Level 6 Diploma in Community Interpreting – what options should I pick?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked here at ISL and there is no right or wrong answer. You can pick whatever options you please. However, for those students wanting to undertake the more higher paid, demanding and complex assignments such as the Police and Courts, there are certain options that we would recommend to increase your opportunities.

Our Level 6 Diploma in Community Interpreting (DCI) is a vocational qualification which means you are assessed continuously throughout your studies via written and practical assessments. Your course and assessments are an all-in-one approach rather than a one off pass or fail exam; as long as you complete all the work involved to the specified criteria, you get your certificate, period.

Within the DCI, you have to complete six mandatory modules, including Consecutive Interpreting and Simultaneous Interpreting. You then have the opportunity to select up to four specialist units ranging from Financial and Business Interpreting to Court and Police Interpreting. Our students get the chance to mix and match their qualification to their specific needs and wants. For example, if you want to be an Interpreter in the Mental Health settings but also want to explore Conference Interpreting, you can pick the optional units that support these goals.



We often get questions from our students asking what optional units they should pick if they want to get the most out of their Interpreting career. The answer to this would be the Law options. This consists of:

  • Interpreting in Police Settings
  • Interpreting in Court Settings
  • Interpreting in the Prison/Probation Service
  • Supporting Interpreting through Draft Written Translations From and Into English

Completing these modules will allow you to work on the MoJ register at the highest level, become a member on the NRPSI register and work on all available Interpreting assignments within the UK. If you want to work on NHS, Mental Health Interpreting or any other assignments, these optional modules will allow you to do so, however, if you do not study the modules above(say you took health interpreting instead of police) you WILL NOT be able to work within law settings. Worth thinking about.

For these reasons, when students ask us which optional units are the best ones to pick we usually advise students to undertake the Law options, even if they plan on doing other Interpreting work, so they can fulfil their potential within their Interpreting career.

If you would like to view our Level 6 Diploma in Community Interpreting (DCI), please click here.

If you have any questions or wish to speak to the team please contact us on info@islinguists.com or 08007573475.

This blog is brought to you by Tess Wilkinson, Learning and Development Specialist at ISL.



What Prevents Adults from Learning English?

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Is it possible to learn English in adulthood? What myths prevent us from learning foreign languages and how to achieve quick results? The answers are below!

The older you are, the more tools you can apply to achieve your goals. However, the greatest reason for unwillingness to learn English in adulthood is the next three mis-beliefs discovered by Lucy Adams, one of the British essay writers:

#1 Learning in Adulthood is Much More Complicated

 Children surpass adults only in two aspects:

  1. The ability to acquire the right accent. However, adults are quite capable of achieving the fluency of the native speaker. But even if an adult is more likely to speak with an accent, do not get too upset as it doesn’t prevent other people from understanding you.
  2. Children are free from defeatist thoughts. In other words, they treat learning as a natural process and quickly absorb new

Despite the two above disadvantages, adults can achieve better results through consciousness learning and focus on the process.

#2 Adults Should Learn Foreign Languages in the Same Way as Children Do

The child's brain is different so that one should not expect that children and adults will share the same teaching methods. It is not true. Alas, adults sometimes try to learn the language, abandoning all the strategies and experiences that have helped them to succeed. They are trying to master a foreign language naturally, just as they have mastered their native language. It's impossible. Such attempts inevitably lead to disappointment. The point is to rely on the accumulated cognitive experience and not to try to imitate the children.


#3 When Learning a Foreign Language, One Shouldn’t Use the Native Language

Some adult students believe that they should never translate from their native language to a foreign language. However, it deprives them of a free command of their native language. Although not all English phrases can be directly translated, there are many aspects that one can successfully borrow from any language!

For example, an adult native English speaker studying Portuguese would hardly notice that the Portuguese word "insidioso," which describes something gradually harming, resembles the English word "insidious." It's pointless to pretend that the knowledge of Portuguese is useless in this case.

Although sometimes the meaning does not match, it is very useful to look for common concepts, categories, and templates, and this is a great advantage of adult learners over children.

Unfortunately, any of these myths can prevent any adult – even with the highest motivation – from mastering English. A lot of research has been devoted to these incorrect statements, and the results in the field of cognitive science will be useful to all adults studying a foreign language, not just English!

Does it Really Take Twenty-One Days to Form a New Habit?

In 1960, the plastic surgeon Maxwell Moltz published a book called Psycho-Cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life. In it, he stated that a number of phenomena require twenty-one days to change (for example, "people must live in a new place for about three weeks to feel at home"). It is unclear how he received this magic number, but the subsequent studies have shown that the formation of a new habit does not take some fixed period. So focus on the quality rather than on the number of lessons!

Try to make English a significant part of your life. Some textbooks include stickers with words that can be glued to different objects. For example, if you learn Spanish, you can paste a sticker with the word "la cuchara" (a spoon) to the drawer of the kitchen table so that each time when you take a spoon, you will see the word associated with it.

Does the Delay Equal to a Failure?

