Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-conference workshops are three-hour courses designed to help language professionals enhance their skills and knowledge on a particular topic. 

Additional registration is required. Pre-conference workshops are available as an add-on item to the main conference or can be registered for individually.

Space is limited! All workshops will have limited seating to ensure an optimal learning experience.

Earn continuing education units (CEUs). All workshops will be submitted to receive continuing education credit. Review the conference CEU page for complete details.

Friday, May 17: Morning Workshops

9:00 AM – NOON EDT

A minimum participant threshold is required for all pre-conference workshops. If a session you choose is cancelled, you will have the option of choosing an alternate session or a full refund. These sessions have limited capacity. Reserve your spot early!

ANATOMY OF A DEPOSITION [ETHICS]

Friday, May 17, 9:00 AM – NOON

Presenter: Judy Jenner
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels

Attendee rates:
Early Bird Rate: $130 members, $175 non-members;
After April 1: $155 members, $200 non-members;
After May 6: $180 members, $225 non-members

Session DescriptionAs some court systems have reduced the rates for judiciary interpreters, many court interpreters actively look for assignments outside the court system. There are plenty of opportunities available, and depositions, which are typically held at law offices, are one of those proceedings that often require interpreters. Little has been written about the role of interpreters in depositions, and this workshop will provide an overview of the structure of depositions, the parties, the objectives, the terminology, etc. Attendees will receive plenty of real-life advice on how to manage the flow of information, how to deal with difficult situations, and exactly what to expect during the course of the deposition. In addition, there will be an interactive session on ethics during depositions and a review of pesky situations and how to deal with them. The presenter is a federally certified court interpreter who has interpreted more than 2,000 depositions. She is not a lawyer, but is married to one. This workshop will be held in English and is thus suitable for interpreters of all languages, but some Spanish-language examples will be provided.

Objectives: Attendees will learn at which point in the judiciary process depositions are held, how they are structured, who the players are, what the interpreter should know to prepare, what to expect during the proceedings, how to handle the flow of information, how to deal with difficult situations, etc. In addition, they will gain a good understanding of specific depositions involving common cases, such as car accidents and personal injury claims.

Judy Jenner is a Spanish and German business and legal translator and a federally certified Spanish court interpreter and conference interpreter. She has an MBA in marketing from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, a master’s degree in conference interpreting from York University in Canada, and runs her boutique translation and interpreting business, Twin Translations, with her twin sister Dagmar. She was born in Austria and grew up in Mexico City. She is a former in-house translation department manager. She writes the blog Translation Times and the “Entrepreneurial Linguist” column for The ATA Chronicle, serves as one of the ATA spokespersons, and teaches interpretation at the University of California-San Diego and at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the co-author of The Entrepreneurial Linguist: The Business-School Approach to Freelance Translation. She’s a frequent speaker at T&I conferences around the world, mostly online these days. Pre-pandemic, she flew a lot for her interpreting assignments and one of her special talents is memorizing airport codes.

INTERPRETING AT THE SPEED OF COURT: TECHNIQUES TO KEEP PACE WITH FAST SPEAKERS [ETHICS]

Friday, May 17, 9:00 AM – NOON

Presenters: James Plunkett III
Language: Language Neutral
Level: Intermediate / Advanced

Attendee rates:
Early Bird Rate: $130 members, $175 non-members;
After April 1: $155 members, $200 non-members;
After May 6: $180 members, $225 non-members

Session DescriptionTo accomplish the goal, interpreters will understand the reason for fast speech in court settings, understand fast speech in English at rates of up to 180 words per minute, develop analytical skills with guided exercises, manage pauses, work with omissions, use more concise target language, and build up speed by interpreting short passages at rates of up to 180 words per minute. Students will record their renditions, review them, make corrections, and plan new strategies to improve their accuracy and completeness at higher rates of speed.

Attendees must bring their own recording devices along with headsets or earphones, pens, and highlighters.

Objectives: To prepare interpreters to interpret fast speech accurately and completely while using the simultaneous mode.

James Plunkett III is a nationally-known interpreter instructor and trainer of trainers. He also trains new judges and court staff on how to work with court interpreters. He is certified by the AOUSC as a Spanish and English court interpreter. He is a rater for a national credentialing program for interpreters. He has worked as a court interpreter for the 13th Judicial Circuit in Florida and as the Coordinator of Interpreting Services and Language Access Program for the District of Columbia Courts. He is staff interpreter of the U.S. District Court, based in Tampa, FL. He holds a BA degree in General Social Studies from Providence College. He was raised in Lima, Peru. He also communicates in Portuguese, some French and basic Mandarin.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN INTERPRETING EXAM

Friday, May 17, 9:00 AM – NOON

Presenters: Corinne McKay
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels

Attendee rates:
Early Bird Rate: $130 members, $175 non-members;
After April 1: $155 members, $200 non-members;
After May 6: $180 members, $225 non-members

Session DescriptionExams are a reality of life as an interpreter, and passing an interpreting exam can open new markets and greater income potential. In this session, we’ll examine how to create a “training plan” for any type of interpreting exam, how to make the best use of available resources to prepare for the exam, and how to set the stage for a successful exam day. The speaker will share practical tips based on her experience preparing for and passing (on the first try!) three sets of interpreting exams.

