“It gave me a sense of community . . .” Mentee
Starting out as a newly accredited interpreter is always challenging and the work can be isolating. For that reason, in 2013, we piloted a Mentor and Coaching Program, to better support those interpreters who are new to interpreting and interested in the educational sector. The program continued with an annual intake of mentees most years with overwhelmingly positive feedback:
“I loved the individual meetings with my mentor. I got so much support, feedback, knowledge as well as debriefing skills . . . It was great to be able to go back to my mentor and share information I learned in workshops and discuss it further.” Mentee, October 2013
“I’ve really appreciated having a go-to person to lead me as I continue to navigate may was as a new interpreter. Interpreting is such a challenging field in many ways, with so many possibilities in any interpreting situation and there are so many skills that are not readily taught in a classroom. Having the structured support of more experienced interpreters in this way is a life-saver.” Mentee, May 2017.
We provided interpreters with an individual assessment to help them identify strengths and opportunities for development. They also participated in a series of workshops and regularly meetings with a mentor, who was sponsored to attend ASLIA Victoria’s Mentor training program. Not unexpectedly, mentors also got a lot out of the program:
‘Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of the program. I am still meeting with the mentee now. We decided to continue our meetings and discussions. It has helped me to be more reflective on my own work practice.’ Mentor, July 2013
We are particularly grateful to Julie Judd who worked with deafConnectEd staff to design and deliver the program.
‘Each time I go to a workshop everything is made more clear! It keeps me on the right track. Thank you!’ (Course participant, June 2013)
deafConnectEd also works with the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association of Victoria to provide professional development workshops and resources to better support interpreters working in vocational education.
This is a project that has developed over several years with the aim of developing a toolbox of depicting signs (and Auslan signs where they exist) relating to educational topics. You can see a definition of educational terms in Auslan as well as one or more suggestions for how to visually represent the concept.
You may also find this video on how to use Signbank useful:
Auslan interpreter development resources
We also encourage all interpreters to continue to develop their professional skills and so we have compiled a list of development resources that may be useful when you are thinking about your skills.
Do you know any other resources that could be good to share with your colleagues? Let us know and we can keep expanding this list.
Linguistics of Auslan – in Auslan
This is a growing pool of videos about Auslan. Stay tuned for more!
Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA) (www.aslia.com.au)
We also strongly recommend all practicing interpreters consider membership of ASLIA and to get involved in their state branch ASLIA Victoria for news, professional development, networking and mentoring opportunities.