Annotated Bibliography on Mentoring

Barber-Gonzales, D., Preston, C., & Sanderson, G. (1986). Taking care of interpreters at California State University Northridge National Center on Deafness. In M. McIntire (Ed.), Proceedings of the 9th National Convention of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Alexandria, VA: RID Publications (pp. 154-159).

A mentorship program used at CSUN is described. It has the purpose of initiating interpreters into the practice of interpreting at a post-secondary level. The premise is that interpreters need time and opportunity to grow both in terms of skills and professionalism. CSUN offers an array of mentoring and evaluation services, each of which is summarized—all towards the goal of promoting a highly qualified and collegial workforce.

Clark, T. (1994). Mentorship: A True Course in Collaboration—The RITC Region IX Mentorship Program. In E. Winston (Ed.), Proceedings of the Tenth National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. Charlotte, NC: CIT Publications (pp.129-144).

Informal mentorship has laid the foundation for the professional growth of interpreters since the field’s inception. The RITC Region IX Mentorship Program has attempted to refine mentorship to serve the large number of newly entering interpreters who do not have mentors. This paper provides a theoretical and philosophical base of this fast-growing program, along with the practical aspects of the mentorship. The training of mentors and the mentorship format, along with materials used to support mentors, and the computer-based tracking system are also defined. The program involves both Deaf language mentors and interpreter mentors.

Dean, R. & Pollard, R. (2005). Consumers and Service Effectiveness in Interpreting Work: A Practice Profession Approach. In Marschark, M., Peterson, R., and Winston, E. (Eds.), Sign Language Interpreting and Interpreter Education. NYC, NY: Oxford University Press (pp.259-282).

This paper promotes the importance of interpreting research. It provides the theoretical foundation for viewing interpreting as a practice profession and the use of Demand-Control (D-C) schema in promoting effective interpreting practice, evidenced by empirical study. There is preliminary data suggesting that Observation-Supervision has a positive impact on interpreter trainees, guided by observation forms and semi-structured supervision sessions led by mentors well-versed in the application of the D-C schema.

Dean, R. & Pollard, R. (2004). Observation-Supervision in Mental Health Interpreter Training. In L. Swabey (Ed.), Proceedings of the 14th National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. St. Paul, MN: CIT Publications (pp. 55-76).

A project was conducted with mental health interpreters in four cities across the United States utilizing observation-supervision methodology. The observation-supervision training methodology proposes better outcomes in setting-specific training by allowing interpreters to observe the dynamics and nuances of work settings, without the constraining presence of deaf consumers or working interpreters, in a structured manner followed by expert interpreter supervision. The term ‘supervision’ in this context does not refer to oversight, but rather discussions between practicing professionals aimed at furthering the effectiveness of one of the professional’s work.

Earwood, C. (1983). Providing for Comprehensive Practicum Supervision. In M. McIntire (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fourth National Conference of Interpreter Trainers Convention. Asilomar Conference Center: CIT Publications (pp. 251-279).

In supporting interpreter education students during their field experience, the mentoring/supervising personnel have a very important role. This article details the roles and responsibilities of both the mentor/supervisor of the field experience, as well as the role and responsibilities of the student. The role of mentor and supervisor are used interchangeably to refer to the individual who have oversight for the practicum experience, including direct-observation and feedback at least twice a week, and completion of other procedural activities required by the policies of the college where the interpreter education program is housed. A variety of resources are defined which support the program—including a Critique Manual to be followed by the mentors/supervisors in providing feedback to students.

Eighinger, L. (2001). Keeping PACE: Performance Assessment for Career Enhancement. In C. Nettles (Ed.), Proceedings of the 17th National Conference of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Alexandria, VA: RID Publications (pp. 37-50).

