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Re-examining What "Interpreter Role" Means - An Introduction to Role-Space


Re-examining What "Interpreter Role" Means - An Introduction to Role-Space is a facilitated workshop by Amy Kroll.

This interactive, discussion-based workshop is for working and student interpreters. Over the course of this workshop, you will explore the work of Peter Llewellyn-Jones and Robert G. Lee. Their work presents Role-Space which is a model that questions the ASL-English interpreting field's traditional view of "role." Llewellyn-Jones and Lee believe when interpreters and consumers share the same understanding of "role" then interpreters can effectively make decisions that allow successful communicative interactions of the consumers. This is not a workshop designed to improve your ability to educate consumers on the interpreter's role (as historically understood and taught by the field). Instead, this workshop presents Llewellyn-Jones and Lee's challenge that role is a series of alignments between the interpreter and the people within a communicative interaction.  

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Define Role-Space and it's three axes of alignment (x = participant, y = interaction management, & z = presentation of self)

  • Compare "role" from a traditional viewpoint (the interpreter role) to an alignment viewpoint (Role-Space)

  • Discuss Role-Space as a decision-making tool for interpreted interactions

  • Analyze case presentation of real-world communicative interactions by applying the Role-Space model to evaluate the effectiveness of the decisions made by an interpreter

Workshop Specifics


This workshop will be held on January 7, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the RDS office at Colorado State University. Lunch will be provided by RDS.

This a closed workshop for CSU interpreters and is free to attend.

This workshop has four parts: 1) prep, 2) presentation, 3) discussion, and 4) case presentation.

1) Prep: Pre-reading(s) will be emailed several days prior to the workshop date. The pre-reading(s) will take 60 minutes or less and must be completed prior as it provides a common framework for us to discuss from.

2) Presentation: Recorded presentation on Role-Space from Lee (90 minutes).

3) Discussion: Explore Role-Space as a model using the content presented in the pre-reading(s) and presentation. The guided discussion will last about 60-90 minutes.

4) Case Presentation: Case presentation of communicative interactions for practice application of Role-Space (60-90 minutes). Be ready to share your real-world experiences and struggles.

Email your request for accommodations to Amy Kroll ( by 12:00 PM on January 4, 2019. 



Amy Kroll is an Approved RID CMP Sponsor for continuing education activities. This profession studies program is offered for 0.5 CEUs at the Some Content Knowledge Level.



The workshop space is founded in…​

  • Social learning - Identify with, develop, challenge, and apply ideas together respectfully.

  • Safe and brave interactions - Assume positive intent and be free of bias while seeking greater knowledge and understanding.

  • Reflective practice - Talk about the work with colleagues in a structured manner for the purpose of growth.

  • A group of equals - Everyone adds value through different backgrounds and unique life experiences. 

  • Maintained confidentiality - Shared understanding between professionals that discussion of the work will occur in appropriate situations and in an appropriate manner (Dean & Pollard, 2013).

    • "Shared understanding" is the discussion and application of ideas leading to (the goal of) improved effective practice. 

    • "Appropriate situations" is the discussion occurring in a closed environment.

    • "Appropriate manner"  is the discussion of work involves a) identifying what needs to be revealed and what does or should not be shared and b) prioritizing the most important information to share.

    • Hippocrates stated “That whatever I shall see or hear that concerns the lives of my patients which is not fitting to be spoken, I will keep forever secret” (Dean & Pollard, 2013, p. 142). If a listener happens to make connections, they will maintain confidentiality.



Dean, Robyn K., & Pollard, Robert Q. (2013). ​The Demand Control Schema: Interpreting as a practice profession. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

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