Objectives: Attendees will learn how to create a robust training plan for an interpreting exam (with a focus on, but not limited to, court interpreting exams), how to make the best use of available preparation resources, and how to set the stage for a successful exam day.

Corinne McKay is an ATA-certified French to English translator, a state-certified French court interpreter, and holds a Master of Conference Interpreting from Glendon College. A frequent speaker and trainer on T&I topics, her book, How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator, has become a go-to reference for the language professions, with over 15,000 copies sold. She served as president of the American Translators Association from 2017-2019.

SECOND SIGHT: A NEW APPROACH TO SIGHT TRANSLATION FOR SIMULTANEOUS

Friday, May 17, 9:00 AM – NOON

Presenters: Agustín Servín de la Mora
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All levels

Attendee rates:
Early Bird Rate: $130 members, $175 non-members;
After April 1: $155 members, $200 non-members;
After May 6: $180 members, $225 non-members

Session DescriptionWelcome to this dynamic sight translation workshop, tailored for court interpreters of all proficiency levels. This interactive session is meticulously designed to enhance your linguistic agility. Engage in real-life scenarios where legal documents and proceedings are swiftly translated on sight. Sharpen your skills through hands-on exercises that span diverse legal contexts, ensuring relevance to every interpreter, from beginners to seasoned professionals. Participants will receive constructive feedback, fostering a supportive learning environment. Dive into group activities, stimulating discussions, and simulated courtroom settings to fortify your command over idiomatic expressions and legal terminology. This workshop transcends traditional language instruction, offering a comprehensive experience that addresses the nuanced demands of court interpretation. Elevate your expertise and confidence, providing you with invaluable tools to navigate the intricacies of sight translation in the courtroom.

Objectives: In this workshop, participants will hone their sight translation skills in legal contexts. The focus is on achieving precision in translating legal documents and proceedings on sight. Participants will receive direct and personalized feedback, identifying strengths and areas for improvement to fuel ongoing professional growth. Through hands-on exercises and simulated courtroom settings, students will bridge theory and practice, gaining confidence in real-world applications. This seminar aims to equip interpreters of all levels with invaluable tools, fostering cultural understanding and ensuring they leave with enhanced expertise, ready to navigate the intricacies of court interpretation with precision and confidence.

Agustín Servín de la Mora is the President of DE LA MORA Interpreter Training. He was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, and has been a professional interpreter for 30 years, both as a freelance and a staff interpreter. He is one of the supervisor raters for the National Center for State Courts and has been a lead rater for the federal and consortium oral exams for court interpreters. He was the lead interpreter for the Ninth Judicial Circuit for over a decade, and served as a member of the Project Advisory Committee responsible for the creation of the National Standards for Healthcare Interpreter Training Programs for the NCIHC. He was a member of the Florida Court Interpreter Certification Board and a voting member of the Technical Committee of the National Consortium for Interpreter Certification. He is a state and federally certified court interpreter, as well as a certified medical interpreter. He has been a consultant for the National Center for State Courts for 20 years.

Friday, May 17: Afternoon Workshops

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT

A minimum participant threshold is required for all pre-conference workshops. If a session you choose is cancelled, you will have the option of choosing an alternate session or a full refund. These sessions have limited capacity. Reserve your spot early!

IMPROVING YOUR MEMORY

Friday, May 17, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Presenters: Javier Castillo, Jr. 
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels

Attendee rates:
Early Bird Rate: $110 members, $150 non-members;
After April 1: $155 members, $200 non-members;
After May 6: $180 members, $225 non-members

Session DescriptionIn this workshop, participants will learn key techniques to improve their memory and recall. The strategies learned will aid both their short and long-term memory. Being able to interpret long passages from the witness stand as well as all the items on one’s grocery list will better all aspects of life.

Objectives: In this course, participants will learn tips and techniques to supercharge their memory and recall.  Short-term and long-term retention will improve.

Javier Castillo is president of Castillo Language Services, Inc. in Greenville, NC. He is an interpreter, translator, consultant and internationally recognized speaker.   He is a Federally Certified Court Interpreter, NC AOC certified court interpreter, a Certified Medical Interpreter, (CCHI) and contract interpreter for the U.S. Department of State. Since 2007, Javier has offered training workshops for court, medical, conference and community interpreters across the United States. He has provided in-house training for interpreters at hospitals, Administrative Offices of the Court, and Departments of Social Services. He recently developed and taught training courses for the staff and contract interpreters of the U.S. Department of State Office of Language Services.