The author offers the rationale for establishing professional development programming based on careful planning and evaluation, and guided by qualified mentors. Such an approach will result in true cost effectiveness and the actual benefits (such as employee retention and enhanced work performance) that should come from the investment of time and money. Such programs should be structured with clearly defined goals and system of evaluation, versus the common practice of interpreters seizing every opportunity within grasp. The system described by the author would result in support from three different types of mentors: a deaf language mentor, an interpreter mentor, and a professional mentor. Each mentor should be one who has completed training and has sufficient experience.

Frishberg, N. (1994) Entry Level to the Profession: Response Paper #4- Internship, Practicum, Fieldwork and Mentoring. In E. Winston (Ed.), Proceedings of the Tenth National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. Charlotte, NC: CIT Publications (pp.71-74).

This paper expands on an aspect of the gap between formal education and ‘readiness to work’ by summarizing writings on mentoring, as well as some of the pre-service instantiations of the same general idea, and offers questions about how mentoring might fit into interpreter education and program standards.

Gunter, D. & Hull, D. (1995). Mentorship Essentials. In Swartz, D. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fourteenth National Convention of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Alexandria, VA: RID Publications (pp. 111-115).

A professional mentoring program was developed and implemented by Sign Shares—an interpreting business in Houston, Texas. The program places interpreters with minimal experience with more seasoned professionals on real-life interpreting assignments. The goal of the program is to increase the quantity and quality of professionally trained interpreters available for community work. The program provides opportunities for one-on-one mentoring with immediate and situation-specific feedback.

Hearn, D. & Moore, J. (2006). The Mentor Training Project: Concurrent Learning via Technology. In E. Maroney (Ed.), Proceedings of the 16th National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (pp.149-166).

A pilot Mentor Training Project (MTP) was conducted using distance education technology to improve the quality of mentoring provided by professional interpreters to interpreting interns in a college based interpreter education program. Mentors in the project were working interpreters with varying years of experience in interpreting and mentoring. The MTP included exploration and discussion of adult learning theories, general mentoring, and information specific to signed language interpreting. Mentors had the opportunity to interact online with second-year interpreting students and to practice giving them feedback on their work.

Johnson, L. & Winston, B. (1998). You Can’t Teach Interpreting At a Distance (And Other Myths of a Fading Century). In J. Alvarez (Ed.), Proceedings of the Twelfth National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. Salt Lake City, UT: CIT Publications (pp. 109-136).

A distance delivered program for interpreters working in a K-12 setting is delineated, with attention given to the design of the curriculum, interpreting competencies, and technologies involved in delivery. The curriculum is organized into knowledge based courses and skill development courses. The skill development coursework is offered both onsite and via distance technologies. Mentors are the primary staff in the implementation of the skills coursework and engage students in translation and interpreting activities, videotaping of performance, self-assessment and mentor review, modeling and feedback.

Johnson, L. & Witter-Merithew, A. (2004). Interpreting Skills Acquired at a Distance: Results of a Data-Driven Study. In D. Watson (Ed.), Journal of Interpretation. Alexandria, VA: RID Publications (pp. 95-119).

The results of a 2-year mentorship program for improving skills performance of interpreters working in the K-12 setting are reported. Students of the program were administered the EIPA as both a pre and post assessment tool. The results indicate that as a result of one year deaf language mentorship and one year interpreting mentorship, students of the Educational Interpreter Certificate Program increased their performance on the EIPA by approximately one full scale.

Maroney, E., Freeburg, J. & Gish, S. (1998). Effective In-Service for Rural and Remote Educational Interpreters. In J. Alvarez (Ed.), Proceedings of the Twelfth National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. Salt Lake City, UT: CIT Publications (pp. 109-136).

A Summer Interpreter Education Program (SIEP) was developed and implemented at Western Oregon University to address the professional development needs of interpreters working in K-12 settings in rural and remote locations. The program has three objectives—one of which is to prepare lead interpreters to become interpreter resource specialists and mentors. These participants are trained to offer individualized evaluation, training and support to staff interpreters in their respective school districts throughout the school year. Training for this group includes theoretical models of interpreting, tasks associated with interpreting, philosophy and methodology associated with various interpretation assessment/evaluation strategies, and materials, activities and curricula that can be used for providing training and evaluation.

