Community Interpreting course – April – June 2016 – Rose Hill Children’s Centre
This spring the WEA in Oxford ran its first Community Interpreting course. This course is for people who speak English and a community language and are interested in learning about the field of community interpreting and developing their knowledge of UK public services. The course covers the role of the community interpreter and the contexts in which they work. Although it requires good knowledge of another language, it is not just about the language. It is much more than that. As a Community Interpreter you are required to have a good understanding of how the UK public services are delivered, so that you can help members of your community access them. You also need to have deep understanding of cultural differences to help people overcome cultural barriers. Interpreting therefore helps people to perform their duties and secure their rights in a multicultural society.
A community interpreter is not just a job, it makes you an important person in your community – someone people can turn to for help.
During the course learners are encouraged to find relevant voluntary work in the community in order to gain experience in community interpreting. We had 14 students on this course who spoke over 20 languages between them. Some of them are already working as voluntary community interpreters, some of them are thinking of doing it.
There is also the third category – people who have been out of work for some time and would like to get back into work but do not know where to start. This course gives them a chance to improve their study skills, boost their confidence and self-esteem and gain important knowledge about English language and British citizenship.
Some comments from students about the course “I really enjoyed the course, I learned a lot about community interpreting”, “I learned how to make Power Point presentations and manage my time”, “I liked interactive learning using the computer and watching videos”, “the way the tutor organised the class helped me to participate”.
Anna Kennedy – WEA Tutor