Course Title: Context and Practice of Interpreting 1 (in both language directions) Japanese

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: LANG5429

Course Title: Context and Practice of Interpreting 1 (in both language directions) Japanese

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6067 - Advanced Diploma of Translating and Interpreting

Course Contact : Miranda Lai

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 99253523

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Mr. Yuta Suzuki

Ms. Keiko Hirata

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Course Description

This course aims to provide students with skills and knowledge in oral transfer, the primary competency of the Professional Interpreter, and to locate and apply the relevant theoretical framework and contextual knowledge required of a simple assignment.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBN925 Context and Practice of Interpreting 1 (in both language directions) Japanese

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course you will be expected to be able to: 

  1. Carry out the interpretation of dialogues, short printed texts and short speeches that embody a reasonable level of linguistic and conceptual difficulty in the consecutive mode.
  2. Examine in depth a range of institutional and professional contexts in which interpreting and translating take place as professional activities, and apply related concepts and vocabulary within more complex interpreting practice. 

Details of Learning Activities

In small groups you will develop the skills and knowledge to perform complex interpreting tasks. In particular, the instruction will aim to assist you to:

  • Communicate the languages concerned with sufficient structural accuracy, vocabulary and fluency to participate effectively in exchanges on practical, social and professional subjects.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a number of particular interests and special fields of competence.
  • Understand what speakers of both target and source languages say when speaking in the standard variety and the most common colloquial varieties.
  • Comprehend speech at a normal rate of delivery.
  • Understand what speakers of both target and source languages say when speaking in the standard variety and the most common colloquial varieties.
  • Demonstrate a broad enough range of vocabulary to ensure that they rarely have to grope for a word in discussing subjects.
  • Convey meaning accurately.
  • Use relatively complex structures.
  • Use the meaning-based approach to interpreting, as the most appropriate approach for practice.
  • Carry out research to identify relevant contextual knowledge.
  • Handle dialogue segments of up to sixty words in length in relatively specialised situations, and across a wide range of subjects.
  • Carry out oral translation for printed texts (both directions) of 200 words or equivalent.
  • Interpret short speeches and addresses of approximately 300 words or equivalent.
  • Interpret these dialogues and speeches in the consecutive mode.
  • In both dialogue and speech interpreting and in both language directions, produce high-quality interpretations in terms of accuracy, standard of expression, style and register, using appropriate stress and intonation.
  • Apply effective communication and public speaking skills, including proficiency in persuasive language and appropriate choice of cohesive and stylistic devices, register, collocation and idiom.

    80 nominal hours consists of :
    4 hours x 16 weeks = 64 hours in class face-to-face learning activities
    10 hours to prepare and complete Learning Outcome 1
    3 hours to prepare and complete Learning Outcome 2
    3 hours to prepare and complete Learning Outcome 3

Teaching Schedule

Week NumberContext and Practice of Interpreting
WEEK 1Welfare/Social Issues/Education
WEEK 2Welfare/Social Issues/Education
WEEK 3Health/Medical
WEEK 4Health/Medical
WEEK 5Immigration
WEEK 6Immigration


WEEK 8 Environment/Science & Technology

LO2 Dialogue + ST exam
Environment/Science & Technology


LO2 Consecutive exam
Australian & International Iss
ues/Politics/Industrial Relations

 Semester Break
WEEK 11Australian & International Issues/Politics/Industrial Relations
WEEK 12Business/Trade/Finance/Insurance
WEEK 13Business/Trade/Finance/Insurance
WEEK 14Law
WEEK 15Law
WEEK 16Consolidation

Teacher may adjust the above schedule according to learning needs.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Baker, M., In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation, Routledge, London, 1999.

Gentile, A., Ozolins, U. & Vasilakakos, M., Liaison Interpreting: A Handbook, Melbourne University Press, 1996.

Other Resources

  • Learning Resources

    Learning materials will largely be generated by the teachers (including professional interpreting texts and other written and oral/aural materials from the press, Internet, media and government publications) as the course is specifically targeted to practical skills that are necessary to the development of interpreting skills.


    The Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) is RMIT’s core e-learning tool. It provides a variety of online learning resources and communication tools including:

    - a centralised area to upload and manage course content and practice materials
    - tools creating course content in the Blackboard environment
    - tests (quizzes) and surveys
    - discussion boards and chat rooms
    - assignment submission tools
    - group work spaces

    Digital Recording Devices

    Students are required to prepare their own digital recording device to be used in the interpreting class. 

Overview of Assessment

Three Learning Outcome tasks. 

Assessment Tasks

Learning Outcome 1 (25%)

Activity 1 (20%, conducted in week 7 or otherwise advised by teacher)
Contextual knowledge class task in the form of an oral presentation, mini-conference, production of glossaries in various contextual areas or otherwise advised b teacher, .You will be asked to explain how contextual factors affect comprehension and transfer of meaning. The teacher will provide a checklist for students to observe and note important aspects of performance. The teacher will base the assessment on the checklist and including immediate feedback in the class.
Activity 2 (5%, conducted throughout the semester and due in week 16, or otherwise advised by teacher)
Compilation of a folder containing all notes from note-taking practice done throughout the semester and a summary of the system you have developed for your own.