Napier, J. (2006). The New Kid on the Block: Mentoring Sign Language Interpreters in Australia. In Watson, D. (Ed.), Journal of Interpretation. Alexandria, VA: RID Publications (pp. 25-46).

A critique of literature on mentoring and sign language interpreting is provided, and the author proposes six key phases of mentoring for sign language interpreters. The six phases are: 1) developing a mentoring plan, 2) preparing for interpreting assignments, 3) joint interpreting assignments, 4) supervised interpreting assignments, 5) analysis of recorded interpreting material, and 6) developing a portfolio. The paper also discusses why a mentoring system has not yet been successfully established in Australia, and gives some recommendations for implementing mentoring for Auslan interpreters, with acknowledgement of potential barriers.

Nishimura, J., Bridges, B., & Owen-Beckford, J. (1995). Mentoring and Evaluation Sampler. In Swartz, D. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fourteenth National Convention of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Alexandria, VA: RID Publications (pp. 164-176).

A large interpreter coordination agency, Sign Language Associates (SLA), which employs a significant number of part and full time interpreters for a wide range of settings, reports on an innovative mentorship program. Due to the gap in job readiness of newly entering practitioners, SLA determined the need to establish a mentorship program. This paper details the structure and implementation of the program—which is now international scope. The paper defines mentorship as a learning relationship between an interpreter and a more experienced interpreter that focuses on defined professional development goals.

Resnick, S. (1990). The Skill Gap: Is Mentoring the Answer? In Swabey, L. (Ed.), Proceedings of the 8th National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. Pomona, CA: CIT Publications (pp. 131-140).

In order to determine if mentoring is the answering to closing the skill gap, two basic questions must be answered. What is the nature of the gap and what is the best way to address it? The author discusses conceptualizations of mentoring and defines other formats—such as extended practica, apprenticeships, internships and individualized tutoring/remediation. Each format is discussed and its limits explored, followed by some recommendations about how mentoring and each of these other formats might be included a part of the comprehensive design of interpreter education programs.

Shaffer, L. & Watson, W. (2004). Peer Mentoring: What is THAT? In L. Swabey (Ed.), Proceedings of the 14th National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. St. Paul, MN: CIT Publications (pp. 77-92).

A program template designed to support a peer mentoring program, and outlining the seven guiding principles of the program is detailed. The Peer Mentoring Model (PMM) was designed in an effort to address the diverse needs of interpreters—geographically, ethnically/culturally, and progress towards credentialing. The goal is to support individual skill and career development, as well as to create a community of learning that could be utilized for continued professional evolution. The guiding principles are: 1) permission, 2) accountability, 3) listening, 4) authenticity, 5) ‘walk the walk’, 6) shared context and 7) separation of self from the work.

Wiesman, L. & Forestal, E. (2006). Effective Practices for Establishing Mentoring Programs. In E. Maroney (Ed.), Proceedings of the 16th National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (pp.193-208).

The authors discuss various options for developing mentoring projects. Specific emphasis is on effective practices for providing individual program training to participants, ideal organizational structure of training, participants and presentation curriculum. The authors define mentorship as an interdependent, collaborative relationship formed with the intention of professional development for one or more participants. The discussion focuses on the philosophical framework for the design of mentoring programs, which is based on social-constructivist theory, as well as mentor program evaluation considerations.

Winston, E. (2006).  Effective Practices in Mentoring: Closing the Gap and Easing the Transition. In E. Maroney (Ed.), Proceedings of the 16th National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (pp.183-192).

