This project is a work in progress and a collaborative effort. The New Mexico Center for Language Access is currently working with the states of Kentucky, Minnesota, Idaho, Texas, Alaska, Michigan, Virginia and Nevada State Courts to develop, test, and implement a series of online court interpreter orientation and skills building training modules, built around identified core competencies, designed for potential national application.



The objective of this project is to develop a uniform approach to interpreter orientation and training by designing -- through a collaborative, jointly-funded effort -- an easy-to-use downloadable self-paced court interpreter orientation and skills building online training module program for prospective court interpreters. This collaborative, jointly-funded effort, will streamline and strengthen the way state court programs recruit and provide orientation to prospective interpreters. The online training module will be designed to introduce prospective interpreters to the basics of court interpreting. It will also include immediate feedback and an option for self-assessment in light of the required skills one must have before registering for credential testing.



 It is expected that the project will be completed within 12 months of the signing of the MOU and no later than December 31, 2015. The project’s initial phase will be the identification of core competencies for candidates pursuing court interpreter credential in their respective states. It is expected that this work may provide the foundation for national standards for adoption by the Council of State Court Administrators Language Access Advisory Committee.

The new online training module will build upon NMCLA’s existing learning platform and content of the Language Access Basic Training downloadable module and its Introduction to Court Interpreting, a 2-week online instructor-led course. This existing course serves as the mandatory Orientation & Skills Building training required of candidates for certification in New Mexico and was developed by NMCLA in collaboration with the Nevada State Courts. For this project, participating states will conduct a thorough assessment of the content of these existing modules and make decisions on what content changes are needed for a new online module designed for national application. 

Benefits for the participating states:

  • A unified approach to interpreter orientation and training;

  • Substantial cost-saving and decreased staff time involved with recruiting and orienting candidates pursuing court interpreter credential in their respective states;

  • No initial instructor costs because the program is self-paced;

  • More efficient use of a live instructor for advanced training sessions;

  • Progress tracking: upon registration, candidates’ progress is tracked and saved. This information together with the start and completion dates is available to the LA coordinator through an easy-to-access database.

  • State-specific content can be added to the program via links;

  • Flexibility on when and how the module is offered to candidates during a state’s credentialing process; depending on number of states involved in the collaboration.

Benefits for prospective court interpreters:

  • A Low Cost Option: Prospective candidates will have the option to purchase a high quality low cost online training module.

  • Flexible schedule: candidates can download the program upon registration, without having to wait for a specific date for the orientation/skills building to be offered.

  • Self-paced program: candidates can adjust the speed and intensity at which they wish to complete the training.

  • Self-assessment: the program includes self-assessment tools, which allows candidates to evaluate their progress immediately after completing a given assignment.

  • Feedback: the training includes an actual assessment piece, which is available upon a separate registration. This allows candidates to test their readiness before taking court interpreter credential testing in their respective states.

  • Accessibility: once candidates download the product, they can complete the training at their discretion –unless otherwise desired. Candidates can revisit materials as many times as they wish without times constraints.