The Linguist

TheLinguist 58,3-June/July 2019

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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@Linguist_CIOL JUNE/JULY The Linguist 23 FEATURES Teaching is fun and interactive. I like to use balloons with messages that capture key ideas; they are fun, you can feel them and remember them, and they can help you to visualise abstract concepts. I enjoy using the whole space to move and engage sensory channels: to see, hear, feel and do. One of my favourite activities is to blindfold one person in a pair: the challenge is for the blindfolded person to cross a room littered with obstacles, collect a number of balloons along the way, and ring a bell at the other side. It is the task of the colleague who is not blindfolded to give clear instructions to enable them to complete this task. During the exercise, we see the dynamic between the person who can see the whole journey and all the obstacles (the tutor) and the person who is blindfolded (the student). It offers a direct insight into the vital relationship between tutor and student. The instructor has to provide clear and measured instructions, understand the impact on the confidence and progress of the student, review the approach, encourage, motivate and be patient. The blindfolded person gains an understanding of what students feel like when facing the unknown, unable to see the full journey. After the course, one participant reported: "I was teaching a class and could see that one of my students was heading right into the wall and I then knew what to do." The role of the crowd is also important, as tutor and student feel supported by the positive energy of those who are cheering and encouraging them. John Hattie states that learning occurs when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and help them to become their own teachers. 8 This encapsulates my passion for teaching this special week of training, and explains why a heavy workload cannot dampen my enthusiasm. Visit to join the ToT course for trainers of Interpreting Studies or trainers of Translation Studies. Notes 1 Bandura, A (1977) Social Learning Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall 2 Wenger, E (1998) Communities of Practice. Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 3 Wenger-Trayner (2011) 'What is a Community of Practice?'; 4 Wenger, E, McDermott, R & Snyder, W (2002) Cultivating Communities of Practice, Brighton, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press 5 Cross, J (2015) 'Informal Learning vs Formal Training'; informal-learning 6 Hattie, J (2014) Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn, Oxford: Routledge 7 Siemens, G (2004) 'Connectivism: A learning theory for the Digital Age';; Cormier, D (2008) 'Rhizomatic Knowledge Communities: Edtechtalk, Webcast Academy'. Dave's Educational Blog; 8 Op.cit. Hattie assessment. The focus on one theme per day is essential in shaping our journey. A VITAL RELATIONSHIP Practitioners tend to feel that teaching what they do should be straightforward, as they are experts in their practice. It is a common belief that to teach interpreting, one has to interpret at a professional level. However, many excellent interpreters are not perceived by their students to be the best teachers. This can come as a surprise to interpreting tutors, who may feel tempted to embrace the "do as I do" approach. We understand that knowing languages does not make you an interpreter, and I would argue similarly that knowing how to interpret does not make you a tutor of interpreting. Teaching is a profession; teaching interpreting is a profession too. Like interpreting, teaching is informed by a body of knowledge, research, theories, trends and professional experience in the field. Learning may happen in class, but it also happens informally, 5 in a visible or invisible manner, 6 in an individual or connected world. 7 Enhancing learning requires a creative, student-centered approach that may integrate a mixture of interactive environments, such as social media, virtual spaces, social events, mock conferences and personal study time. A TRUSTING ENVIRONMENT Activities using balloons help participants to reflect on abstract concepts and the teacher-student relationship

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