Why Demand for Community Interpreting Is on the Rise
The United States population is changing rapidly, and this is reflected in the languages spoken in the US. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the LEP (limited English proficiency) population in the United States grew by 80 percent between 1990 and 2013. People with limited English proficiency are typically immigrants, though this is changing. In 2013, approximately 19% of those with limited English were U.S.-born. The growing need for communication despite language barriers has resulted in a higher demand for community interpreting. Here are three reasons why:
Limited English speakers often live in the same area
It is common for less proficient speakers of English to settle in the same neighborhoods as others who speak their language. This means that they may not regularly interact with native English speakers, even if they live in the U.S. For occasions such as parent-teacher meetings or an appointment with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an interpreter who holds a Community Interpreter Certificate can be vital.
Community interpreting makes many situations go better for LEP speakers
In some cases, LEP individuals may need a community interpreter to help in situations where a medical or legal interpreter isn’t applicable. For instance, a community interpreter can be helpful when setting up or conducting school counseling. They can also aid non-profits and social workers dealing with clients. Having a person present with a community interpreter certification can make non-native English speakers feel more confident and help them advocate better for themselves. Community interpreting enhances and facilitates so many situations for the LEP population of the US.
Attitudes around foreign languages are changing, making room for more community interpreting
In the 20th century, it was common for teachers to encourage immigrant parents to teach English to their children. Today, diversity and multilingualism are celebrated. Many English speakers are even studying languages that were once stigmatized. The new tendency is to accommodate those with limited English, rather than force them to quickly assimilate.
Given the growing LEP population in the U.S., it is clear that community interpreting will be a very important part of the future. If you’re lucky enough to command several languages, you may want to consider enrolling in an interpreter training program. A Community Interpreting Certificate in such a growing field will provide you with a wide range of career opportunities. Completing a community interpreting program will also empower you to do rewarding work with people from diverse backgrounds.
Be a voice for those in your community, begin your career as a community interpreter today with our Business & Community Interpreter Training Program, designed to teach you the necessary skills to speak up in a variety of situations from local to professional settings.
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