About The Interpreting CoachAbout The Interpreting Coach

Hi! I’m Sophie Llewellyn Smith. I’m a coach, interpreter trainer, designer of teaching materials, and freelance conference interpreter.

I work with talented and highly motivated students, professional interpreters and interpreter trainers to hone their skills and take their performance to the next level with personal coaching and customised online materials.

I can help you perform under pressure and become more marketable.

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Teaching is what I do.

I have 15 years’ experience of:

  • training postgraduate students to become conference interpreters
  • coaching professional interpreters to improve their skills (particularly in retour)
  • training trainers.

That’s not all. You may already have come across my website Speechpool (www.speechpool.net).

Speechpool hosts practice material for interpreting students. I created the site 4 years ago and maintain it myself, as well as producing newsletters containing a wealth of useful information and tips for interpreters.
In the course of my 15 years as a trainer, I’ve worked with students from all sorts of backgrounds, facing many different challenges.

I’ve seen it all (or almost!) and I understand what it’s like to acquire difficult new skills, to aspire to excellence, and to try to stand out in a crowded market.

I trained as an interpreter on an in-house scheme at the European Commission – a boot camp style course, where I experienced many setbacks in my learning – and have continued to perfect my skills since then, adding a retour into French 4 years ago, and qualifying in relevant areas such as sports coaching and complementary therapies. I also have skills in web design and producing online teaching materials.

All of this means I have spent enormous amounts of time learning, revising, devising the most effective methods to absorb what I need to know, overcoming challenges, and acquiring new skills as an adult.

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I know what it’s like to be a learner. I am still a learner, and I am still becoming a more effective learner as I go along.



Whether you need:

  • advice about long term healthy habits for interpreters and stress management
  • technical tips on note taking
  • tried and tested methods for improving your retour

I can help you:

  • discover new and effective ways of learning
  • boost your skills
  • work towards the career of your dreams.

Connecting with motivated and passionate people – just like you – is what I find so exciting about my teaching career.

If you want to take your interpreting skills to the next level, I’d love to help you make it happen…

You can book a FREE discovery call by clicking on the button. Our 30 minute conversation will be a chance to explore your strengths, weaknesses, learning needs and aspirations. If you decide not to go ahead after the call, there will be no hard feelings!

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Thank you for sharing your interpreting journey with me.

Some of the highlights of my teaching experience, for those of you who’ve made it this far!

  • I coach clients around the world via Skype, helping them improve their retour skills and prepare for university exams or accreditation tests.
  • I regularly teach consecutive and simultaneous interpreting and all their component skills at the Universities of Leeds and Manchester and deliver training to interpreting students or professionals around the world.
  • I deliver masterclasses and seminars on early consecutive, early simultaneous, note-taking, EU institutions, and stress management.
  • I have provided specialist retour training for organisations such as the European Parliament, the African Union, and the UN, and for groups of professional interpreters (Vilnius).
  • I have provided pedagogical assistance on behalf of SCIC (the European Commission’s Joint Conference Interpreting Service) to various universities including Ljubljana, Accra and Thessaloniki.
  • I have participated in or co-organised several week long Training for Trainers courses on behalf of SCIC.
  • I have participated in SCIC Virtual Classes with universities such as La Laguna and ESIT, and have co-organised virtual seminars on giving effective feedback.
  • I have given advice about curriculum development to universities in the UK.

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