EMPOWERING LEGAL INTERPRETERS WITH AI TOOLS [ETHICS]

Friday, May 17, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Presenters: Tianlu Jia Redmon
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels

Attendee rates:
Early Bird Rate: $130 members, $175 non-members;
After April 1: $155 members, $200 non-members;
After May 6: $180 members, $225 non-members

Session Description“Empowering Legal Interpreters with AI Tools” is a forward-looking session that addresses the critical role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the evolution of legal interpreting. The session begins by exploring the ‘why’—emphasizing the inevitability and benefits of AI in today’s technological landscape. It highlights the importance of embracing AI rather than fearing it, acknowledging AI’s potential to help us improve accuracy and efficiency and handle complex legal interpretation work with ease. This part of the discussion aims to demystify AI technologies, encouraging interpreters to view these advancements as allies in their professional development. Following this, the session delves into the ‘what’—introducing a range of AI tools that are currently reshaping (or could potentially reshape) legal interpretation. Attendees will be introduced to a range of innovations, from preparation aids to speech recognition software, and how these tools can be integrated into their daily practice. Finally, the session will provide practical guidance on the ‘how’—implementing these tools in real-world scenarios. This includes interactive demonstrations of AI in action, best and ethical practices for integrating AI tools into the workflow of legal interpreters, and strategies to balance the human expertise with AI capabilities. This session is a must-attend for legal interpreters keen on staying ahead in a technology-driven world, offering valuable insights into the future of their profession.

 

Objectives: This session aims to equip legal interpreters with a comprehensive understanding of the significance and applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our field. Attendees will gain a foundational grasp of the reasons behind the integration of AI into legal interpreting workflow, recognizing its potential to enhance accuracy, efficiency, and handle complex legal interpretation scenarios. The session also seeks to transform any apprehension regarding AI into a positive outlook, framing these technologies as valuable assets in our profession.

Tianlu Jia Redmon is experienced in interpreting high-stakes cases at court and in depositions in Texas and beyond. She is a Texas Master Licensed Court Interpreter for Mandarin and approved to interpret in U.S. federal courts. She is an ATA-certified English to/from Chinese translator. She is a regular speaker at ATA and other conferences on legal interpreting and translation topics.

MASTERING THE COURTROOM: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO IMMIGRATION PROCEEDINGS [Sponsored by SOSi]

Exhibitor

The pre-conference workshop is being sponsored by SOSi. SOSi is providing attendees a $75 subsidy. The discount will be automatically deducted from the online ticket price. The subsidy is available until funds are exhausted.

Friday, May 17, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Presenter: Francesca Samuel
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels

Attendee rates:
Early Bird Rate: $130 members, $175 non-members;
After April 1: $155 members, $200 non-members;
After May 6: $180 members, $225 non-members

Session DescriptionUnlock the secrets of immigration court proceedings with our dynamic and enlightening presentation. Dive into the essentials of court ethics, delve into the workings of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), and the crucial role of interpreters in a range of legal scenarios. Whether it’s navigating asylum requests, mastering the nuances of deportation laws, or understanding protective legislation like the UN Convention Against Torture, this session is your roadmap to competence. Experience an in-depth exploration of the interpreter’s role across civil, federal, and state criminal proceedings, and sharpen your skills in distinguishing between standard legal language and specialized immigration terms. Enhance your interpretations with cultural insights that bring accuracy and sensitivity to every word. You will be exposed to pivotal dos and don’ts for document preparation and translation in immigration contexts. The session will also highlight the importance of preparation before arriving in court. Enhance your professional toolkit with access to comprehensive glossaries in both English and Spanish, along with a detailed breakdown of EOIR’s legal sections. This is more than a session; it’s an investment in your professional excellence in the field of legal interpretation. Don’t miss the opportunity to become better versed in the complex world of immigration law.

Francesca Samuel is a freelance interpreter/translator and founder and president of A la Carte Translations, a web-based translation business. She has been a member of NAJIT and ATA since 1999. Francesca is a graduate of the Pima College Translation and Interpreting Program and has 22+ yrs. experience as an immigration court contract interpreter and approximately 30 years of experience as a translator. Francesca is an avid volunteer and passionate about the profession. She has presented on immigration, business management scam prevention and social media at several annual conferences including FIT, NAJIT, CFI, ATA and ATI and continues to spread awareness about the working conditions of immigration court interpreters. She served as administrator of the Spanish Language Division of the American Translators Assoc. from 2012-2016 as well as president of Arizona Translators and Interpreters (ATI) during the same period.  A proud native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, Francesca lived in New York City before moving out West to Los Angeles and eventually settling down in Tucson, AZ with her husband and children.

