Interpreter Development Programme for Heritage Signers (IDP-HS)

Upcoming classes:
25 September 2021 - 22 June 2024 (1 weekend/month)
Face-to-face
Wimbledon, London
Applications open now
At a glance:
  • Level 6 (RQF)
  • Native signers only
  • 3 years
  • 2 days/month
  • Leads to RSLI
  • Includes BSL and ASL training
  • £3003 per year (inc VAT and exams)
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Course Content

Course Content


Interpreter Development Programme for Heritage Signers (IDP-HS)

The Interpreter Development Programme for Heritage Signers (IDP-HS) course is open to hearing native, near-native and heritage signers who would like to pursue a career as a qualified sign language interpreter. You will achieve the Signature Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting and Translation and the Signature Level 6 Certificate in British Sign Language qualifications. This course leads to Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) status with the NRCPD. This is currently the only course of its kind in the UK. We have developed the IDP-HS course based on our extensive experience in the interpreting, translation and training fields. The course is made up of 360 hours of guided learning and 360 hours of independent learning spread over 3 years. This is an intensive programme and requires your full commitment. This course will take you from little or no knowledge of sign language interpreting to Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) status. You do not need any qualifications in BSL to join this course, but you must be able to demonstrate competency in BSL at minimum Level 2. You will be able to register as a Trainee Sign Language Interpreter (TSLI) in the second year of this course (subject to you also meeting all other requirements set out by the NRCPD). In the second year, you will have the option to study American Sign Language (ASL) alongside your BSL and interpreting training. Students who complete the ASL training will be eligible to sit the RID National Interpreter Certification (NIC) exam to register as an English/ASL interpreter in the USA, as well as with the NRCPD as a RSLI with BSL/English/ASL as core languages. The course is delivered in an informal and relaxed environment and your teacher will use a variety of teaching and learning methods to cater for all learning styles and to meet the needs of all learners. The course is designed to be fun, engaging and meaningful and will give you the opportunity to practice your BSL and interpreting skills by means of group work, pair work, role-plays, games, presentations and discussions.




Assessment


There are total of 23 assessments for this qualification, which are made up of 6x assessments for British Sign Language and 17x assessments for interpreting (6x internal of one-way and two-way interpreting, 4x external assessments of one-way and two-way interpreting and 2x translations). All except 1 assessement are live observed in the classroom, which means students are required to produce 1x evidence of interpreting performance in the community. Year 1

  • Essay (3,000 words)
  • Professional Development Plan
Year 2
  • Informal one-to-one discussion
  • Informal group debate
  • Formal meeting
  • Formal presentation
  • Formal group meeting
  • Receptive skills exam
  • 4x Preparing for interpreting assignments
  • Glossary
  • Business plan
Year 3
  • 1-way consecutive interpreting BSL>English
  • 1-way consecutive interpreting English>BSL
  • 1-way simultaneous interpreting BSL>English
  • 1-way simultaneous interpreting English>BSL
  • 2-way face-to-face interpreting
  • 2-way remote interpreting
  • 1-way simultaneous interpreting English>BSL
  • 1-way simultaneous interpreting BSL>English
  • 2-way face-to-face interpreting
  • 2-way remote interpreting
  • Translation English>BSL
  • Translation BSL>English




Year 1


The first year is made up of 120 hours of guided learning hours and 120 hours of structured independent study (total 240 hours). The guided learning sessions are structured as 10x 12-hour sessions over a weekend once a month over 10 months. This is followed by an additional 12 hours of structured independent study per month, which is completed through our e-learning platform.

In the first year, you will develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:

Intermediate British Sign Language (Level 3 BSL)

You will develop your skills in British Sign Language from level 2 (A2) (or equivalent) towards intermediate level (B1). You will develop your productive and receptive skills in BSL, vocabulary and grammar. You will also study the history of BSL and deaf culture, including the role and identity of hearing heritage signers and child language brokers. This module is benchmarked to the Level 3/4 qualifications in BSL.

Theoretical Principles of Interpreting and Translation

This module will introduce students to some of the key theoretical frameworks in interpreting and translation studies, including functionalist theories, ethical models and the role of the interpreter. It will introduce students to some of the current principles and issues in the public service interpreting profession, with a focus on signed language interpreting. It will also look at some of the unique issues that arise for child interpreters and the relationship between child language brokering and the interpreting profession. The assessment for this module takes the form of 1x 2,500 word essay on interpreter ethics.

