Summer CPD for interpreters – want to try something new?

Another summer is upon us, and while summer 2020 is not going to be like any we have experienced before, one thing is sure to remain the same: interpreters are going to be looking for summer opportunities for professional development.

My own CPD plans for the summer fell through, sadly, when the co>lab peer training camp that I had planned to attend in Toronto in late July was cancelled due to the current health crisis. I look forward to the day when the public health situation improves to the point where we can all meet up again for some on-site practice.

In the meantime, my own training plans have taken an exciting turn, and that is what I want to tell readers about today.

This summer, a colleague, Lucy Findlay, and I are teaming up to offer what we believe is a first in interpreter CPD. We will be running a two-in-one course that offers both intensive English training for current or aspiring retouristes and hands-on interpreting exercises that will help keep you on your game in these complicated times. To keep it all as close to life as possible for the conference interpreter crowd, we are placing the whole thing in the context of international diplomacy. Meet Diplomatic English for Conference Interpreters.

cut photo course DECI

Lucy will bring along her experience of teaching English for Diplomacy at the University of International Studies in Rome, while I will put participants through their paces with a series of interpreting exercises that will get them flexing their retour muscles in high-level interpreting scenarios.

It being 2020 and things being what they are in the world today, the course is going to be held fully online (was there ever any doubt?). We have decided to spread the sessions out over the summer to avoid the “Zoom fatigue” that might arise from trying to stuff a bunch of virtual sessions into the traditional week-long intensive format typical of on-site interpreter CPD courses. The added benefit of this approach is that participants will be able to achieve so much more over their summer-long CPD journey!

Have we whetted your appetite? If so, head on over the course website to get the details and find out how to sign up, or write us at for more information.

Hope to see you online this summer!

Training seminar in Brazil: IT and blended learning in interpreter training

The Interpreter Diaries are off to Brazil! I’ve been asked by AIIC Brazil to run a workshop on IT and blended learning for interpreter trainers in the beautiful town of Curitiba on January 29-31, 2016.

This will be the fourth in a series of AIIC Training workshops on new technologies in interpreter training (following on from similar events held in Maputo, Paris and Seoul). The three-day course will be intensely practical, with hands-on sessions taking participants through the creation of their own online materials, guided tours of the virtual interpreting classroom, and more.

I’m told there are still four spots open on the course, so please spread the news to your colleagues in the Americas (note that attendees may be eligible to apply for a bursary to cover travel costs).

I’ll leave you with the blurb from the workshop’s registration page –  and I hope to see you in Brazil!

Photo courtesy of Gualberto107 at

IT is becoming an essential tool for students and trainers in all fields, and interpreter training can benefit enormously from technological developments. Virtual learning, a trend that has taken the world of post-secondary education by storm, can allow both established and up-and-coming interpreting programs to extend their reach while maximizing their use of resources, and enhance the training experience for both students and trainers.

In this hands-on workshop, Michelle Hof will take participants through topics such as:
Best practice in face-to-face and online interpreter training
Practical aspects of the virtual classroom and online learning platforms
Teaching and testing interpreting skills using virtual technology
Effective blended learning approaches
Leveraging online and offline resources in the interpreting classroom

Creating a better classroom experience: Workshop for interpreter trainers in Tenerife

The summer professional development season is swiftly approaching, and it’s my pleasure to announce that my colleagues at the University of La Laguna have decided to offer something new this year. This June, Dick Fleming and I will be running a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop here on Tenerife as part of the University’s INTTRA training initiative.

The ToT workshop will focus on practical tips and tricks for teaching in both on-site and virtual interpreting classrooms. It will run over the course of three days at the end of June and be held in the sunny southern end of the island (yes, there are plenty of beaches nearby 😉 ).

I’m very excited about this new ToT initiative. The aim is to create a bridge between the more “traditional” forms of classroom-based learning and new approaches in the virtual sphere. We’ll be combining Dick’s years of experience training on-site at the European Commission in Brussels with the lessons I have learned while cutting my teeth over the past few years in the virtual classroom. Together, we’ll examine best practice in both settings and explore how on-site lessons can be adapted for virtual delivery, among other things. Participants will be encouraged to bring along their own questions and case studies for discussion in the group, and will run practical exercises to put ideas into practice. I know from past ToT experiences that great things happen when interpreter trainers come together – and this time as well, I am counting on watching the ideas fly!

To find out more about the workshop and consult the detailed schedule, please check out our infomation page. To reserve your spot, you can either drop us a line at or pre-register on the INTTRA workshop page.

Hope to see you in June!