The National Consortium of Interpreter Education Programs mentoring work group is conducting several inter-related mentoring activities that 1) identify current and/or potentially promising practices; 2) evaluate them for effectiveness in mentoring; and 3) implement them appropriately across the United States. The sources for collecting information about current or promising practices are discussed—with particular attention given to the RID’s Standard Practice Paper, NCIEC Mentor and Mentee surveys, and NCIEC Focus Groups. One national focus group was convened and continues its work online, discussing existing practices, identifying practices that appear effective, and some emerging definitions of what mentoring is and is not.

Witter-Merithew, A., Taylor, M. & Johnson, L. (2001). Guided Self-Assessment and Professional Development Planning: A Model Applied to Interpreters in Educational Settings. In C. Nettles (Ed.), Proceedings of the 17th National Conference of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Alexandria, VA: RID Publications (pp. 153-226).

An academic course of study for educational interpreters involving two-years of mentorship—one year with a deaf language mentor and one year with an interpreting mentor—is detailed. The mentoring process engages students in performance self-assessment and reflection, with additional feedback and modeling provided by the mentor. The process involves both in-person interactions for creating a shared foundation, followed by distance delivered exchanges of work supported by online discussion. Mentors are trained and supervised by instructional managers who provide support to mentors in improving their performance, resulting in a complete cycle of support.

Witter-Merithew, A., Johnson, L., Bonni, B., Naiman, R., and Taylor, M. (2002). Deaf Language Mentors: A Model of Mentorship via Distance Delivery. In L. Swabey (Ed.), Proceedings of the 14th National Convention of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers. St. Paul, MN: CIT Publications (pp. 33-52).

This paper details a year-long language mentorship program implemented by deaf individuals working with interpreters in the K-12 setting. The program is part of an academic course of study and involves a combination of an intensive three-week onsite instruction to establish a common foundation, followed by a year long exchange of language samples supported by online discussions. Mentors are trained and participate in a structured forum of support and sharing. Empirical evidence shows that this program contributes to an increase in performance of one full scale on the EIPA.

Zachary, L. (2000). The Mentor’s Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

The mentor’s key tasks and processes for enhancing learning are described in detail. The theoretical foundation is based on Daloz’s learner-centered focus, and by focusing on the learner and the learning connection, and the learning process, defines the very core of mentoring. It is a text that presents an array of practical options, steps, and strategies for action and reflection and is useful in a variety of settings to help facilitate the mentee’s learning.
back to top

RID Views Literature Review:

Clark, T. (1993). Views from a Mentee. RID Views. Vol. 16 (10):9.

Gordon, P. (2005). The Play’s the Thing: a Dramatic Approach to Mentoring (Part III). RID Views. Vol. 22 (11). 24-25.

Hayes, L. (1993). Mentoring: Formalizing a Unique Part of RID History. RID Views. Vol. 16 (10). 1f.

Huber, M. (1993). Birth of a Mentor at the National Center on Deafness. RID Views. Vol. 16 (10):6.

Hull, D. (1993). Sign Shares Internship Pilot Project is a Shining Success. RID Views. Vol. 16 (10). 1f.

Johnson, M. (1993). Mentoring: From the Mentee’s Perspective. RID Views. Vol. 16 (10): 6.

Julander, J. (2001). Utah’s Mentoring Program. RID Views. Vol. 18 (1): 36.

Nishimura, J. (1993). Addressing Professional Development and Staff: Sign Language Associates’ Mentorship Program. RID Views. Vol. 16 (10): 11.

Preston, C. (1993). Mentorship at the National Center on Deafness. RID Views. Vol. 16 (10): 6.

Senter, E. (1993). Mentoring: Next to Ideal. RID Views. Vol. 16 (10): 3f.

Willig, P. (1993). How to determine your mentorship needs. RID Views. Vol. 16 (10): 13.

  • Contact

    Regional Interpreter Education Center
    American Sign Language Program
    405 Meserve Hall
    Northeastern University
    Boston, MA 02115
    617-373-8262 voice
    857.366.4195 VP and voice
    617-373-3065 fax

    Northeastern University Regional Interpreter Education Center