Université de Genève Faculté de traduction et d'interprétation Interpreting Department Virtual Institute

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

I

Admissions requirements

 

1

Do I need a MA in interpreting or an interpreter’s diploma to be eligible for any of the degree programs for interpreter trainers (the CAS, DAS or MAS)?

There are two standard profiles of candidates we accept for our interpreter training courses.

1. Formally trained interpreters with a minimum of 5 years of professional experience.

2. Self-trained interpreters with a minimum of 10 years of professional experience.

 

2

I am not a conference interpreter. Can I still enroll in one (or all) of your degree programs for interpreter trainers (the CAS, DAS or MAS)?

Our professional training courses for interpreter training are geared towards interpreters working in variety of settings and modalities. Check out the explanatory video for more information. 

 

3

I teach at university level and am a researcher but do not work as an interpreter. Can I still enroll in one (or all) of your degree programs for interpreter trainers (the CAS, DAS or MAS)?

You need not be working as an interpreter at this moment in order to apply, but you will need to fulfill the criteria laid out under question I-1 in order to be eligible for any of the interpreter training courses we offer.

4

What kind of proof is required for the professional experience as an interpreter?

You may provide evidence for your professional experience through membership in professional organizations requiring a minimum number of days worked. Alternatively, you may provide sample contracts or similar documentation.

5

Can I immediately register for the MAS or do I have to register for each course individually?

The new MAS for interpreter trainers is modular meaning that you will need to register and complete each course before moving on to the next.

II

Technical issues

 

1

What kind of technical skills do I need to use your online learning environment?

Our new online learning platform is very intuitive and user-friendly. You will be expected to be computer literate (e.g., use of standard operating systems, browsers, text-processing packages) and invest the time necessary to go over the introductory activity introducing the training environment. A comprehensive user guide is available, as are explanatory videos. Finally, our webmaster and system administrator will get you out of a bind when everything else fails. 

2

Do I need any particular software or hardware to use your online environment?

No. Our online learning platform is cloud-based and runs on all standard operating systems. As we use AV materials and have a number of real-time activities planned you will require a reliable internet connection.

3

Do I need a minimal connection speed or computing power to use your online environment?

Yes. If your connection speed is good enough to support ordinary VoIP applications like Skype® or FaceTime®, however, you will have no problem with our online learning platform.

4

Will I have to buy special software or pay licenses to use special programs?

 

No. You will not need to download anything, just log on.

III

Course structure

 

1

Do I have to take the different courses in a particular order to get the MAS?

Yes. If you want to complete the entire MAS IT then you will have to complete the CAS CIT, the CAS SIT, the DAS IT before registering for the MAS IT (in that and only that order).

2

Can I register for individual modules and only follow part of a course?

No. Each course consists of a set of logically grouped and sequentially structured modules. To benefit from the incremental nature of the course all modules within a course need to be taken in the predefined order.

3

Can I progress entirely at my own pace?

No. While the program is designed for professionals and allows for a certain degree of flexibility, there are deadlines to be kept (for each module, you’ll get a very detailed schedule indicating all due dates for submissions). Also, as roughly two thirds of the activities involve collaborative components, you will be expected to agree on a work schedule with your peers.

4

Can I personalize my course and take modules in a different order or at different dates?

No. The incremental structure of the courses is based on a pedagogical rationale. Also,  the international nature of the course(s) with participants form many countries across different time zones and the modular structure of the program require that modules be taken in the suggested order and that deadlines be kept.

5

How many activities entail individual work, how many are collaborative?

On the whole, approximately one third of all activities will require individual submissions, while approximately two thirds of them will include a collaborative component.

6

When will I find out my course schedule?

Once you have officially registered and no later than one month before the beginning of the course you will have access to the detailed course schedule. The overall program schedule is already online.

 

7

Will I need to be available for activities on specific days or at specific times?

Yes. While most of the activities can be completed in your own time, there will be some real-time discussions (with a dates/times to select from) for which virtual attendance is mandatory.

8

To which extent will you take into account participants’ time zones?

We realize that our participants live in different parts of the world and consequently, different time zones. While submission deadlines will usually be midnight GMT+1, real-time activities will be offered on different days at different times to accommodate the largest possible number of participants.

9

Are there any classes I must attend in Geneva and physically travel there?

No, for our CAS CIT, CAS SIT and DAS IT.  These courses are entirely online and do not require your physical presence in Geneva at any time.

Yes, for our MAS IT. The final step of the MAS involves a mandatory teaching practicum and final examination in Geneva.

10

Will I actually ever get to meet my trainers in person?

No, if you register for our CAS CIT, CAS SIT and DAS IT.

Yes, if you register for our MAS IT.

11

Will I actually every get individual feedback during the course?

Yes. For all individual activities you will receive individual oral or written feedback. Additionally, for each Module you will have access to a one-on-one debriefing session with a trainer.

IV

Course content

 

1

Are your courses for interpreter trainers language-specific, and if so, what language pairs will be offered?

No. All of our interpreter trainer courses focus on conceptual, methodological and strategic issues that apply across language combinations.

2

Will I be expected to teach a real class with students and how will that be done technically?

