Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Hone court interpretation techniques while building confidence.

About this Course

This five-day, 30-hour course will provide advanced, experienced court interpreters an opportunity to further improve their interpreting techniques. The course is Spanish-language specific.

Designed to enhance both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting and sight translation skills, exercises will also address issues of text anxiety and certification exam preparation.

The instructors, both federally certified interpreters with many years of teaching experience, will provide extensive individual feedback in our state-of-the-art facilities.

Meet the Instructors

Holly Mikkelson

Holly Mikkelson

Holly Mikkelson is an Associate Professor of Translation and Interpretation at the Graduate School of Translation,Interpretation and Language Education, Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She is an ATA- certified translator (S>E, E>S) and a state and federally certified court interpreter who has taught translation and interpreting for over 30 years. She is the author of the Acebo interpreter training manuals as well as numerous articles on translation and interpretation in the court, medical and community interpreting fields, and is a co-author of Fundamentals of Court Interpretation: Theory, Policy and Practice. Professor Mikkelson has consulted with many state and private entities on court and medical interpreter testing and training and has presented lectures and workshops to interpreters and related professionals throughout the world.

Esther Navarro-Hall

Esther Navarro HallEsther M. Navarro-Hall is an Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Translation,Interpretation and Language Education, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, where she has taught Conference Interpreting (EN>ES, FR>ES) and Court Interpreting (EN<>ES). She holds an M.A. in Conference Interpretation and has worked as a freelancer, trainer and consultant in the Conference, Corporate, Court, Medical and Community specialties for the past 29 years. Ms. Navarro-Hall provides training for interpreters and interpreter trainers, at a national and international level. She is a Federally-certified Court Interpreter, a State-certified Court Interpreter (CA) and a Medically-certified Interpreter (CA). An ATA-certified EN>ES Translator, she is also certified by the U.S. State Department. Ms. Navarro-Hall is currently the Chair of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT).


Question: What textbooks will be used?

A set of books called Edge 21 is included in the tuition cost of the course.

Question: Is there any prerequisite for this course?

You have to have passed the federal written exam.

Question: Can you give me an idea of the agenda for the course?

Generally the class meets from 9:00 to 12:00 and 1:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday with 10-minute breaks in the morning and afternoon and a 1-hour lunch break. Monday will cover introductions, an overview of the exam, tips for overcoming test anxiety and some diagnostic interpreting exercises. Tuesday through Thursday will involve simultaneous interpreting and sight into Spanish in the morning, consecutive interpreting and sight into English in the afternoon. On Friday there will be a mock federal exam with individual feedback. All practice materials will be at approximately the same level of difficulty as the federal oral exam.


"The idea behind attending “Advanced Techniques for Court Interpreters” was to learn from two true court interpreting legends: Prof. Holly Mikkelson and Prof. Esther Navarro-Hall. Overall, I had a fantastic time in Monterey and at MIIS at the end of May and would gladly repeat the experience. It was an honor to spend five full days with Holly and Esther, and my group of 12 was fantastic. I really appreciate Holly and Esther’s laid-back and approachable style. They are not purists, but yet deeply knowledgeable about court interpreting in general and the exam in particular. I particularly treasured the actual time in the interpreting booth with recordings for simultaneous exercises – that’s exactly what I needed. Esther gave me some much-needed feedback on my shortcomings. I also slowly overcame my fear of sight translation into English. We took a mock exam on the last day, which was a great opportunity to experience an (almost real) exam."

Judy JennerJudy Jenner is a court-certified Spanish interpreter and a Spanish and German translator in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she runs Twin Translations with her twin sister. She is a past president of the Nevada Interpreters and Translators Association. She hosts the translation blog, Translation Times (www.translationtimes.blogspot.com). You can also find her at www.entrepreneuriallinguist.com. Contact: judy.jenner@twintranslations.com.

Testimony taken from The ATA Chronicle, August 2013