Course Title: Context and Practice of Interpreting 2 (in both language directions) Mandarin

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: LANG5448

Course Title: Context and Practice of Interpreting 2 (in both language directions) Mandarin

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6067 - Advanced Diploma of Translating and Interpreting

Course Contact : Brad Paez

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 0362

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Mr. Richard Yu

Ms. Ling Li

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

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

Course Description

This course aims to further develop students’ skills and knowledge in oral transfer, the primary competency of the Professional Interpreter, and to locate and apply the relevant theoretical frameworks contextual knowledge required of complex assignments.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBN926 Context and Practice of Interpreting 2 (in both language directions) Mandarin

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module 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.
    • Exhibit during the interpretation process appropriate use of transfer skills, achieving acceptable meaning-based renderings.
    • Produce renderings that are appropriate to the text in lexis, idiom, register, collocation, style, stress, intonation, etc.
    • Exhibit during the interpretation process appropriate use of note-taking techniques.
    • Display appropriate body language during the interpretation process.
    • Interpret relatively simple dialogues and short speeches at the professional level making sure they are complete, accurate and impartial.
  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.
    • Research Australia’s and the LOTE-speaking country’s institutional and professional contexts that arise in a substantial interpreting text.
    • Collaborate in developing acceptable equivalences (in English or the LOTE as applicable) for terminology relating to these contexts.
    • Apply a variety of techniques for interpreting words and terms that are difficult to transfer due to cultural factors.
    • Provide a comprehensive rationale for each equivalence. 

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.
  • 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.
  • Develop 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 face-to-face class learning activities
8 hours to prepare and complete Learning Outcome 1
8 hours to prepare and complete Learning Outcome 2 


Teaching Schedule


Week Number / Week Statring   

Context & Practice of Interpreting 2

Week 1 Exam Review
Week 2 Welfare/Social Issues/Education
Week 3 Welfare/Social Issues/Education
Week 4 Health/Medical
Week 5 Health/Medical
Week 6


Week 7 Immigration
Week 8

LO: Practice Exam: D.I.
Environment , Science & Technology

Week 9 LO: Practice Exam: D.I.
Environment , Science & Technology
 Week 10  LO: Practice Exam: C.I.
Australian Issues / Politics/Industrial Relations
  Week 11Australian Issues/Politics/Industrial Relations
Mid semester break 

 Mid semester break

Week 12 International Issues
Week 13 Practice Exam Review 
Week 14 Business/Trade/Finance/Insurance 
Week 15Law
Week 16Law
Review & Consolidation 
Week 17Exam Period Commences
Week 18 Exam Period


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 etc.) as the module 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

Two Learning Outcome tasks.

Assessment Tasks

Learning Outcome 1 (0%, conducted in week 8 or otherwise advised by teacher)

  • Dry-run of NAATI* Accreditation Exam:
    2 bilingual dialogues and 2 sight translation passages (one from English into LOTE, one from LOTE into English), to be done in one sitting
    2 speeches/addresses (one from English into LOTE, one from LOTE into English) to be interpreted consecutively, to be done in one sitting
  • Dialogues                = 50 marks
    Sight Translations  = 20 marks
    Consecutive             = 30 marks
    This assessment task does not count towards the final NAATI accreditation exam. It is designed to familiarise yourself with the exam format and gauge your learning progress.

Learning Outcome 2 (100%, conducted during the University’s formal examination period immediately following the end of semester)

  • NAATI Accreditation Examination, conducted under NAATI exam conditions:
    2 bilingual dialogues and 2 sight translation passages (one from English into LOTE, one from LOTE into English), to be done in one sitting
    2 speeches/addresses (one from English into LOTE, one from LOTE into English) to be interpreted consecutively, to be done in one sitting
  • Dialogues                 = 50 marks
    Sight Translations   = 20 marks
    Consecutive              = 30 marks

* NAATI: National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters


Assessment Criteria

Your interpreting skills will be assessed by tests that reflect the conditions of NAATI accreditation testing; i.e. interpret for 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 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 examination 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 misinterpretations
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 LOTE

4. Technique

Excessive pauses / hesitations
Note-taking interfered with flow of interpreting
Inappropriate strategy when seeking clarification / repetition
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
• possess 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 their work to be plagiarised by another student. You should be aware of their 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 the semester.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview