The Linguist

The Linguist 53,1

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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30 The Linguist FEBRUARY/MARCH INSTITUTE MATTERS DIVISIO Offering the right choice DANIELLE BURKE ON RUNNING IoLET'S CUSTOMISED ASSESSMENT DEPARTMENT I run the Customised Assessment Department of the IoL Educational Trust (IoLET) and I work in a team of three. My colleagues, Neil and Oleksandra, work on the Metropolitan Police Test and I oversee the Met Test and work on a number of smaller projects as well. There is a lot of variety in my job. In any given week I might be liaising with our external moderators, proof- reading papers, processing re-marks, visiting venues to see if they would be suitable for interpreting assessments, scheduling the next Met Test session, visiting schools and colleges or commissioning assessment papers from our external setter. The Met Test was originally developed for the Metropolitan Police. It tests not only skills and terminology specific to police interpreting but also procedural skills such as statement taking. Exams run twice a year in May and November and we assess in 55 languages, from Albanian to Yoruba. In any given session we will assess 20-35 languages, depending on the applications we receive. At the moment the largest languages are Polish, Romanian and Urdu, with Arabic and Bulgarian also attracting reasonably large numbers of candidates. I also work on lower level languages assessments through the Customised Assessment Scheme for Education (CASE) and Business (CASB). We assess these at levels 1, 2 and 3. The CASE is designed for school pupils studying languages. We often assess languages that are not available at GCSE and A-level, and we have run CASE assessments in a wide variety of languages, including Swedish, Ndebele, Vietnamese and Zulu. For the CASB assessments we work with language training companies and businesses that have employees who are learning a language for work. The languages we assess most frequently are French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. The customised assessments are designed to be flexible. We can send an assessor to someone's workplace or school to assess them. Candidates can also choose which of the skills they want to be tested on – speaking, listening, reading or writing – and the particular topic areas. So, for example, a Marketing Executive at L'Oréal can choose to sit an oral assessment that tests the vocabulary they are likely to use in their job. I also work with a number of independent schools that run language extension courses moderated and certificated by IoLET, such as Dulwich College, Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, King's College School and Merchant Taylors' School. These courses are run in French, Spanish and German and are designed to bridge the gap between GCSE and A-level and to encourage pupils to continue further study in that language. The pupils can study aspects of a culture, such as literature, history and film, through the study of the language. I joined the Institute in 2005 and one of the things I have enjoyed most is working with people from different countries. My colleagues have included people from Argentina, China, Columbia, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine. This makes the Institute an interesting and diverse place to work. March MUSEUM VISIT & TERMINOLOGY SESSION Saturday 8 March Discovery Museum, Newcastle, 11am-4pm The Discovery Museum houses fine collections of scientific and technical material, and maritime and social history. A terminology brainstorming session will follow over a late lunch. Blandford Square, Newcastle, NE1 4JA. GERMAN SOCIETY AGM Saturday 15 March Neuss For details, email NETWORKING LUNCH & 'TRANSLATING THEORY INTO PRACTICE' Saturday 15 March Wig & Mitre, Lincoln, midday-4pm Dr Caroline Summers, Lecturer in German at the University of Leeds, will give an overview of the aims and outcomes of an MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies. This will include insights into the reasons for undertaking such a course and details of how postgraduate study can contribute to professional competence. To attend, email by 8 March. Steep Hill Room, Wig & Mitre, 30 Steep Hill, Lincoln LN2 1TL. TD GER LINC

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