About BMC

Based on the works of L.S. Vygotsky and others applying his theories to education, our approach is informed by these principles:

  • learning occurs through productive activity
  • mastery is achieved through guided dialogue (scaffolding)
  • collaboration with peers and mentors in a safe environment facilitates this process
  • cognition, emotion, and culture are interrelated and significantly impact learning

Our goal is to foster interpreting communities that wish to discuss their work and value growth, that respect each learner’s zone of development, and that seek to provide the highest quality services to consumers. To this end, we offer a variety of holistic training approaches and formats that recognize and honor the diversity of our communities.

Betty Colonomos, Director of the Bilingual Mediation Center

Betty Colonomos is the director of the Bilingual Mediation Center. She was awarded the Masters Comprehensive Skills Certificate (MCSC) from RID in 1980 and was the second recipient of the Mary Stotler Award for excellence in Interpreter Education from CIT. Betty has served as the chair of many national committees on standards and evaluation of interpreters, most recently serving as co-chair on the CIT/ASLTA Task Force on Interpreting Standards.

Well known as an educator of interpreters and a language consultant, Betty developed the Integrated Model of Interpreting- the most widely used model for teaching processes used in training sign language interpreters. She consults with schools and the legal system as an expert on linguistics and cultural issues impacting the Deaf community and provides services in the area of instruction, consultation, mentorship, cross-cultural mediation, language assessment, interpretation, translation and curriculum development.



The Bilingual Mediation Center does work with other professionals in the arena of teaching, interpretation, and assessment. These colleagues are of the highest caliber and meet or exceed our standards. Specific information will be shared at the time of contract negotiation.

The ETNA PROJECT fosters stimulation, introspection, dialogue, respect, and feeds an open, hungry mind.

The Etna Project engages a growing community of interpreters who are reflective practitioners. We gather several times throughout the year for a long weekend of dialogue, sharing, and learning. We share a common language - terms for different aspects of the interpreting process that we use on a daily basis - and a common model for discussing the decisions that take place in the mind between the reception of the source language and the production of the target language. Individual practitioners refine their understanding of their own interpreting processes while in this collective environment.

As a group, these interpreters develop and apply a shared vocabulary and understanding of the interpreting process through active engagement in dialogue with one another. This opportunity is open to anyone who has taken the Foundations of Interpreting Processes Seminars I and II.

We hope you'll consider learning with us in this environment.

The Bilingual Mediation Center relies on individuals locally to assist in coordination of seminars and retreats for both the Foundations of Interpreting Series and the Etna Project Series.  If you are interested in bringing these seminars or retreats to your area, please consider talking with those who have experience coordinating them.

For the Etna Project Series, you may contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in Maryland or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in New Hampshire.  They may be able to refer you to others closer to your area who have attended the series.

For the Foundations of Interpreting Series, fill out the form here if you are considering coordinating or sponsoring the seminar series in your area.

Current offerings of various modules of the Foundations of Interpreting Seminar Series are being offered around the country (links to events on the map above). The series has been offered in many areas since 1982 (green on map to left). If you'd like to bring the series to your area, let us know! We'd love to see this map filled with green!

We have not yet offered Foundations in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.

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Deaf Foundations: Ally Donations

The Deaf Foundations of Interpreting Seminar Series is offered for Deaf Interpreters. This specialized series is for Deaf Interpreters only.

Donations from the larger interpreting community and elsewhere help to defray the cost of providing these seminars to our Deaf Interpreter colleagues.

Click here to contribute.

The Etna Project Retreat Series

The Etna Project returns to Maryland!

The next series is scheduled from December 2018 through June 2019 at Blue Mountain Retreat Center. There will be no series in New Hampshire for 2019. More info here

Foundations of Interpreting

The Foundations of Interpreting Seminar Series provides insights into The Integrated Model of Interpreting and the processes we engage in while interpreting.

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