The Linguist

The Linguist 58-1 Feb-Mar2019

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 11 of 35 AWARDS FOCUS The scheme acknowledges that while many new arrivals find other pupils who speak their language, some feel more isolated because they are the only speaker of their language at the school. Therefore Young Interpreters can sometimes be buddied with pupils who do not share their native language, so they 'interpret' in the wide sense of the term – sometimes through a shared language, sometimes through pupil-friendly English, gestures, pictures and more. This means that pupils who only speak English can also be Young Interpreters, with much to bring in terms of empathy and friendship. In our pilot schools, the initiative was run by passionate school practitioners who selected the pupils, trained them and guided them into their role. As the scheme expanded we wanted to replicate this successful model, so it is run in every school by a designated member of staff who makes sure the Young Interpreters are trained and used appropriately. In the beginning, guidance was provided in a book and DVD. Now schools access guidance online through a virtual learning platform which provides e-learning. This online facility means that we can continue to improve the materials regularly. To date, around 900 schools have joined the scheme in the UK and beyond. Our intention is to ensure practice is consistent across all these schools, whether in Hampshire or elsewhere in the country, and we aim to empower each of them to implement and sustain the scheme in line with its intended ethos and clearly defined parameters. Pupils take part in four training sessions with the designated staff member before they receive their Young Interpreter badge and certificate. As part of their training they explore what it feels like to be new to the school when you speak little or no English. They also consider the qualities they bring to the role and think about their language experiences. The training culminates with a discussion around situations where Young Interpreters may be needed. For example, what would they do if they saw a new child on their own at playtime? In addition to gaining insights through working closely with schools, research has been vital in shaping the Young Interpreter Scheme and in understanding its impact on From humble beginnings to Threlford Cup winner: the Young Interprete T he concept for the Young Interpreter Scheme was developed around a decade ago by the Hampshire Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service (EMTAS), in collaboration with four lead school practitioners, with the aim of supporting the wellbeing of pupils starting school with little or no English. Many schools were using buddies and child interpreters to support new arrivals on an ad hoc basis, but we realised that more could be done to equip them with the skills to carry out the role confidently, and to acknowledge and reward them for their work. As part of their role, Young Interpreters from Year 1 through to secondary help by giving tours of their school, demonstrating routines, and spending break and lunchtime with new arrivals. The intention is for pupils to carry out their role as empathetic buddies, and in no way to replace professional adult interpreters or bilingual assistants. For example, they do not interpret new concepts in the classroom or help during admission meetings and assessments; these are responsibilities to be undertaken by adults. Buddying up 12 The Linguist Vol/58 No/1 2019

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