Laney College

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions


1. Overview of the California Legal System and California Law: POSCI 021 (3 units)

Introduction to the California State Court System: Trial Courts, Appellate Courts, the Supreme Court, the types of cases heard at each level and review of rights and responsibilities of individuals engaged in court proceedings; the role of the California Judicial Branch relative to the executive and legislative branches of the local California state government; discussions on court protocol, personnel, due process, jurisdiction and high profile legal cases that have compelling social and political significance; comparison of California’s legal system with other selected U.S. states and international systems.

2.  Introduction to Spanish-Language Legal Interpretation: LCI 201 (3 units)

This is an introductory course for people who are interested in working in the field of interpretation either in the court system, community legal services or other non-legal community environments. The focus is to acquaint the student with the interpreting profession, the role of the interpreter in legal and community settings and the different modes of interpretation: consecutive, simultaneous and sight.  The course is structured to give the student a familiarity with key legal terms, English and Spanish vocabulary, criminal procedure in the California justice system, and the professional expectations of judiciary and community interpreters. Students are provided guidance on developing study habits and terminology resources. The course provides an overview of the many professional opportunities available in this expanding, diverse and profitable field of professional interpretation.

3. Sight Translation: LCI 202 (3 units)

Sight Translation lays the groundwork of interpreter training; principles of sight translation (oral); skills and practices; legal terms used in court proceedings; overview of key linguistic differences between English and Spanish; legal vocabulary development in English and Spanish; practice with a wide variety of documents in English and from a variety of Spanish speaking countries.

Sight translation is one of components of the California Sate Exam for Spanish Interpreters.

4. Consecutive Interpretation: LCI 203 (3 units)

Introduction to the principles of consecutive interpretation; development of oral interpretation skills; acquisition of legal terms as well as regional vocabulary and idioms used by Spanish speakers in legal proceedings and community settings.

Consecutive interpretation is one of components of the California Sate Exam for Spanish Interpreters.

2.  Simultaneous  Interpretation: LCI 204 (3 units)

Acquisition and development of skills required in simultaneous interpretation in legal proceedings such as arraignments, pretrial hearings, motions, pleas and sentencing as well as legal arguments, trials. The course also provides an overview of the wide array of community settings where simultaneous interpretation is appropriate.

Simultaneous interpretation is one of components of the California Sate Exam for Spanish Interpreters.

6. Preparation for the California Court Interpreter Certification Exam: LCI 205 (3 units)

Review of simultaneous, consecutive, and sight translation skills required in judicial settings, with a focus on the types of written and oral questions and challenges applicants will have to answer in the California (Consortium) Court Interpreter Written and Oral Examination; review of basic language skills, including vocabulary, cognates and false cognates, idioms, synonyms, antonyms, English and Spanish syntax, reading comprehension; review of the Professional Standards and Ethics for California Court Interpreters; description of exam environment and preparation for practical and psychological challenges of exam.

College-level proficiency in English and Spanish is required for successful completion of this program.

This is the only program that contains a Political Science component that includes curriculum content about the California state courts and judicial system.

All courses within this program are also available as independent offerings for students interested in the individual subject or subjects.