LANGUAGE BUILDING BLOCKS FOR EXPERT PERFORMANCE IN THE SIMULTANEOUS MODE AND BEYOND [ETHICS]

Friday, May 17, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Presenters: Janis Palma
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels

Attendee rates:
Early Bird Rate: $130 members, $175 non-members;
After April 1: $155 members, $200 non-members;
After May 6: $180 members, $225 non-members

Session DescriptionInterpreting in legal settings is growing as a highly respected and specialized profession. Judiciary interpreters must be constantly rising to the challenge of fast-paced, complex discourse, with very little control over the source language speakers or the contents of their courtroom utterances. This scenario requires a top-level expertise in both the source and the target language to be able to keep a comfortable pace for the interpreter as well as the listener, while also ensuring the full transfer of information to which an LEP individual is entitled under the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. This workshop is designed to provide interpreters with the resources and strategies to acquire an expert’s command of the most basic instrument at our disposal, language, through concrete examples and practical exercises.

NOTE: While the workshop examples and exercises will be in English, attendees will be working into their target language.

Objectives: At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to identify the verbal and nonverbal elements of discourse that contribute to the construction of meaning in spoken language, recognize when and how source language discourse can be reconstructed in the target language within idiomatic parameters that enhance a rendition’s effectiveness, and assess situational, relational and cultural contexts that can impact the faithful transfer of meaning and develop strategies to minimize loss of meaning while maximizing efficiency.

Janis Palma is an English-Spanish interpreter and translator with more than 40 years of experience. She became federally certified as a judiciary interpreter in 1981 and certified by NAJIT as an interpreter and translator in 2004. She currently holds the State of Texas Master Court Interpreter designation. Ms. Palma has worked as an independent contractor for private attorneys, government agencies, state and federal courts, and worked as a staff and supervisory interpreter for the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico. She is a former Chair of the NAJIT Board of Directors and former President of SSTI—the Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation. She is now semi-retired and living in San Antonio, Texas. Ms. Palma recently obtained a second master’s degree in legal studies (MLS) and is currently working towards her PhD in Language Studies. She has also created a nonprofit, IKIGAI, to further the education and credentialing of interpreters in the legal domain.

BUILDING A NOTE TAKING SYSTEM FROM THE GROUND UP

Friday, May 17, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Presenters: Ellen Wingo
Language: Language Neutral
Level: All Levels

Attendee rates:
Early Bird Rate: $130 members, $175 non-members;
After April 1: $155 members, $200 non-members;
After May 6: $180 members, $225 non-members

Session DescriptionFor many, note-taking is the great mystery of consecutive interpretation. It doesn’t have to be! Note-taking is a skill that is learned and developed with practice that can ultimately support the interpreter’s memory, improve accuracy and performance, and increase the length of interpreted statements. This course is designed to break note-taking down into its basic building blocks so that participants can build their own systems designed to serve their needs. Rather than limiting participants to any particular method, this course introduces elements from many different note-taking techniques, allowing them to knit together a system that works best for them. They will learn how to adapt their system to any length of speech. The session will focus on the use of symbols, abbreviations, the space on the page, and much more! Attendees should come prepared for lots of practical exercises to help in crafting their systems, and they will learn how to practice their new systems until they become second nature. This is a language-neutral workshop designed both for beginners who are starting from scratch, as well as experienced interpreters who wish to improve their skills.

 

Objectives: In this session, attendees will learn how to build their own flexible note-taking system for consecutive interpretation that will support their memory and improve their performance. They will learn about the different elements and techniques that form any note-taking system: what to write, what not to write, abbreviations, symbols, and the structure on the page. The class will discuss what works and how interpreters can take advantage of the way the brain processes information. They will learn to analyze their own work and how to practice note-taking for success.

Ellen Wingo is a state and federally certified court interpreter and worked as a contract seminar interpreter with the Department of State for many years. Based in Washington, DC, she has over fifteen years’ experience working in courts, as well as in conference settings. She has taught classes on note-taking and consecutive interpretation in the DC area, to both new and veteran interpreters. She holds a master’s degree in Translation and Interpretation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

COURT TOUR

Friday, May 17, MEETS AT 1 PM

Court Address: Providence County Courthouse, 250 Benefit St, Providence, RI 02903
Meet: 1:00 PM at the conference registration desk to walk to the court as a group
Tour Time: Approx. 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM

Ticket Cost = $20

Session Description: Attendees will enjoy a 2-hour tour of the Providence County Courthouse located 1/2 mile away from the conference hotel. Attendees will be treated to a conversation with a local judge. This tour is limited to 15 attendees. A guide will walk attendees to the courthouse and back to the conference hotel. Meeting instructions will be emailed to attendees before the conference. Allow a minimum of 3-hours for the tour and travel time.