The National Center for Interpretation awarded two graduate student fellowships to SLAT PhD Candidate Amanda Snell and Transcultural German Studies PhD Student Patrick Ploschnitzki. Please join us in congratulating Amanda and Patrick, and read more about their projects below.
Amanda Snell, Access, Ethics, and Play in Translation and Interpretation: A Professional Development Series for 3rd-5th graders
Language minority children deal with issues of translation and interpretation on a daily basis, and the schools they attend must provide families access to information in a language they understand. However, there are limited opportunities for children to dialogue about translation and interpretation at school. Teaching children about translation is largely absent from professional literature, though a body of literature has reported on the concerns with relying on children to interpret for their parents. Literature has also reported on strategies for teaching interpretation at the university level. However, studies have not reported on efforts to teach interpretation to language minority elementary school children. Through the proposed project, I will offer a series of hands-on translation and interpretation workshops for elementary-aged children at a local school with a high population of language minority families. The workshops will aim to increase language minority families’ language access in their public schools as well as other contexts. The workshops will be designed to 1) promote interpretation as a professional activity, 2) encourage language play to get children excited about the languages they speak and about languages in general, 3) teach children ethical considerations of translation and interpretation, including individual rights to interpreting services. This project aligns with NCI’s mission of promoting language access for language minority families by dialoguing about these themes with 3rdthrough 5thgraders at a local public school.
Patrick Ploschnitzki, "Better (Trans)late than Never": Re-Introducing Translation into the Foreign Language Classroom
Ever since the so-called “translation method” was discarded as a communicatively inadequate method for second language teaching and learning, there has been a loss of the ability to critically and reflectively utilize translation. For this project, Patrick will analyze the ways in which learners of German as a Foreign Language at a large state university already use translation (i.e., Google Translate), and what attitudes there are towards it. He will then attempt to include translation in lesson plans in a more overt and destigmatized way. His aim is to help learners discover another method to acquire language and to inspire them to discover their passion for translation.