The ATA Chronicle - May/June 2020 - 27

1.	 Become familiar with Schoology and
learn to access instructional material
(documents, video links, etc.),
homework assignments, and upload
completed homework assignments.
2.	 Become familiar with the
advantages, challenges, and
solutions associated with studying
on an online learning platform.
3.	 Learn to use Audible as a tool for
improving Spanish-language fluency.
and message boards. Students work at
their own pace and on their own time.
The online flipped classroom portion
of our program during January, February,
and March was strategically designed
to take place over our worst weather/
commuting months. (Lake Tahoe is
uniquely located on the border of
California and Nevada, with an average
snowfall of 34 feet a year, which can
make commuting a challenge.) Students
were expected to dedicate five hours per
week to studying and online classwork,
for a total of 60 hours.

INTERPRETER TRAINING TIMELINE
To keep up with national advances in
our profession, as of January 1, 2019,
Barton Health started requiring all
in-person interpreters to be nationally
certified. To accomplish this, we
expanded our training program and
evolved our 40-hour course into a yearlong program. The program follows the
timeline below:
1.	 Take the American Council on the
Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral
Proficiency (OPIc) Exam.4 Students
must obtain a minimal speaking
proficiency level of Advanced-Mid
for Limited Certification on the oral
exam to enter our program. (Many
times, heritage speakers score one
level below at Advanced-Low on
their first attempt. Some then re-test
at their own expense and achieve
an Advanced-Mid for Limited
Certification on their second attempt.)5
2.	 A three-month introductory flipped
online class. This is where we really
dug in and catered to our heritage
speakers' needs by working on
increased fluency, advanced language
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vocabulary, and instilling linguistic
and cultural pride.
3.	 A 72-hour onsite medical interpreting
course. During the three-month time
period, we also include shadowing6
sessions (students watch a trainer
interpret for four to eight hours).
4.	 Preceptorships: students are observed
interpreting and coached as needed
(four to eight hours).
5.	 Practice written and oral tests (one to
two hours).
6.	 Take the National Certification
Exam (Certification Commission for
Healthcare Interpreters).

OBJECTIVES
We chose a flipped asynchronous
learning environment because we
felt it lent itself best to our somewhat
isolated geographical location (including
challenging winter driving conditions
for both trainers and students) and
scheduling issues for full-time employees
who are juggling work, parenting, and
other responsibilities.
This format worked very well for
both the instructor (Julie), who didn't
have to brave the four-hour drive on
icy roads every week during the winter,
and for Barton Health, as it meant no
disruption of our student employees'
work schedules, no need for coverage
during work time, and no classroom
space required.
We initially chose the Schoology online
learning platform for our online training
because Julie had previous experience
with it as a student. Our objectives for
the three-month course were for the
students to:

4.	 Use Audible, YouTube Videos, and
podcasts to learn and practice the
technique of shadowing.
5.	 Use the above material to harvest
medical terminology.
6.	 Learn to use online and paper
resources to research and expand
bilingual medical terminology.

COURSE ELEMENTS
Each class included a variety of activities:
group discussions, assignments, YouTube
videos, readings, and exercises. Once
students were familiar with the online
platform and had installed Audible on
their mobile devices, we introduced
them to the practice of shadowing with
an audio book that was full of medical
terminology and jargon: Cerebro de Pan
(Grain Brain) by David Perlmutter. As
the weeks went on, we built on students'
initial shadowing practice by introducing
some material on reflective learning.
We then progressed to having students
record themselves shadowing, reflecting
on their progress, and finally submitting
their recordings to the instructor.
Once the students were at ease with
using Audible to practice shadowing, we
added YouTube videos and podcasts in
Spanish and assigned more terminology
exercises from this material, which
also provided rich opportunities for
group discussions. One especially
impactful YouTube video was a TEDTalk
by Mexican actress Karla Souza, who
eloquently described her struggles in
the film industry and how she overcame
adversity. In an ensuing assigned group
discussion, students were asked to
reflect on what life lessons Karla had
learned, what inspired them about
her talk, and what lessons they
American Translators Association

27


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The ATA Chronicle - May/June 2020

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