Course Title: Police Interpreting

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Police Interpreting

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Coordinator: Dr Miranda Lai

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3523

Course Coordinator Email: miranda.lai@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: 37.5.18

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study 

You should have satisfactorily completed LANG1237 Interpreting Accrediting Practice 1 and LANG1238 Interpreting Accrediting Practice 2 before you commence this course.   

Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course.  

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.   

*Note: If you wish to pursue NAATI Certified Specialist Interpreter-Legal you need to complete 2 courses included in the Health Interpreting Cluster offered by the Translating and Interpreting Program.


Course Description

This course aims to equip you with the relevant knowledge and specialised skills required in order to interpret in complex police operational settings. You will learn about the role of the police and police discourse. The course will also introduce you to the different interviewing techniques and the goals that such techniques fulfil. You will strengthen the interpreting skills acquired in previous courses, in dialogue, consecutive, telephone and simultaneous (chuchotage) interpreting, as well as sight translation, which are common modes of interpreting employed in police settings.  

The course forms the first semester of a two-semester sequence of studies aiming at the Certified Specialist Interpreter-Legal level tested by National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters [NAATI]. You can access this external test after completing the degree.  

This course includes a work integrated learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or other professionals is integral to your experience.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes  

In course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:  

  • Critically reflect on and apply abstract concepts and knowledge of languages, cultures and research methods in order to facilitate communication across cultures and languages.  
  • Use appropriate cognitive, technical and creative skills to resolve intralingual and interlingual issues to transfer the communicative intent of spoken or written discourse.  
  • Apply high level professional communication skills in multi-lingual environments.  
  • Reflect on and develop your personal practice to maintain current local and global professional standards and practices, and to extend and challenge industry knowledge.  


Course Learning Outcomes 

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

  1. Interpreting in the different modes of interpreting used in police settings by gradually increasing levels of complexity.  
  2. Understanding the dynamics and complexities of police interpreting. 
  3. Understanding the contextual knowledge required in a range of areas covered in police operations.  
  4. Conducting research in a wide range of fields in order to deliver high quality interpreting services in police settings.  


Overview of Learning Activities

Lectures and workshops will be devoted to:  

  • Interpreting in the different interpreting modes commonly used across a range of police settings.  
  • Discussing specialised knowledge required to work as an interpreter in a diverse range of police operations.  
  • Linking interpreting exercises to the discourse analysis perspectives examined in other courses of the program. 

You will also participate in simulated police interpreting events and other simulated activities within the program, interdisciplinary and/or with external organisations/institutions. Other activities may include external visits to healthcare services/institutions.


Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 

The Translating & Interpreting program has developed extensive digital resources in interpreting which will be used as a basis of interpreting practice. Authentic material will also be used such as speeches in a wide range of fields (diplomacy, environment, research and development, legal and court, medical, business, etc.).   

Teachers are practising interpreters who bring their own experience and examples of professional interpreting contexts and professional practice scenarios to the classroom.   

Electronic equipment such as interpreting booths will be used for interpreting practice.  

The University Library has extensive resources for interpreting students. The Library has produced a number of subject guides that includes quality online and print resources for your studies, see Library Guides.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 


Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. 

Assessment Tasks 

Task 1: Interpreting Portfolio, 20%, CLO 1,2,4  

Task 2: Knowledge test, 30%, CLO 2,3,4  

Task 3: Simulated certification test (consecutive), 25%,  CLO 1,2,3, 4.  

Task 4: Simulated certification test (simultaneous), %25,  CLO 1,2,3, 4. 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program manager or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.