so it was difficult to come up with new scenarios for them to practice their skills on. Furthermore, there are extremely few situations that include two deaf people, which presents unique challenges for interpretation.

Enter the age of digital video and my budding geekdom. (My motto currently is: If you need a resource, make it.) Thanks to the willingness of the staff of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services ~ Northeast, we were able to pull together some situations that sought to help expand the pool of resources available.

I think it is important to be clear from the start that this is not a Hollywood production. You will quickly note that although there are six different scenarios, there is one set. And none of us change clothe to mark our changes in roles from scenario to scenario. Instead, the focus is simply on giving a new situation with different opportunities to practice managing the interpretation process.

In addition, we sought to have shorter situations than are typically on other materials available. In this way, we were able to provide a greater variety, but it also was intended to give a shorter segment that might facilitate work in mentoring situations. Often, other videotape interactions are longer…and it is not possible to fully work through one during a single mentoring session. These texts range in length
from 6-9 minutes, so it may be more possible to work with them from beginning to end in a limited amount of time.

Finally, there are some situations that provide opportunities for preparing for the assignment, whether with links to the web that provide information about the topic being discussed, or with information created in this file that gives a similar opportunity to prepare as you would if you actually accepted a similar assignment in real life.

Overall, it is my great hope that these scenarios will be of assistance to all who use them. Yes, they may be a little contrived, but the language used in them is spontaneous and real–and offers an excellent chance to practice managing the challenges of interpreting interactive situations.

Wishing you the best in your work,

Doug Bowen-Bailey
April 2002