Despite the best intentions, life always makes adjustments to our plans. You may find that you postponed foreign language classes for several days or even weeks. You may be upset, but that does not mean you should give up!
The formation of new habits is sometimes studied in the context of quitting smoking. The best strategy to predict whether a person will eventually quit smoking is to count the number of times he or she has been able to give up the habit for at least a few days or weeks.



If you find yourself return to the old habit, do not think that you will not be able to master it. Do not forget that it's easier to learn familiar words than from scratch! Delays don’t lead to a failure until you try!


Language Aspects

Although teachers usually try to correct all mistakes, they still get used to your speech style. The teacher knows your accent, vocabulary, as well as the most commonly used grammatical constructions and favourite topics for discussion. That’s why the teacher understands you much better than an unfamiliar native speaker. This phenomenon is called "language proficiency within the Institute." But why is there such a big difference between the use of language in the classroom and the real world? The answer can be found in a phenomenon called "a common platform."

The common platform is typical not only for studying foreign languages. In any conversation, the interlocutors take into account personal and situational factors that they will or will not have in common. In other words, when you are talking to someone, you always take into account things which, according to your opinion, the interlocutor knows and doesn’t know. And now think about how much more difficult is to control a platform with someone belonging to a different culture!

One way to increase the chances that you will be understood outside the class is to think about what you can have in common with the interlocutor. For example, you can start with greetings and courtesies to help the interlocutor get accustomed to your accent.


Create Memories

The size of our memory is determined by many factors, such as the level of intelligence (people with higher IQ show higher results in the tasks of memorising figures) and mood (people in chronic depression show lower results).

Another important factor is the age. The memory size grows in childhood and ceases to do it closer to 20. However, this s not such a big problem as it may seem at first glance. Adults have much more knowledge of the world than children so that they can apply the division into fragments much more effectively. Age can badly affect the number of memorised figures, but knowledge and experience help to compensate for memory impairment, giving meaning to these figures.

How can it be applied to learning? After listening, students are often asked to repeat it word-by-word. This is a tough task even for children, and with age, it becomes even more difficult. Even when people are asked to do this in their native language, they often fail. Native speakers paraphrase what they hear, preserving the meaning of the phrase, even if they do not use the same words. When foreign language learners try to repeat long passages word-by-word, they rather test their memory than develop their language skills. Adults learn better not by memorising by heart but integrating new concepts and material into the already existing cognitive structures!

Instead of the Conclusion

Remember the basic principle: positive information is processed more efficiently and is remembered better and longer than negative. The superiority of positive information over the negative was demonstrated in numerous studies, including those dealt with the memorisation of words, grammatical constructions, as well as the content of dialogues and texts.
Of course, it’s impossible to use only positively coloured words and sentences, but you can at least approach the process positively. Consider the next two sentences: a) "President is a woman;" b) "President is not a man." The first one will go easier because positive linguistic characteristics are easier to process. The same applies to listeners who will faster understand what you say.

I wish you best of luck in learning English!


Lucy Adams is an aspiring businesswoman and blogger. Most of all, she’s interested in covering the most intriguing topics of yours, whether they are about business, writing or literature. Share your best ideas with the blogger and get a high-quality guest blog in a week or so!

What Do Students Really Think Of ISL?



At ISL, we are really keen on receiving feedback from our customers and students as this allows us to continually grow and develop as a business and improve the services we offer.

 We are delighted to announce that our first Level 6 Diploma in Community Interpreting student, Elona, has had all of her work signed off and is awaiting her certificates. This is a great milestone for ISL and in light of this amazing success, we are offering you 10% off our Level 6 qualification with this code: feedback10. Please present the code to a member of the ISL team in your telephone discussion.

See what Elona had to say about her studies below:

1) Have you enjoyed the qualification?
Yes, I have enjoyed my qualification. It has been something different studying online.

2) What has been your experience vs. your initial perception of the qualification?
My initial perception of the qualification was that it will be straight forward and easy but I was wrong. The course needs lots of dedication and hard work.

3) Did you progress as well as you hoped prior to making a start?
I think I have done well but I have to mention a few people to thank them for their support: Pam, Robert Teresa and Ajub have been really helpful and professional.

4) What were the biggest challenges you faced?
Knowing my target language in-depth IE: terminology. I never knew how much I can learn.

5) What would you change about your experience?
Overall, It has been great. There were some delays getting everything signed off but I still enjoyed the course. Loved the activities.

6) What did you enjoy most about the qualification?
The online activities and the CPD days where I got to meet other students.

7) Is there anything that you would like to see more or less of in the qualification?
I personally think the assessor plays a key role in the course so having the right assessors working for ISL is key to success. Every student has a different learning style.

8) How has completing this qualification impacted on your life?
It will open more doors for my future.

9) What advice would you give to anyone thinking of taking on this qualification?
Make sure you dedicate enough time for the course.

10) What is next for you?
This certificate will help me a lot to succeed further into the interpreting career, so who knows, I just want to keep climbing stairs of success.