MCIS Free Training: Nine More Recipients Graduated!

By: Cheryl

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator

This spring, MCIS successfully supported nine more graduates from our free training programs in complete their training and evaluation.

These nine language professionals were enrolled in 2023 through the lucky draw provided in the MCIS Vendor Relations Newsletter. Eight of them have completed the OLIT (Online Language Interpreter Training)program, and one has completed the ACIT (Advanced Court Interpretation Training) program. The languages they work in include Spanish, Vietnamese, Hindi, Tamil, Arabic, Punjabi, Turkish and Tagalog.

As a 35-year-old not-for-profit social enterprise, it’s been a tradition for MCIS to grant free or discounted spots in our translator and interpreter training programs to qualified candidates on our roster who speak minority languages and wish to work in the language industry, but lack formal training or the financial support. These spots are offered throughout the year, with a specific number available each month for various programs.

To provide more insights into MCIS interpreter and translator training and offer information for those interested in our free programs, we conducted a short interview with MCIS Training Department:

Q: How are the trainees recruited?

A: They are recruited in two ways: either we identify them after shortlisting resources on our roster based on language or need or we advertise free spots in our newsletter for specific rare languages and offer spots to people who apply, based on a lucky draw or at times, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Q: How are the courses designed to help language professionals serve the community after graduation?

A: In addition to providing theoretical knowledge, practical advice and information on current tools on the art of interpreting and translating, these trainings introduce trainees to a variety of situations they may encounter, various ethical dilemmas that they may need to confront, and on ways of resolving or overcoming them. These trainings provide a very practical picture of general, legal and healthcare settings in Canada and prepare language professionals to become familiar with what is generally entailed in each type of settings and help build vocabularies relevant to these contexts.

Q: What was the envisioned outcome of the free training?

A: Trained interpreters can proceed with completing a language test and become “Professional Community Interpreter.” They can therefore become eligible for a wider range of job opportunities. They can also inspire community members speaking their language to consider interpreter training.

Q: How will the outcome address the growing demand for language services in Canada?

A: By supplying trained interpreters and translators familiar with Canadian social service settings, we can better assist community members with limited English proficiency. Since we try to target individuals based on language and take the initiative to support rare languages, this will ensure equity in service by producing more trained and qualified interpreters and translators in these communities.

Q: How do you think the free spots aligned with MCIS’ social purpose mission and value?

A: No doubt that training more language professionals aligns with MICS’s social purpose mission and value as this guarantees a better and higher quality of service provided to our customers. This helps us to uphold the human right to be informed, heard and understood while ensuring we make a difference while maintaining integrity and driving innovation.

Q: What other free programs or spots do you expect to launch in the future?

A: In addition to our core interpreter training, we might consider offering more free spots for remote interpretation training since an increasing number of jobs are done remotely these days, requiring people to get used to platforms like Zoom or Teams and get familiar with protocol related to video or phone interpretation. Besides, we are also considering opening up some of our continued competence series training.

Q: Have MCIS done this kind of initiative in the past?

A: Yes, in 2022, as part of MCIS SBI, MCIS funded two cohorts, one to train Afghani speakers to become community interpreters and another for Rohingya speakers. For both cohorts, MCIS bore the expenses for the language assessments of participants.

It is a MCIS tradition to give full scholarships to individuals who are not able to cover the course fees to become interpreters.

Q: What is the best part about these initiatives?

A: The best part of these initiative is that if a person is sufficiently interested in progressing their career in the language industry, they will get the support they need through us. From the candidate’s perspective, we hope this initiative inspires confidence in MCIS and motivates participants to strive to do better for the community and prepare themselves for such a worthy cause.

Q: How can other people interested in MCIS Training win the free training opportunities?

A: Keep an eye on our monthly newsletter.

Q: Any words of encouragement for potential future trainees!

A: We’re always there for you in your journey of professional development and in contributing meaningfully to the community.

In the coming years, MCIS will still continue to build the capacity of our roster for our training programs. Whether you are a bilingual student looking for a part-time job, a new graduate looking for a head start, or a newcomer on the way to building a new life in Canada, MCIS Training provides the opportunity for you. Sign up for our newsletters for more information on professional development opportunities, or sign up for our courses and become a language professional today!

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