Professional Development

About The Interpreter's Lab Professional Development Series:

The Interpreter's Lab was designed as a meeting place for Interpreters - a place of exchange and learning. Our many years of service in this industry led us to create sessions that are meaningful for Community Interpreters - but, ultimately, it's you, the Interpreter, that knows best what you need. We give you the forum where talent, resources, and process all come together.

Our monthly sessions have been designed with careful consideration to the comments we have heard over the years, through our work and courses.

Interpreter’s Lab Professional Development Series Schedule

2019 Schedule

September 19 - Interpreting is a Performance Art (really, it is).

Learn interpreting skills through improvisational acting techniques.

Did you know that research has shown that improvisational practice techniques work to improve the skills, abilities and techniques that interpreters use, such as listening, articulation, critical thinking, creative thinking, decision-making, analytical skills, articulation, and even performance and speaking? Even better than that, it also improves interpreter confidence!

“In fact, after participating in workshops just like this, interpreters noticed that they had improved in “confidence, delivery and rapid problem-solving abilities.”

Join us for a very unique opportunity to participate in professional development session that will not only improve your skills, but you’ll have fun the whole time you’re learning. Connect with your colleagues, The Interpreter’s Lab instructors and others in this exciting event, live and in-person, on Granville Island in Vancouver.


Will I have to act and/or be funny?

NO! This workshop is not about you acting, but it’s about you learning practice techniques that actors use and that have been shown to really help interpreters improve their own interpreting skills.

Why is this session not free, like the others?

Every year we try to bring all of our students, and interpreters in general, a unique and more in-depth professional development session that they may not otherwise get to have. This session is being facilitated by the Vancouver Theatre Sports League facilitators and actors, and the fees charged go to pay for their experienced facilitation and instruction.

What should I wear?

Wear something comfortable and not restrictive. Do not wear high heeled shoes, instead wear flat shoes like running shoes. Wear pants that are easy to move around in, sit, stand, etc. And as always in Vancouver, wear layers (t-shirt under a sweater, under a jacket, etc.) because the weather always changes.

Why is it on Granville Island?

The Vancouver Theatre Sports League is located on Granville Island. Granville Island is one of my favourite Vancouver places to be, eat and just hang-out. Make a day of it and eat on the island or visit the public market and have something delicious from the vendors there.

How do I get there? (and other transportation issues)

Granville Island can get busy during the warmer months, so we suggest you give yourself plenty of time to get there and find parking. Parking on Granville Island is no longer free before 6pm, so you will only have to pay until 6pm. You can also use transit to get to Granville Island, and to add even more fun to your day, you can take the Skytrain to Science World and then take the Granville Island Water Taxi to the Island instead! Make sure to plan your trip.


February 7 - Blended Learning

What is it, why did we go there and why is it a better way to both teach and learn. Find out what research is behind the Blended Learning model and why The Interpreter's Lab has moved its courses online. Plus, listen to the experiences of past students and get a tour through our online curriculum.

March 21 - How to Financially Manage a Freelance Business with guest speaker Tammy Johnston of The Financial Guides 

April 18 - Medical Assistance in Dying (and other challenging settings) with guest speaker Kiran Malli of The Provincial Language Service

May 16 - A Focus on Mental Health and Interpreter Self-Care Strategies with guest speaker Rita Garnto, author of Simple Self-Care Saved Me

June 27 - Sneak Peek into the work of the International Standards Committee TC37

Ever wonder what happens at those international meetings where standards are drafted? Join us behind the scenes and the annual international meeting of ISO TC37 and meet some of the experts.

July - enjoy your summer holiday 

August 23 - WHAT?! Did she really say that? The art of interpreting profane and vulgar words

October 17 - Strategies for Interpreters working with Speech Language Therapists

Another complex care setting with Speech Language Therapists as guests.

November 21 - Writing Your Memoir -

A conversation with author and writing coach Brenda Smit on how to start and stay motivated to write your memoir (or anything, really).