Professional interpreters must continually improve their skills and knowledge. Our 10-week, 60-hour course covers the foundations of French dialogue interpreting—enabling you to take your skills to the next level and earn a micro-certification.

  • This course is open to those looking for training and enhanced skill development in the field.
  • Previous students at Sainte-Anne, those aged 60 and older, and members of our partners -the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Nova Scotia, Access Language Services; Alliance Française Halifax; Réseau Santé Nouvelle-Écosse; Régie de la santé de la Nouvelle-Écosse; Consortium national de formations en santé and l’Association des juristes d’expression française de la Nouvelle-Écosse  - receive a 10 per cent discount.
  • Learn online via Microsoft Teams.
  • Earn a professional accreditation in your field from one of Canada’s most prestigious French Language Universities.

The Foundations in Dialogue Interpreting course was offered twice in 2021 with instructor Jeff Staflund, Chief Interpreter with the Government of New Brunswick from 2013-18 and a federally certified conference interpreter (English booth) since 2010. Staflund developed a program from A-Z with input from ATINS members for the base course in Interpretation.

Staflund, who describes himself as a lifelong student, is based in Winnipeg and has been working in the language profession for more than 25 years. A teacher, translator and interpreter, he holds a doctorate in education with a specialization in training interpreters.

Jeff Staflund - Teacher/Developer of course content

Jeff Staflund

Susan Tremills taught Foundations in Dialogue Interpreting in Spring 2023. Susan has been a French and English instructor for more than 25 years, first in Japan and then in Vancouver and Halifax. She has also been a community interpreter for the past eight years, working primarily in the medical field. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree with a specialization in French immersion pedagogy at the secondary level. Susan, based in Halifax, has been a passionate Francophile since a very young age. The contact, support of people and promotion of cross-cultural exchange are the aspects of her work that she finds most rewarding.

Susan Tremills - Professor

Susan Tremills

This first course provides a comprehensive review of the foundations of dialogue interpreting (a.k.a., community interpreting) concepts and techniques, as well as the role of the interpreter in the Canadian context. (If you didn’t know that roles vary from one country to the next, then that’s a sign this course may be for you). We also look at the appropriate uses of each mode, the basic terminology associated with the profession, and the most common settings that interpreters work in. Finally, we spend a lot of time building practical skills in sight translation and consecutive interpreting. (Simultaneous is introduced later in the medical and legal modules.) Whether you are new to interpreting or have been doing it for years but without formal training, there is something in this course for you. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to network with a team of growth-minded and motivated colleagues from across Canada.


This 10-week, 60-hour program covers the Foundations of Dialogue Interpreting and is offered online using the Microsoft Teams platform. Forty hours are devoted to work in class, and 20 hours - two hours per week - are for individual work, including assignments to be submitted for correction and feedback, and review of classroom materials and activities. This course is a prerequisite for affiliated ones in Interpretation.

Next Session, Registration and Deadlines

Next course: Sept. 17 to Nov. 21, 2024
Registration : June 11 to Sept. 11, 2024

Please note: As we need to verify candidates’ abilities before registration in Foundations in Dialogue Interpreting, if you don't have an ILSAT or CILISAT in French and English, please contact us to arrange a short online assessment with a teacher first. This free test enables us to confirm your abilities in both languages, and your aptitude for interpretation.

These assessments can be arranged throughout the year.

Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


The cost of registration is $650.

Students who have already taken a course with Sainte-Anne; those 60 years of age or older; and members of our partners – the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Nova Scotia (ATINS), Access Language Services, and Alliance Française Halifax; Réseau Santé Nouvelle-Écosse; the Nova Scotia Health Authority; the Consortium national de formations en santé; l’Association des juristes d’expression française de la Nouvelle-Écosse - receive a 10 per cent discount and would pay $585 rather than $650.

Each student will require a textbook for the course, which will cost about $75 Canadian. Students can purchase the book at time of registration and it will be mailed to you before the course.

Eligibility and Pre-Course Requirements

This Interpretation course is open to those who are looking for further training in the field.

As a high level of French is required for this course, anyone wishing to take this class must have a strong command of both of Canada's official languages and have successfully completed the ILSAT or CILISAT language exam in English and French with a minimum of 75 per cent. These exams measure linguistic levels and one’s aptitude for interpretation.

For anyone who would like more information about the ILSAT, please contact Access Language Services (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). ALS is a test centre and administers the test in its offices, for a fee of $200.

It should be noted that ILSAT or CILISAT results may take 4-6 weeks to receive, and that a copy must be sent to the school afterward. In cases where there isn’t enough time before the start of a session, the student can take an informal, 15-minute online assessment with the teacher to determine their abilities. If the result of the interview is positive, the student can take the course with the condition of passing an ILSAT (Interpreter Language & Skills Assessment Tool) or CILISAT (Community Interpreter Language and Interpreting Skills Assessment Tool) before the end of the session.

Completion Requirements

To successfully complete this course and earn a micro-certification and digital badge, students must attain a minimum grade of 70 per cent. The final mark will be based on homework, presentations, role play, simulations and attendance. As regular attendance is necessary, after two absences a point will be deducted for each class missed.

Make-Up Dates

In the event of any cancelled classes, a make-up one will be held. Students will be consulted and informed in advance of an alternate date.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

With our recognition of prior learning (RPL), you can validate the Foundations in Dialogue Interpreting course and obtain your micro-certification badge, just as if you had taken the course, but without actually doing so.

How to apply for an RPL?

  1. Fill in the registration form (in French).
  2. Attach all necessary supporting documents.
  3. Send your complete application preferably by e-mail to Juliette Moncada (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and/or Craig Meister (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

What is the RPL content?

Our RPL process for Foundations in Dialogue Interpreting course includes:

  • Your ILSAT or CILISAT test results (minimum score of 75% in English and French) – a prerequisite for any RPL application
  • A form about the role and ethics of interpreters in Canada
  • A consecutive interpretation
  • A sight translation
  • An interview