Learning Outcome 2 (25%, conducted in week 9 & 10 or otherwise advised by teacher)

Week 9: One bilingual dialogue and one matching sight translation from Eng into LOTE conducted in interpreting lab (15%)
Week 10: One consecutive passage from LOTE into English conducted in interpreting lab (10%)

Learning Outcome 3 (50%, conducted at the end of semester during the University’s formal examination period immediately following the end of semester)

Formal exam conducted under NAATI exam conditions.
(1) Two bilingual dialogues and two sight translation passages (one from Eng into LOTE, one from LOTE into Eng) to be done in one sitting
(2) Two speeches (one from Eng into LOTE, one from LOTE into Eng) to be interpreted consecutively, to be done in one sitting.

Weighting of the three components:
Dialogues =50 marks
Sight translation =20 marks
Consecutive =30 marks

* NAATI: National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters

Asssessment Criteria

To be able to study the higher course (Context and Practice of Interpreting 2) in the following semester, you must at least achieve 50% overall marks in this course.

Your interpreting skills will be assessed by tests that reflect the conditions of NAATI accreditation testing; i.e. participation in two dialogues between a LOTE speaker and an English speaker of approximately 400 words and with segments of up to 60 words in length, render oral translation for two printed texts of 200 words or equivalent, and interpret for two speeches / addresses of approximately 300 words in length. The three components will embody a reasonable level of linguistic and conceptual difficulty at the NAATI Professional level.

To be recommended to NAATI for accreditation as an interpreter at the Professional level, you must achieve the minimum standard in the accreditation exam as set out in the current NAATI and RMIT guidelines, i.e. achieve a mark of no less than 70% (RMIT Distinction grade) overall and not fall below 70% in any component of the test.

Key assessment areas and reasons for deduction of marks:

1. Accuracy

Significant omissions
Significant mistranslations
Significant unjustified insertions
Excessive requests for repetition
Candidate abandoned test

2. Language Proficiency - LOTE > Eng

Inadequate comprehension of LOTE
Inappropriate word choices in English
Incorrect sentence structures in English
Grammatical errors in English
Unidiomatic usage in English
Unsatisfactory pronunciation in English

3. Language Proficiency - Eng > LOTE

Inadequate comprehension of Englsih
Inappropriate word choices in LOTE
Incorrect sentence structures in LOTE
Grammatical errors in LOTE
Unidiomatic usage in LOTE
Unsatisfactory pronunciation in English

4. Technique

Excessive pauses / hesitations
Note-taking interfered with flow of interpreting
Inappropriate strategy when seeking clarification /reception
Excessive number of clarifications/repetitions

5. Other

Inadequate comprehension of scenarios

Assessment Matrix

Other Information


What do I do if I need help in this course?

You are advised to contact your teacher as soon as any difficulties arise. The Program Coordinator is available for academic advice and support. Once the issue has been identified, the Program Coordinator, in consultation with your teacher and yourself, will put in place an individual study plan. This might include supplementary assessment, consultation during the conduct of assessment or granting an extension. Where these measures are inadequate, the Program Coordinator may refer you to University student support services such as student counselling or the Learning Skills Unit.

How can I have my relevant previous study or work/life experience assessed as a way of gaining credit in this course?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) means recognition of competencies currently held, regardless of how, when or where the learning occurred. This includes any combination of formal or informal training and education, work experience or general life experience.
For RPL to be granted, the applicant must provide evidence that he/she:
• has attained the competencies described in the modules that are being claimed
• possesses current competency in the modules that are being claimed, including underpinning skills and knowledge
• has applied the relevant modules in a context that is applicable to this qualification.
Contact the Program Coordinator for further advice about applying for RPL and suitable evidence requirements.

What are my responsibilities in undertaking this course?
All students are expected to attend classes regularly and complete all set learning and assessment tasks. You are encouraged to seek support in relation to any difficulties you may have at the program level via the Program Coordinator. Students are expected to act as professionals in the learning environment, a critical capability expected of graduates in their employment.

Special Consideration
You may apply for Special Consideration by using the RMIT Application Form for Special Consideration, which is available from RMIT website. The application, with relevant documentation, must be lodged with the Student Hub prior to or within 48 hours of the commencement of the assessment task in question. Applications for special consideration are considered by the expert panel convened by the Academic Registrar (or nominee).

You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism in oral, written or visual presentations is the presentation of the work, idea, or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing as though it is one’s own. Plagiarism is not acceptable. The use of another person’s work or ideas must be acknowledged. Failure to do so may result in charges of academic misconduct, which carry a range of penalties including cancellation of result and exclusion from your course.
You are responsible for ensuring that your work is kept in a secure place. It is also a disciplinary offence for you to allow your work to be plagiarised by another student. You should be aware of all rights and responsibilities regarding the use of copyright material.


How can I let my teacher know about my experience of this course?
You may discuss this with your teacher at a mutually convenient time. The School distributes confidential course assessment forms at the end of each semester for students to complete. These are analysed and action is taken to remedy defects in teaching or course administration as required. The College also conducts student experience and satisfaction surveys during semester.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview