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Course Descriptions

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Core Course Requirements

There are seven courses, 3 credits each, and all are required, for a total of 21 credits. The minimum grade point average required for certification is 3.0, and the time limit for completion of all courses is 4 years. The recommended pace is 1-2 courses per semester/summer session so as to finish in 4-6 semesters/summer sessions, but the actual pace may be individually driven within the limits set.

The required courses are as follows:

BLS 610:         “Comparative Analysis English/Spanish”
BLS 611:         “Fundamentals of Interpretation”
BLS 612:         “Consecutive Interpretation and Sight Translation”
BLS 613:         “Simultaneous Interpretation”
BLS 614:         “Legal Interpretation”
BLS 615:         “Healthcare Interpretation”
BLS 616:         “Business Interpretation”

The successful completion of BLS 610 and BLS 611 is a requirement to continue with the program. The first four courses (BLS 610, 611, 612 and 613) must be taken sequentially or simultaneously in pairs: BLS 610-611& BLS 612-613, the remaining three courses (BLS 614, 615 and 616) can be taken in any order.

The rationale for the sequence is that basic interpreting skills and a theoretical base in interpreting should be acquired in order to further develop skills in the specific areas of legal, healthcare and business interpreting. All courses focus on the language combination English-Spanish.

Retention, Completion and Certificate Requirements

Every student in La Salle University’s Graduate programs is required to maintain a cumulative GPA of “B” (3.0). Therefore, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required to earn the CII. A student who, at any time, falls under this standard is automatically in academic jeopardy, and is subject to academic review by the Director of the program. In order to earn the CII, students must successfully complete all 7 required courses (21 credits in total). There are no electives in this program.

An accepted student to the CII program will have a total of 4 academic years to complete the program. Only in extreme circumstances is a “leave of absence” granted. No leave of absence will be granted for more than one year. When a leave of absence is granted, the time period encompassing the leave of absence will not count toward the 4 years candidacy max.

Course Descriptions

BLS 610: “Comparative Analysis English/Spanish”

This course studies the comparative/contrastive grammar in the English- Spanish language pair. The course includes intensive practice in reading comprehension *skim, scan, main idea, key words* sequence of events, usage, error detection, synonyms, and most common translation problems in terms of grammar, vocabulary, idioms, slang. Explore register.

BLS 611: “Fundamentals of Interpretation”

This course is designed to introduce the basic skills of interpretation: public-speaking, memory work, and text analysis, as well as the theoretical foundations of interpretation.  In addition, the students will learn terminology research and professional skills:  general business practices and ethics.   Practicum emphasis is on public-speaking skills, as well as the ability to understand and analyze a message in the source language (SL) and convey it in the target language (TL) in a straightforward and clear manner. 

BLS 612: “Consecutive Interpretation and Sight Translation”

This course builds on the practical and theoretical foundation laid in Fundamentals of Interpretation.  In consecutive interpreting, students learn to identify the implicit structural organization of an extemporaneous speech by presenting and interpreting speeches of this type.  Reinforces ability to perceive essential meaning and introduces note-taking techniques.  Emphasizes clarity of expression, correct style and grammar, proper diction, and polished presentation.  Note taking and sight translation are introduced in the latter part of the course.  

BLS 613: “Simultaneous Interpretation”

In simultaneous interpreting, students are introduced to basic strategies of interpreting in this mode.  The course begins with a general introduction and follows up with a series of preparatory exercises helping students develop the concentration necessary for listening and speaking at the same time, mastering voice management, and acquiring smooth delivery techniques. Students learn to analyze discourse for meaning while rendering a coherent version in the TL with correct grammar, diction and style. 

BLS 614: “Legal Interpretation”

This one-term course seeks to further develop skills in consecutive with note-taking, sight translation, and simultaneous interpreting. Students are expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the introductory courses, and produce interpretations that would be of acceptable quality in a professional setting.
Students will be introduced to the procedures in criminal and civil law, legal language, the courtroom, and the Interpreter's Code of Ethics. Practice in the classroom will strive to recreate the most common scenarios in which legal interpreting takes place while developing the interpreting skills needed to work as a court interpreter. Students will refine their note-taking skills and special attention will be given to develop stamina and maintain concentration while under stress in the courtroom. Assessment will take into account both accuracy and fluency in delivery.

BLS 615: “Healthcare  Interpretation”

This course will provide information on the healthcare system in the United States, medical terminology, code of ethics for medical interpreters, and the use of interpreters in healthcare situations. In consecutive interpreting, students will continue to enhance their memory and note-taking skills. They will work on detecting and correcting problems from the listening stage to the delivery stage. In simultaneous interpreting, students will work in polishing their delivery and language register. In sight translation, students will get familiar with the different forms used in hospitals and healthcare centers. Peer-assessment and self-assessment will be encouraged in order to bring awareness of the importance of self-monitoring in interpreting.
Furthermore, this course will discuss current issues in healthcare interpreting and will provide information for further developing in the profession.

BLS 616: “Business Interpretation”

In this one-semester course, students will be introduced to simultaneous interpreting with text, so that they will learn to use appropriately any visual or written material to enhance their accuracy and completeness when interpreting. Conference interpreting will be practiced in class, with students carrying on research and preparation for "conferences", including compilation of glossaries and topic research. A code of ethics for conference interpreters will be discussed as well as booth etiquette. In consecutive interpreting, students will strive to continue developing their note-taking and interpreting longer utterances without interruption. Speech production aspects such as voice, fluency and pacing will be assessed as well. 
Material for practice will come from diverse business areas such as banking, finance, world economic issues and insurance, among others. Students are expected to read and research topics, make presentations, practice, grade their peer exercises and provide self-assessment. The purpose of all these aspects is to develop confidence, assertiveness and resources in students so that they will be able to deal with nuances of meaning and accuracy in interpretation while delivering smoothly and naturally in their target language.

Carmen Lamas, Ph.D.

The Hispanic Institute at La Salle University
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141 USA
Phone: 215.951.1209
Fax: 215.991.3506

La Salle University reserves the right to alter or change this information
at any time, without notice.

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