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1000 Hours of Deliberate Practice

by Julie Delkamiller


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Undergraduate students must strive for academic achievement in language learning and interpreting development while also preparing for a future career as a professional interpreter in a field that continues to evolve. Preparing students adequately involves a recognition of an individual’s innate abilities while also fostering development in process, product, and professionalism. Building upon constructivist learning theory and the acquisition of twenty-first century skills, the “1000 Hours” project was created for an Interpreter Preparation Program that incorporates deliberate practice, self-assessment, reflective practice and personal introspection along the journey towards a bachelor’s degree. Qualitative and quantitative data from students across four semesters of the program will be shared in nine categories of development: ASL Language Development, ASL-English Interpretation Development, Cognitive Processing, Deaf Community Observations and Immersions, English Development, English-ASL Interpretation Development, Self-Care, Interpreting Observations and Immersions, and Volunteer/Pro-Bono Interpreting. This study has potential implications for practitioners and interpreter educators.

Participants will be able to:

  • explore the juxtaposition of deliberate and independent practice activities with structured curriculum as part of the development of process, product, and professionalism.
  • identify different activities that qualify as deliberate practice within each of the categories of the project.
  • discuss the implications of this study in terms of preservice preparation of interpreters.
  • describe the results from the research study and understand the plan for future research studies.

A white woman with ear length brown hair wearing  black shirt smiles at cameraJulie Delkamiller, Ed.D., C.I., C.T., is currently an associate professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha training individuals to be teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing and/or sign language interpreters. She holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, a master’s degree in Learning Disabilities and a bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education/Social Sciences. Julie previously taught secondary students at the Iowa School for the Deaf for 11 years and has interpreted in academic, religious, video relay, and theatre settings. She has always had a desire to work with individuals on the margins of society and strongly believes that education is the foundational necessity in which to impact change. Being involved in preparing the next generation of teachers and interpreters is a passion of hers both in the United States and in Nicaragua. The importance of educating the “whole person” permeates every area of Julie’s personal and professional life.