Yes. If you register for the MAS IT you will be confronted with real-life training scenarios at FTI in Geneva and have to apply all the knowledge and know-how acquired during the MAS IT. For all other courses (CAS CIT, CAS SIT and DAS IT) you will be working online and use different descriptive or recorded scenarios.

3

Will I have to assess people’s performances into English? And will you assess my English proficiency?

No. You will not be expected to assess language ability or proficiency, just like we will not assess yours. You will, however, be expected to be proficient enough in English (CEFR B2 or higher) to communicate professionally.

4

How do you cater to the needs of such a broad target audience with only four courses?

Rather than addressing all possible aspects relating to specific settings and scenarios, our courses address the basic principles and fundamental aspects required to successfully train professional interpreters in a variety of settings and scenarios.

 

V

Grading

 

1

How will my online classwork be graded?

Grading will be according to a pre-established rubric and change from module to module. Common aspects taken into account for grading are: online participation, individual submissions and collaborative submissions. Submissions may include taking points, papers, essay questions, quizzes, videos, slide presentations, etc. 

2

How do you grade collaborative activities?

Collaborative activities (much like individual activities) will be graded according to the instructions and objectives set. The grade will be awarded to all participants in a group.

3

Are your professional development degrees (CAS, DAS and MAS) recognized worldwide?

Yes. Not only are they recognized, but participants earn transferable ECTS credits for all of them: CAS CIT and CAS SIT: 12 ECTS; DAS IT 30 ECTS and MAS IT 60 ECTS.

VI

Trainers

 

1

What is the background of your trainers and do they work in all the different settings you train for?

All of our trainers have vast experience in the training of interpreters. Many of them train at university level, while others train on short courses, diploma courses and other professional development courses. Crucially, all of them are practicing interpreters with a strong methodological and pedagogical background.

2

Are your trainers experienced online trainers?

Yes. All course coordinators have at least five years of experience in online training of interpreters and many of them have successfully completed online interpreter training courses themselves.

VII

Progress – completion of the program

 

1

How many semesters do I have to complete my CAS, DAS and MAS?

Our professional development courses are offered on a year-round schedule (rather than on a semester schedule). All courses need to be completed within the set time. Exceptions and deferrals may be granted by the Board on a case-to-case basis upon scrutiny of a reasoned request submitted in writing.

 

2

What happens if I am not able to complete all modules of a course or all courses of the program?

If unable to earn the credits needed to complete a module, you will be given an additional time period of one month and a second attempt to earn the missing credits. If unable to complete a course, you may not begin a course for which that course is a prerequisite.

 

 

3

What happens if I am not able to finish my program during the year I enrolled?

If you are unable to earn the credits required to complete a module or course at the second attempt you will be eliminated from the program. Exceptions and deferrals may be granted by the Board on a case-to-case basis upon scrutiny of a reasoned request submitted in writing.  

 

 

4

Can I take one CAS module in one year and take the next modules in another year?

No. All modules for one course (CAS, DAS and MAS) must be completed during the same course cycle.

5

Can I suspend my program and take it up in another year?

No. All modules for one course (CAS, DAS and MAS) must be completed during the same course cycle.

6

What happens if for some reason I am unable to attend the practical examination planned at FTI in Geneva?

Attendance of the practicum and final examination in Geneva is mandatory for the MAS IT. Participants unable to attend the practicum and/or final examination will not be able to earn the credits required to obtain the MAS IT but will be able to re-take the practicum and final examination during the subsequent course cycle. In any case, participants will be able to get a transcript for the credits attached to the remaining modules of the MAS IT.

VIII

Thesis

 

1

Do any of the courses (CAS, DAS or MAS) entail a Thesis?

No. The CAS CIT, CAS SIT and DAS IT will include different types of written submissions, but not a thesis.  For the MAS IT you will be required to complete and submit a pedagogical portfolio in preparation of the practicum and final examination in Geneva.

IX

Practicum

 

1

How does the practical exam for the MAS work?

All participants will submit their pedagogical portfolio prior to their arrival in Geneva. During one week, participants will apply the know-how acquired during the online portion of the MAS IT during scenarios and role-plays. All activities during the practicum will be graded.

2

Do I have to come to Geneva for the practical exam?

Yes. See VII-6.

3

Will I receive pedagogical assistance for the practicum?

No. You will receive a description of several possible training scenarios you might be confronted with and submit your pedagogical portfolio accordingly. Once in Geneva, you will be in expected to show that you are able to apply the theory.   

X

Financials

 

1

When are my tuition fees due and how can I check the status of my account?

All tuition fees are to be paid in full at the latest one week before the official start of the course. Failure to pay will result in your access getting revoked and frozen until fees are paid in full.

2

Are there different ways to pay my tuition fees?

Yes. At the end of the online registration process you will be able to choose your payment method and pay by (major) credit card, PayPal or by invoice.  

3

Do you offer student loans, grants of scholarships for the CAS, DAS or MAS?

No. This is a professional development program and therefore not endowed with any grant or scholarships.

4

Does my MAS tuition cover travel and housing costs for the practical exam in Geneva?

No. Your MAS tuition fees do not cover any expenses related to your stay in Geneva. Our program secretary will be happy to assist you with affordable housing and dining options.