Betty's Contributions to the Field

Mastery in Mentoring: Lifelong Learning



The 2018 edition of RID's VIEWS includes this submission in ASL, featuring Kelly Decker and Betty Colonomos.

Kelly Decker and Betty Colonomos from VIEWS article

Below you will find reference to traditional publications- printed, formal documents, informative and scholarly articles, chapters in a book compilation, books, etc. Some of those printed materials, including the TBC News and articles in other publications, are available here in digital format. Some copyrighted materials on the IMI (Integrated Model of Interpreting) are also shared as resource material.

Additionally, as technology expands our concept of publications to include information on websites, such as recorded speeches in both spoken and signed languages, references to such from BMC are available here.

You're also welcome to participate in the Seeds to Sow vlog, where thoughts on various topics are raised for discussion in ASL. These are designed to elicit dialogue with interpreters and the Deaf Community. There is also an opportunity for interpreters to work into written English, by submitting translations of the vlogs.

A history of BMC would be incomplete without mentioning the Foundations of Interpreting Seminar Series and the Etna Project.


Contributions to the Field of Interpreting

  • Reflections of an Interpreter Trainer

    Published in The Reflector: A Journal for Sign Language Teachers and Interpreters, Volume 2, Winter, 1982.

    This in-depth analysis of Interpreter Training as it was in the early 1980's still has relevance to programs today. After emphasizing the need for programs to provide a model of the many tasks in the interpreting process, Colonomos' further insights highlight the need to be aware of deficits students bring with them into programs, including language fluency in both ASL and English.

  • Foundations of Interpreting Seminar Series

    This seminar series focuses on components of the Integrated Model of Interpreting in a low-stress, highly interactive environment.

    Participants learn how to convey equivalent messages by working through graduated texts and activities beginning in consecutive mode in earlier modules and moving to simultaneous modes of interpreting in later modules. Working on skills in small groups, such as text analysis, back translations and collaborative interpreting, participants develop tools for understanding and improving their own processes. Participants will also develop the language necessary to discuss the interpreting task using non-evaluative, non-judgmental language with each other and integrate strategies for continuing their own improvement

    Since 1982, Betty has refined this seminar series to foster discovery of the cognitive tasks of interpreting, offered approaches to actively being a reflective practitioner, and provided tools to talk about those with our peers..

  • Chair, National Evaluation System Study Committee (NESSC), RID, Inc (1983-87)

    Years of service on national committees on standards and evaluation of interpreters.

  • A Semantic Look at Sign Glosses

    Published in The Reflector: A Journal for Sign Language Teachers and Interpreters, Volume 9, Spring, 1984.

    A look at the problems with glossing sign, some semantic and grammatical functions of adjectives and verbs, and their importance for 2nd language learners.

  • Betty Colonomos- 2nd Recipient of the Mary Stotler Award from CIT

    Mary Stotler was a cherished interpreter in the Seattle area who was well respected in the Deaf and interpreting communities. She was a founding member of CIT and served on its board. A well respected interpreter and interpreter educator, her influence was felt both in the Northwest and in the nation. An award was established in her honor.

    Recipients of the Mary Stotler Award from CIT website>>
  • TBC News 1988-1993

    Premiere Issue of TBC News, March, 1988.

    "The TBC News will Keep you up-to‐date with information about ASL, Deaf Culture, interpreting, education, and advocacy. We’ll let you know what’s going on in this country and other parts of the world. And we’ll suggest ways to make your work more effective. Best of all, The TBC News will be there every month to let you know you are not alone, but part of a growing network of Deaf activists and hearing supporters who are becoming more visible every day."

  • The Performance of Nonnative Speakers of American Sign Language: A Question of Proficiency

    From: LaBara, A. and L. M Bailey (Ed) Issues in L2: Theory as Practice/Practice as Theory. Delaware Symposium 7 (1985) Norwood, NH: ABLEX Publishing, 1990

    The pilot study reported here investigates the performance of three experienced ASL signers' interaction with a native user of ASL on a common topic. A number of grammatical and discourse features are examined.

  • Etna Project Retreat Series

    This seminar series focuses on components of the Integrated Model of Interpreting in a low-stress, highly interactive environment.

    This retreat format, meeting for substantial amounts of time over the course of several months, binds a group of interpreters together in a shared space. A large portion of time consists of structured activity, but there is also ample time to socialize, play, exercise, and engage in dialogue about work and what you’re learning. Learning happens just by engaging in activity and conversation together, including during our free time. The retreat offers the opportunity to reflect on your learning over the course of several months, to engage with a community of like-minded colleagues in a shared learning environment.

    Since 2002, the Etna Project has generated an alumni of reflective practitioners eager to be engaged in their own learning and that of others.

