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WCSU to offer community interpreting classes this summer

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of World Languages and Literature (WLL) will present the summer 2019 class, “Community Interpreting.” The 40-hour program will be offered during Summer Session II twice a week, on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 8:45 p.m., each with a 15-minute recess, from July 1 to August 3.

Adjunct Professor of Spanish Miguel Purgatorio, a professional interpreter and translator, will lead the class. While the course is taught in English in order to accommodate a multilingual classroom, it is designed for bilingual individuals. Training sessions ground students in what they need to know to launch a career in medical interpreting, educational interpreting or social services interpreting.

“Community interpreting is one of the fastest-growing professions in the world,” Purgatorio said.

Students will use the most comprehensive textbook and workbook in the field. Content will include ethics and standards of practice, interpreting protocols and skills, professional identity and role of the interpreter, medical terminology and practical interpreting exercise. This course has never before been offered at any higher-education institution in Connecticut.

“I am very thrilled to be able to offer this training at WCSU,” Purgatorio said. “It provides the prerequisite for national medical interpreting certification. This is an interactive, skills-based program, and upon successful completion of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion.”

He anticipates a very diverse group of students to join the course, where bilingual nursing students and medical staff are also welcome to complete the training. Participants must also be at least 18 years of age, hold a diploma for completion of secondary studies or equivalent, demonstrate oral proficiency in their working languages and show literacy in their working languages.

Chairperson and Professor of World Languages and Literature Dr. Galina Bakhtiarova expects good turnout for the program and believes this opportunity will help WCSU students within their major.

“We anticipate students, especially Spanish-speaking, as well as members of the community, as a targeted audience,” she said. “For WCSU students, this class will count toward a minor or major in Spanish and Spanish translation. We are very excited to create this opportunity.”

Purgatorio completed a six-day training program in The Community Interpreter International with Cross-Cultural Communications, LLC last summer. This is the only international training agency in the United States for medical and community interpreting and cultural competence based in Columbia, Maryland. The program licenses trainers across the U.S. and worldwide to deliver a national medical, social services and educational 40- to 100-hour interpreter training curriculum.



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.