Interpreting at IV Elementary School: A Community-Engagement Opportunity for UCSB Graduate Students

The Interdisciplinary Humanities Center seeks 10-12 graduate students with native fluency in Spanish or Mandarin to serve as interpreters at Isla Vista Elementary School during the school’s twice-yearly Parent-Teacher Conference weeks. Currently, the demand for interpreter assistance at IV Elementary well exceeds the school’s capacity to provide this service, and the school administration is enthusiastic about partnering with UCSB students in the creation of an alternative structure for assisting Spanish- and Mandarin-speaking parents and caregivers during these important conferences. By drawing upon their foreign language expertise to meet the needs of elementary students and their families, graduate students will gain experience in using their academic skills in a broader social environment that includes community members, teachers and school administrators.

Timeline and Structure:
Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled to take place at IV Elementary during the week of November 14-18, 2016, between 12:30 and 4:30 PM at 30-minute intervals. At the beginning of November, graduate students will take part in a two-hour training session with the IV Elementary School principal in which they will become familiar with family-based issues, the potential content of the conferences, the vocabulary and terms frequently used in the discussions, and issues of confidentiality. We anticipate that each graduate student will spend a total of ten hours, including training time, working as interpreters.   Rick Benjamin, Associate Director for Community Engagement at the IHC, will coordinate the program and provide additional support to participants.

To apply, please send a CV and a letter of interest describing your language training and preparation for this work, any relevant past experience you have had, and the reasons you are interested in participating in this program; also include the name of a UCSB faculty member who is familiar with your language skills and whom we may contact as a reference. Applications are to be sent to: by Monday, October 3, 2016. If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to contact IHC Associate Director Emily Zinn at

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