Self & Community of Practice

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
INTR 3110
Self & Community of Practice
Sign Language Interpretation
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Lecture: 2 hours/week

Seminar: 2 hours/week

Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Methods of instruction for this course will include some or all of the following:

  • lecture/seminar
  • small group work
  • guest speakers
  • course readings/video
Course Description
This course prepares students to take on the challenges of building a practice as a professional interpreter while maintaining physical and mental health. The emotional labour and potential for burnout inherent in interpreting work will be examined, along with strategies for time and stress management. Students will learn basic business skills for working freelance as well as how to utilize resources, mentorship and peer support within the community of practice.
Course Content

Course content will be guided by research, empirical knowledge, professional standards and best practice.

Wellness and self-care

  • Strategies and routines for maintaining physical health
  • Techniques and habits for maintaining mental health
  • Managing stress, time management, organizational skills
  • Making effective plans and setting realistic goals
  • Establishing a personal support network

Emotional labour of interpreting work

  • Potential for burnout, vicarious trauma
  • Maintaining appropriate personal/professional boundaries
  • Balancing professional role and social participation in the Deaf community

Interpreters as business practitioners

  • Contrasting public and private sector work
  • Employers, agencies, systems
  • Understanding the marketplace for contract and freelance interpreting work
  • Basic practices for a self-employed interpreter (business terms, invoicing, accounting, taxes, self-promotion)

The interpreting community of practice

  • Participating, benefiting and contributing as a new practitioner 
  • Fostering mentoring relationships and peer support
  • Working collegially to effect positive change
  • Addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate ability to integrate wellness strategies into daily life;
  • set realistic goals for one’s own personal health, growth and development;
  • identify the factors that impact the emotional labour of interpreting work;
  • recognize potential causes and indicators of burnout;
  • define vicarious trauma and discuss strategies to deal with it;
  • examine the characteristics of work in the public sector versus the private sector;
  • describe the systems and agencies in BC that employ and/or contract with interpreters; 
  • produce a list of business terms and a sample invoice for use as a freelance interpreter;
  • produce a one-page resume and cover letter for use when applying for an interpreter position;
  • devise strategies for seeking mentorship and ongoing peer support and;
  • describe plans to participate in and contribute to the interpreting community of practice.


Means of Assessment

Evaluation is consistent with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. It will be based on a combination of individual and group work, and at the instructor’s discretion may include presentations, written assignments, papers, quizzes and/or exams. 

This is a letter graded course.

Textbook Materials

Coursepack purchase may be required; check with Douglas College bookstore.