  • Process Mediation as Mentoring

    From: Winston, B. and Lee, R. G. (Ed) Mentorship in Sign Language Interpreting (2013) RID, 2013

    Mentorship in Sign Language Interpreting acknowledges the contributions of mentoring to the sign language interpreting profession, especially those groups, organizations and programs that have made significant contributions to mentoring interpreters. The 15 chapters in this volume reflect the progress and impact of mentoring in its many forms, theories and models for mentoring programs. Through innovative collaboration with the authors of each chapter, the editors have provided an educational tool that has moved beyond simple implementation of mentoring projects and programs to structured evaluations and informed assessments of the impact of such programs.

  • Sign Language Interpreters and the Quest for a Deaf Heart

    "But what about ‘Deaf heart’? In my travels and conversations with many interpreters, codas, and members of the Deaf Community it has become clearer that we still are not adequately capturing the qualities and behaviors of Deaf-heart interpreters. It is not about laws, services, ethics (at least from majority/privilege perspective), or training. It is something that can’t be taught. It is difficult to explain, yet palpably absent.

    "The internalization of a Deaf heart must come from the interpreter’s own sense of justice and morality."

    Published on the Street Leverage website >>
  • Sign Language Interpreters Fostering Integrity

    Betty Colonomos presented, Sign Language Interpreters Fostering Integrity, at StreetLeverage - Live 2013 in Atlanta. Her talk explored how sign language interpreters operate with integrity and the professional mechanisms needed ensure the highest standards are upheld.

    Watch the recorded presentation, made possible by Street Leverage.

  • Seeds to Sow Vlog

    You are invited to participate in an open dialogue forum between the interpreting community and the Deaf Community using ASL as the primary language for discussing issues we face together. I have posted some topics in ASL asking for input from both communities in ASL.

    I have posted some topics in ASL asking for input from both communities in ASL. You are welcome to comment on a post or generate a new topic. All submissions are to be in ASL and will be reviewed before posting.

    Please join me at the Seeds to Sow vlog.

  • Mastery in Mentoring: Lifelong Learning

    2018 VIEWS Article in ASL

    In this article published in the RID 2018 VIEWS, Kelly Decker and Betty Colonomos dialogue about mentorship with the aim of developing mastery in our work as interpreters. While acknowledging that mentorship with a goal of achieving a level of performance has a place in our field, they put forward the argument that reflective practitioners engage in dialogue and inquiry that create opportunities for continued learning throughout our careers.

  • Covid moves us online!

    The 2019-2020 Etna Project Maryland group had 4 long weekend sessions planned; December, February, April, and June. Then who should arrive in March to disrupt our remaining plans but Covid!

    While the long weekend retreat style format of Etna could not be replicated online, Betty (with the support of colleagues) maneuvered into gear to bring this group a Zoom-friendly schedule of coming together weekly from our own homes.

    Throughout 2020, BMC has transitioned to the strategy of meeting online to continue offering high quality professional development. BMC is offering the always popular Foundations of Interpreting series. More trainings are being offered in ASL where Deaf, Coda, and hearing interpreters have an abundance of opportunities, and at reduced cost for Deaf, BIPOC, and students.

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Betty M. Colonomos Bio

Betty Colonomos head shotBetty M. Colonomos, currently serving as Director of the Bilingual Mediation Center, is a fluent ASL/English bilingual. Her academic background is in Deaf Education/Speech Pathology (B.S.), Counseling (M.A.), Linguistics (Doctoral program). Betty holds the Masters Comprehensive Skills Certificate (MCSC) from RID. She was the second recipient of the Mary Stotler Award for excellence in Interpreter Education from CIT.

Betty has chaired and served on many national committees on standards and evaluation of interpreters and served as President of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT). Ms. Colonomos has authored and appeared in video materials on interpreting and she co-authored (with MJ Bienvenu) videos on Deaf Culture, ASL Facial Grammar, and ASL Numbers. She worked as an International Sign interpreter for numerous conferences worldwide. Betty also consults with schools and the legal system as an expert on linguistic and cultural issues impacting the Deaf Community.

Betty is the developer of the Integrated Model of Interpreting (IMI), which is the most widely used model in the U.S. for teaching cognitive processes in interpreting.

She teaches the Foundations of Interpreting Series for hearing, Coda and Deaf interpreters that combines study of the IMI with a Vygotskian approach to learning.

Betty is the creator of the Etna Project (2002 – present) held in New Hampshire and Maryland. The project is a series of retreats supporting a Community of Reflective Practitioners who are interpreters committed to their own growth as they seek to become agents for change in the field of interpreting.

Deaf Foundations Fund


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.

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. Click here for more information on the series as well as a schedule of current seminars being offered.

Link to the Foundations of Interpreting page on Facebook!


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