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District Volunteer Interpreters Program

The VSB District Volunteer Interpreters Program is currently managed by the Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) Program as an integral part of the Newcomer Welcome Centre’s services.

Since 2021, the SWIS program has been recruiting and training potential volunteer interpreters in interpretation practices such as the interpreter’s role and responsibilities, fundamental interpretation skills, code of conduct, confidentiality, etc.  Many of these volunteers are VSB parents who have received a five-day Newcomer Parent Leadership training offered by the SWIS program before their volunteer involvement.

To request a volunteer interpreter please follow the steps below:

  1. Confirm the student or family member(s) truly needs interpretation support; although many families’ home language is not English, they can communicate well in English.
  2. Check the availability of Multicultural Liaison Workers (MCLW) with the desired language assigned to your school for assistance first.
  3. Should an MCLW not be available, please decide whether you would like to conduct the interpretation service virtually (on MS Teams or Zoom) or in person.
  4. Complete the online volunteer interpreter request form.
  5. Please allow a minimum of 48 hours of processing time; we will, however, provide you with an interpreter in the shortest time possible.

Once your request form is completed, an administrative assistant will process your application by locating a volunteer who has the language capacity and the volunteer availability.  Then you will receive an email from volunteer@vsb.bc.ca to inform you of the volunteer interpreter’s contact information so you can arrange the date, time, and method of service (virtually or in person) with the volunteer interpreter directly.

If you would like to contact the district volunteer interpreters program, please use volunteer@vsb.bc.ca  for direct communication.


Communicate Effectively Through Interpretation 


To communicate effectively through interpretation, we would like to suggest the following actions (adapted from Clarity Interpreting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na_d-LIvyRo)

  •  Speak directly to the client
  • Give appropriate pauses for interpretation
  • Understand that your message may require more, or fewer, words in the target language to be communicated efficiently
  • Understand that your interpreter will interpret everything without adding or omitting any content
  • Do not request on-site document translation
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