The Linguist

The Linguist 57,3 – June/July 2018

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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Attending Members' Day is always a fascinating experience, not least because it's a chance to meet some of CIOL's many interesting members. Joanna Drugan's Threlford Memorial Lecture focused on vital ongoing research on the role of translators and interpreters in combatting transnational organised crime, and the changes needed to make their work more effective. There was such a lot of information to absorb that, despite listening intently and taking notes, I found there was still more to learn from the text version (p.8). Erik Hertog's article about the work of linguists in conflict zones similarly addresses matters of policy and best practice on an international scale, including ethical questions about the responsibilities of national governments and their military to the foreign linguists who work with them (p.12). Another theme in this issue concerns how best to support pupils whose first language isn't English, both at primary (p.18) and secondary (p.20) level. We examine two approaches that move away from the perception of EAL (English as an additional language) as a 'problem' towards models that celebrate linguistic diversity and encourage the development of native language skills, not only for the benefit of the speakers themselves but also for the whole school community. I was also interested to read about the challenging work of translators of Chinese video games, and why they need to know a surprising amount about classical Chinese literature due to the propaganda channelled through such games (p.15). Miranda Moore 4 The Linguist Vol/57 No/3 2018 NEWS & EDITORIAL CHAIR OF COUNCIL'S NOTES What is a linguist? What does a 'fit-for- purpose' professional body and awarding organisation look like? What should our future priorities and objectives be? How have the four themes identified at our strategic planning session two years ago – technology, cultural shifts, branding and communications, and partnerships and collaboration – evolved since then? What impact will they have on the profession over the next 10 years? What are our current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? Those were just some of the questions put to members of Council and the IoLET Board at our annual strategy day in April, generously hosted by our President, Richard Hardie, at the UBS offices in the City of London. Following the Strategic Plan for 2017-2020, published last autumn, the aim of the day was not to revisit the plan itself but to dive deeper into some of the ideas behind it. Among other things, the multiple roles of the modern professional body were explored in detail. Setting standards for the profession through qualifications, admissions criteria and the Code of Professional Conduct; providing services and benefits to members; offering CPD (continuing professional development), training and career support; developing policy; and advocating on behalf of the profession were just some of the ideas discussed. Critically, like other chartered bodies, we work not only on behalf of our members but also in the public interest and we measure our performance in each of those roles within that framework. One of the clearest themes to emerge from the day was that the Charter remains one of our core strengths. Our ability to position practising linguists alongside other professionals, through the Chartered Linguist designation, is undoubtedly an opportunity and must be a key priority as we move forward. At an individual level, the number of Chartered Linguists continues to grow steadily, as members recognise the benefits of registration both for their own professional practice and the profession as a whole. Nonetheless, we are working in a challenging environment: the economic and political uncertainty around Britain's departure from the European Union, the lack of a clear commitment to languages education from government, the pressure on some sectors of the profession, particularly in the public- service arena, and the impact of technology are all factors with the potential to impact on our objectives over the next few years. As ever, bringing members of Council and the IoLET Board together sparked a series of lively debates with a wealth of creative ideas from individuals on both sides of the organisation. Continuing to work together will be critical if we are to build on our strengths, and tackle the challenges outlined above, to ensure we truly are 'fit for purpose'. Karen Stokes EDITOR'S LETTER Share your views:

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