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ARCHIVE - Circumlocution in Educational Settings: Finding Meaning-for-Meaning Equivalents

  • 12/31/2025
  • 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • On Demand


Imagine interpreting for parent-teacher conferences at a local elementary school, having prepared what you thought to be helpful vocabulary, only to be bombarded with terms like “chill chair”, “chatterbox”, “benchmark”, and “word walls”. As a trained interpreter, using circumlocution, or a roundabout way to describe a concept, is a great tool for words as these.  However, is it possible to maintain the original register in addition to transmitting the intended message? The use of alliteration, assonance, consonance, repetition and rhymes is a common grammatical tool used in the English language when working with children. Not only does it make the subject matter more appealing, but the use of these ‘speech sounds’ is important to the learning process.  However, these educational tools are often lost in interpretation, allowing only part of the intended message to be delivered. Equally as important, the vocabulary encountered in paperwork and conferences involving Individualized Education Plans (IEP) or Behavioral Intervention Plans (BIP) can throw even a seasoned interpreter off-course. To continue lexicon-building and improve the skill set of sight translation, participants will work with quasi-legal terminology encountered in documents from school districts in Wisconsin. This webinar aims to explore the use of circumlocution in educational contexts, and provide participants with opportunities to expand both vocabulary and circumlocution skills. Finally, participants will attempt to create phrases in the target language that maintain the use of speech sounds.

Presented by: Faustina Zertler and Lisa Anderson

Faustina Zertler graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a B.A. in Spanish in 2019. In December of 2019, she earned a 13-credit Community Interpreting Certificate from Viterbo University. As a researcher, Faustina has presented research in both language access within the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and patient compliance to breast cancer follow-up. Faustina now works as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Gundersen Health System and a Spanish-English Community Interpreter for school districts in Southwest Wisconsin.


Lisa Anderson earned a Master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Curriculum & Instruction/German & English as a Second Language (ESL) in 2004. She has been an educator in ESL, German, and College Success courses for 15 years in higher education. Prior to her Master’s, she completed a BA in German Education from Concordia University in Moorhead, MN and taught at the International School of Düsseldorf in Germany. In addition, she taught in Micronesia as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher in the Peace Corps. From 2016 to 2018 Lisa lived in Central America and educated elementary and middle school students in ESL. Most recently, Lisa completed a 13-credit Community Interpreting Certificate program at Viterbo University where she has had the opportunity to work on Spanish-English language access in agriculture, rural heath and K-12 education. 


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Midwest Association of Translators & Interpreters
8 W. Lake Street
Addison, IL 60101

American Translators Association
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Alexandria, VA 22314

phone: 703.683.6100
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