As interpreters we aim to deepen and hone our practice. We attend workshops and read books and talk with colleagues. We find mentors, Deaf and non-Deaf. We look for models, both theoretical and personal. We respond to what engages us, challenges us and moves us forward.
In 2001, practitioners who had done extensive work with Betty Colonomos encouraged her to produce an extended, committed learning series that would lend itself to on-going exploration of her Integrated Model of Interpreting (IMI) and the work of Lev Vygotsky. Betty had been conducting Foundations of Interpreting workshops all over the United States and beyond for over 25 years. Many interpreters wanted an opportunity to take those workshops to another level. Thus was born Etna, NH, a five weekend series that happened from the fall of 2002 through the spring of 2003.
The Etna, NH series continued for seven years, each year having a group of participants numbering from 15 to 20 who met for four or five weekend sessions from Thursday evening through Sunday morning. In 2009 another group was formed in Maryland that has also met on a similar schedule. Attendees from both NH and MD brought work samples----interpreting work, mentoring work---that were used in small and large group activities. Applying the framework of the IMI and the learning theory of Lev Vygotsky, interpreters from all over the United States uncovered their own biases and criticisms, worked to comprehend where they were in their own learning processes, and came to understand their own and others’ interpreting work more deeply. Many participants have joined an Etna Project repeatedly, committed to continuing the work and the learning.
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