Language Connect are crowned Business Language Champions
Language Connect devised the workshops in close collaboration with the Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College in Willesden, London to educate its students about career opportunities in the translation and interpreting services industry. The workshops confirm Language Connect’s commitment to support the Business Language Champions programme which is aimed at inspiring young people to learn languages through interaction with the business community.
The Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College was an ideal choice for the workshops because of its specialist status as a language college and the large numbers of its pupils for whom English is a second language. Following consultation with the school, Language Connect designed the first workshop for Year 10 and 11 students whose first language is Polish.
The workshop’s aim was to help students realise that their natural linguistic abilities could lead to opportunities in higher education and even a career in the language services industry. The workshop successfully achieved this goal by involving the students in an interactive session where they could directly use their bilingual skills in a face-to-face interpreting context. A Language Connect interpreter demonstrated with other staff some typical interpreting scenarios to help the students understand the basic principles. The students then created and acted out role play dialogues themselves in scenarios such as a doctor’s surgery and a courtroom. The best role plays were rewarded with Language Connect certificates.
The 16 students who participated in the workshop showed real promise as future interpreters and several expressed interest in exploring the profession further by asking for work placements at Language Connect. Iwona Stepien, Partner of Language Connect, who is herself Polish said after the workshop: “It was great to see the enthusiasm and creativity of the students. I think it was a real eye-opener for the pupils, teachers and us. I was also pleasantly surprised at the number of students requesting work experience placements.”
Following the workshop, Dr Luisa Bonelli, Assistant Head Teacher at the school commented that ‘both teachers and students enjoyed it very much and to see so many requests for work experience placements at the end was just fantastic – it is a sign that the girls enjoyed the experience and would potentially be interested in pursuing this further’.
Dr Bonelli’s colleague Joanna Lyskawa who teaches the students on a regular basis also commented that many of the girls ‘really came out of their shells’ during the role play task, something that she was unused to seeing in some of the quieter students.
On asked what they thought of the workshop, one student commented that ‘it was a wonderful and useful experience that gave us a greater understanding of translation and interpretation. We particularly enjoyed the practical exercise. It was based on a role play in a court where interpreting played a big role. Our role play was humorous and fun to watch and we got an award for it’.
Following the success of the workshop, Language Connect plans to tailor the programme for Portuguese-speaking pupils at the school and hope to be able to run this in the next few months. A work placement scheme for pupils participating in the workshop is also planned.
About the Business Language Champions programme
The Business Language Champions programme inspires and supports employers and employees to work with schools through languages. The programme aims to encourage young people to understand the benefits of learning languages and the exciting and rewarding careers available to them with languages.
Sponsored by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the programme engages employers of all sizes and sectors. These employers recognise the importance of language and intercultural skills for business success and are helping young people to develop these vital skills to compete successfully in a competitive global economy.
About Language Connect
Language Connect provides full-service translation, localisation, interpreting, voice over and verbatim coding services to clients in vertical industries such as banking and finance, market research, education and learning, government and hospitality. Language Connect has a dedicated staff of Account Managers, Project Managers, localisation and technical support specialists, who are complemented by a network of over 5,000 subject specialist translators and editors. An international office network that spans the UK, Germany and Australia allows us to work with clients on a local level to address specific language, cultural and technical needs on a global scale.
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