Sign Language Interpreter Professional Development Workshop 1

March 4, 2014

Jyvaskyla Discourse Research Hub: Discourse Knowledge Mobilisation Lab
Sign Language Interpreter Professional Development Workshop Series 2014
Pathways into sign language communities

This workshop series of interpreter professional development trainings was designed to reflect on the pathways through which sign language users have become members of various (signed and spoken) language communities and how participation in these communities are, at times, mediated through interpreters.

Pathways into sign language communities:
Reflections on becoming interpreters
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014, 16:30-18:30
Puutarhurintalo, Seminaarinmäki, JYU

The series began with the first workshop Pathways into sign language communities: Reflections on becoming an interpreter.  It was designed to provide a space for interpreters to reflect on their experiences becoming members of the sign language community and interpreting profession.

The workshop began with a brief introduction by Sarah Compton (American Sign Language interpreter and researcher) on the concept of ‘new speakers/signers’ and how it calls into question traditional concepts of ‘native speakers/signers’ and ‘non-native speakers/signers’. The remainder of the workshop included hands-on activities and discussions that considered the following questions:

  • How did we become ‘signers’ of FinSL/FinSSL and enter the sign language community?
  • How did we enter the interpreting profession?
  • How do we view our position within the interpreting and deaf communities?
  • How are we positioned by others within the field (e.g., other interpreters, clients, interpreting agencies)?
  • How does the pathway through which we enter these communities influence our roles/ participation in them?

The languages of the event were primarily Finnish and English.  Refreshments were generously provided by SVT.  Certificates of attendance were awarded.

Special thanks to the agencies sponsoring interpreter participation:

Oy Mokoma ab
Via Sign Language Sector Cooperative

Organizers: University of Jyväskylä’s Department of Languages, Jyväskylä Discourse Research Hub, the Peripheral Multilingualism Project (Academy of Finland), Finnish Sign Language Centre, and SVT.

Flyers for the event can be downloaded using the links below:

(Finnish version)
(English version)

Series manager:
Sarah Compton (

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