Course Title: Court Interpreting

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Court Interpreting

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Miranda Lai

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3523

Course Coordinator Email:

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 LANG1370 Police Interpreting 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

In this course you will acquire the relevant contextual knowledge and technical skills in order to work in courts and tribunals as an interpreter. You will learn about the different legal systems, as well as the court and tribunal hierarchy in Australia. You will be introduced to the language of the law, as well as the role language plays in the legal system, litigations and various dispute resolution processes.  

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 this 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 develop skills in: 

  1. Knowing about the court and tribunal structure in Australia 
  2. Understanding and identifying aims of the discourse employed in litigation tactics 
  3. Interpreting in the simultaneous and consecutive modes in courts and tribunals 
  4. Understanding the dynamics and complexities of the court setting  

Overview of Learning Activities

Lectures and workshops will be devoted to:  

  • Developing the interpreting skills required to work in courts as interpreters (consecutive, simultaneous, chuchotage, sight translation)  
  • Acquiring in–depth-knowledge of the language of the law  
  • Identifying the specific discourse structures employed in the different phases of the litigation process  
  • Linking interpreting exercises to the theoretical perspectives examined in other parts of the program

You will also participate in moot court and other simulated activities within the program, interdisciplinary and/or with external organisations/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 1,2,4  

Task 3: Simulated certification test, 30%, CLO 1,2,3, 4.  

Task 4: Moot court activity, 20%, 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 coordinator 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.