Introduction to Interpreting

You will be introduced to the main interpreting theories in spoken and signed language interpreting. You will also study the history of the sign language interpreting profession, including the role of hearing heritage signers and child language brokers. You will be introduced to consecutive interpreting and you will be taught interpreting techniques, including note-taking skills. You will practice both one-way and two-way interpreting between English and BSL. This module will also introduce you to some of the main domains that interpreters work in, including health, employment, education and community.




Year 2


The second year is made up of 120 hours of guided learning hours and 120 hours of structured independent study (total 240 hours). The guided learning sessions are structured as 10x 12-hour sessions per weekend every month over 10 months. This is followed by an additional 12 hours of structured independent study per month, which is completed through our e-learning platform.

In the second year, you will develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:

Beginners American Sign Language

You will start learning American Sign Language alongside your training as a BSL interpreter, working towards pre-intermediate level (A2).

Advanced British Sign Language (Level 6 BSL)

You will develop your skills in British Sign Language from level 3 (B1) towards advanced level (C2). You will develop your productive and receptive skills, vocabulary and grammar. You will also study the history of BSL and deaf culture, including the role and identity of hearing heritage signers and child language brokers within the deaf world. The assessment for this module takes the form of 3x live observed BSL discussions, 1 externally marked presentation, 1 externally marked discussion and 1 receptive exam. You will achieve the Level 6 Certificate in BSL qualification upon completion of this module.

Preparing for Interpreting Assignments

This unit will critically evaluate the methods and strategies that interpreters use to prepare for assignments. You are expected to complete a plan for 4x practical interpreting assessments.

Professional Interpreting

You will continue to develop your interpreting skills in one-way and two- way interpreting. You will study some of the key theories in interpreting and translation studies and learn how to apply them to your practice. This module will give you the skills to analyse your interpreting performance by understanding the cognitive processes and stages of the interpreting process. You will continue to practise your skills in consecutive interpreting in addition to developing skills in simultaneous interpreting. You will also be introduced to interpreting in a wider range of domains, including health, education, employment and performance. At the beginning of the second year, you will be assessed against the National Occupational Standards for Trainee Interpreters, which will enable you to register with the NRCPD as a Trainee Sign Language Interpreter (TSLI) and start working as a professional sign language interpreter. Plan and Implement Continuous Professional Development You will work with your professional supervisor to plan your development points over the course of your studies. You will create, maintain and update a Professional Development Plan throughout your studies. Your plan will be informed by trends, developments and good practice in the sign language interpreting/translation profession as well as your own evaluation of your gaps in knowledge, skills and competence. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor to review your PDP (required to maintain your TSLI registration).

Remote Interpreting

You will learn about the emerging field of Video Relay Interpreting (VRI) and engage critically with current debates about VRI in the sign language interpreting field. You will learn how to prepare and perform VRI assignments, including how to set up, check and monitor equipment effectively and how to manage the specific demands relating to this mode of delivery. You will also be introduced to subtitling and audiovisual translation.




Year 3


The third year is made up of 120 hours of guided learning hours and 120 hours of structured independent study (total 240 hours). The guided learning sessions are structured as 10x 12-hour sessions per weekend every month over 10 months. This is followed by an additional 12 hours of structured independent study per month, which is completed through our e-learning platform.

In the third year, you will develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:

Intermediate American Sign Language

You will continue to develop your ASL skills towards intermediate level (B2).

Advanced Professional Interpreting

This module will bring together your skills in interpreting in order to refine your skills in interpreting between English and BSL at native level. You will master a range of interpreting techniques, particularly in simultaneous interpreting. You will also be introduced to interpreting in specialist domains, including conferences, mental health and court. You will be assessed in both two-way and one-way interpreting and in both simultaneous and consecutive modes. Assessment takes the form of 5x evidence or observations of one-way and two-way interpreting performance.

Co-working

This unit will give students the knowledge and skills to work effectively as part of a team of interpreters. It will equip students with a range of co-working techniques, such as feeding, checking and monitoring skills. The assessment for this unit takes the form of 2x interpreting assessments where the student is working as part of a team of interpreters (2 or more interpreters).

Reflect on Interpreting Performance

This unit will teach you how to critically analyse your own interpreting performance. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in reflective practice sessions. You will continue to work on your Professional Development Plan with your supervisor, reviewing targets and setting new targets according to your own career ambitions. You are required to continue submitting learning journals regularly. The assessment for this unit takes the form of 3x critical reflections of practical interpreting assessments.

Translation

This unit will give students the skills to translate written texts from English into BSL and from BSL into English.





Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements


  1. Hearing native, near-native or heritage signer
  2. BSL skills at Level 2 (A2)
  3. Interview
You must be able to demonstrate competency in BSL at minimum Level 2 (A2). You do not need any qualifications in BSL to apply for this course, but your BSL skills will be assessed at the interview. You must be a hearing native, near-native or heritage signer to join this course. For example, you may be a hearing child of deaf parents, have grown up with a close family member who is deaf or you have may have spent a significant part of your life in the deaf world and using BSL as part of your everyday life. This course is not suitable for people who have learned BSL as a second language (see our Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting course). Language Combinations This course is only available in English/BSL language combination. You will be trained in interpreting between English and BSL at native level (known as an AA language combination).





Progression

Progression


The Interpreter Development Programme for Heritage Signers is a unique course that gives you the skills to interpret between English and BSL at native level (AA language combination), as well as the option to qualify as an English/BSL/ASL interpreter. You will achieve the Signature Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting and Translation and Signature Level 6 Certificate in British Sign Language qualifications, which allow you to apply for Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) status with the National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf People (NRCPD) and start working as a qualified sign language interpreter. You will also be elgigible for the RID National Interpreter Certification for ASL/English interpreting. Holding qualified interpreter status in both ASL and BSL will open up several opportunities for work around the world. You will be eligible for full membership of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (MASLI) and Visual Language Professionals (MVLP). When you have 3 years of interpreting experience, you will be eligible for full membership of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (MITI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (MCIoL). You will also be eligible to join the International Association of Conference Interpreters, as well as the European Union Insitutions and the United Nations, as a conference interpreter with AA English/BSL language combination. This course will give you the skills and confidence to work in all domains and to aspire towards positions of leadership within the sign language interpreting industry.





Dates/Times

Dates/Times


Interviews: 1-2 May 2021 Year 1 Dates Saturday 12:00-18:00 and Sunday 09:00-15:00 once a month 25-26 September 2021 30-31 October 2021 27-28 November 2021 29-30 January 2022 26-27 February 2022 26-27 March 2022 30 April-1 May 2022 28-29 May 2022 25-26 June 2022 30-31 July 2022 Year 2 Dates Friday 13:00-20:00, Saturday 10:00-17:00 and Sunday 09:00-16:00 once a month 16-18 September 2022 14-16 October 2022 11-13 November 2022 27-29 January 2023 24-26 February 2023 24-26 March 2023 28-30 April 2023 26-28 May 2023 23-25 June 2023 21-23 July 2023 Year 3 Dates Friday 13:00-20:00, Saturday 10:00-17:00 and Sunday 09:00-16:00 once a month 15-17 September 2023 20-22 October 2023 17-19 November 2023 15-17 December 2023 19-21 January 2024 16-18 February 2024 15-17 March 2024 19-21 April 2024 17-19 May 2024 21-22 June 2024





Fees

Fees


Total per year: £3003 (all inclusive) Monthly: £500 / £500 / £500 / £500 / £250 / £250 / £250 / £253 £500 deposit required to reserve your place. Fees include awarding body assessment fees and access to e-learning platform. Monthly Direct Debit payment plan comes as standard. NB: our fees are always all-inclusive, so there are never any unexpected costs! Download Fees and Funding Guidance




Additional benefits


  • Professional supervision included
  • Access to therapeutic support from a qualified counsellor
  • Access to Moodle: online learning resources and e-portfolio
  • NRCPD TSLI and TSLT endorsement and supervision
  • Professional Development Series (a series of talks delivered by experienced interpreters with expertise in particular domains)
  • TOTUM student card (discounts in a wide range of shops)
  • A personalised Gmail account with full Google package and 1TB of cloud storage





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