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Foundations of Practice

Course Code: INTR 1142
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Credits: 1.5
Semester: Flexible delivery ranging over 6 to 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This field-based course provides students with foundational skills for the field of Sign Language interpretation. Learning is focused on: opportunities to observe interpreters in practice; development of foundational skills such as discourse mapping and discourse reconstruction; an introduction to setting S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals and to the Demand Control Schema (best practice process for reflection and decision making).

Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  • Interpreting is a practice profession.
  • Multi-faceted and multi-sensory observation skills are cornerstones of practice in human services.  The purpose of observation is to be more effective in responding to others.
  • Observation is dynamic and continuous, formal and informal. These skills include observing, recording, interpreting and reporting.  They improve through practice and reflection.
  • Effective observers have a clear focus, purpose and intention.  They conduct themselves in a legal, ethical and respectful manner.
  • Accurate observation requires awareness of personal values and filters, preconceptions and biases.
  • Observation of, and reflection on, the self-in-action are integral to on-going practitioner development.
  • Competent practitioners consider different hypotheses when interpreting their observations. Their conclusions are tentative and open to reflection, review and revision.
  • Context and events are linked, thus contextual factors need consideration when observing, recording and interpreting.
  • The manner in which observations are recorded, reported and used, influences interpretation of the material collected.  Choice of language needs careful consideration as it influences others’ perceptions and interpretations.
  • The observer’s presence and behaviour affects the situation being observed.
  • Field observations recordings form critical links between coursework and practice.  What is observed becomes substance for discussion and reflection.
  • Study and observation of skilled practitioners provide insight into roles, responsibilities and contexts of practice.
  • The task of interpreting requires mastery of foundational skills including closure techniques, prediction skills, memory, and multi-tasking.
  • The Demand Control Schema provides useful constructs that allow for reflective dialogue about interpreting work, with the goal of improving effective and ethical decision-making.

Methods of Instruction

  • Lecture/discussion
  • Demonstration/practice
  • Field observations
  • Group work

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.

  • Demonstration/practice
  • Field observations
  • Group work

This is a letter-graded course.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyze observations of interpreters’ work, while recognizing one’s own personal filters and frame of reference  
  2. Apply techniques learned through observations to their own emerging professional practice
  3. Apply the Demand Control Schema to decision making as it pertains to the field of interpreting
  4. Demonstrate pre-interpreting skills including closure techniques, discourse prediction skills, memory and multi-tasking
  5. Analyze and diagram samples of discourse to determine the main points and supporting detail, and reconstruct English texts working from a diagram of one’s own design.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.