Author Archives: sarspri

Advice for aspiring translators

The Institute’s programs were recently cited in a post sharing advice for aspiring translators:

If you are interested in becoming a translator, I recommend you enroll in a good university-level translation program. The best in the States is offered by the Monterey Institute of International Studies, but there are also good programs elsewhere, including several offered online (among these, the program offered by the University College of Denver University, where I teach).

The author has also written about business practices and other topics for beginning translators.

"Information, news & opinions about professional translation" - by Riccardo Schiaffino

"Information, news & opinions about professional translation" - by Riccardo Schiaffino

Using languages in international development: MIIS alumni and programs featured

Learning a language can open up a whole new world to people.  Many students pursue language study precisely because they want to get involved in making this world a better place.  International development has always had a strong pull for language students, offering a chance to travel and experience other cultures while doing good.  It is a broad field where one may leverage special interests and knowledge, like health care, law, or business, into a fulfilling exciting career.

MIIS alumni and programs featured by ACTFL

MIIS alumni and programs featured by ACTFL

Language skills are key

A recent “Career Focus” feature article in The Language Educator highlighted the importance of combining language skills, experience living and working abroad, technical expertise in areas such as business and public administration, with characteristics such as being pro-active, self-motivated, adaptable and able to embrace the unexpected.

Jonathan Axtell (MBA, '08)

Jonathan Axtell (MBA, '08)

In addition to discussions of the Peace Corps and other international organizations, a significant section is devoted to detailing various Monterey Institute programs and alumni, including a discussion of our unique language offerings by GSTILE Dean Renée Jourdenais, and photos and stories of alumni in the field:  Jonathan Axtell (MBA ’08), Ravi Dutta (MPA ’09) and Pete LaRaus (MPA ’04).

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) is dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of foreign languages, and has more than 9,000

Ravi Dutta (MPA '09) and Pete LaRaus (MPA '04)

Ravi Dutta (MPA '09) and Pete LaRaus (MPA '04)

foreign language educators and administrators as members.

The Language Educator is ACTFL’s newest publication; it provides comprehensive coverage of foreign language teaching and administration, and serves educators of all languages at all levels as a single, comprehensive source of news and information.

Copies of The Language Educator are available in the MIIS library, and ACTFL members can read the full issue online.

Professional associations panel: a remarkable gathering

A recent career fair panel discussion hosted by GSTILE assembled representatives from a remarkable range of professional associations from across the interpreting spectrum.

audience members listen to panel via simultaneous interpretation

audience members listen to panel via simultaneous interpretation

Facilitator Jacolyn Harmer, Professor and Program Chair for Translation and Interpretation, noted that

Sometimes we participate in events in our lives when we don’t really fully understand the complete significance of those events.  I’m going to suggest that this might be one of them for you, because if you look at this panel, I doubt that you will ever be in a room again with this kind of expertise all assembled at one time.

Representatives from the following organizations shared their perspectives in English, Spanish and French, with simultaneous interpretation into English provided by interpretation practicum students:

Many thanks to the panelists as well as all who organized, contributed to, and participated in this event.

PCMI student in Kazakhstan

Christina Baldarelli is currently serving as a Peace Corps Masters International (PCMI) candidate in Kazakhstan.  She recently sent an update back to her colleagues at MIIS along with her thanks for a PCMI care package.  She writes,

Christina Baldarelli, PCMI in the field

Christina Baldarelli, PCMI in the field

I have to tell you … having spent two semesters at MIIS prior to joining the Peace Corps has basically made me a rock star over here. I live and work in a small city surrounded by different villages that are home to 8 other volunteers who are first-time teachers right out of various non-education related undergraduate programs. Not a weekend goes by without one of them coming in to the city to talk about lesson plans or vent about administrative frustrations, and I feel so equipped and empowered to listen to them and try to help. Sometimes I get frustrated that I’m not living the typical ‘Peace Corps’ life (i.e. there are BMWs on the streets and all of my students have expensive cell phones, etc), but I feel like some of the best work that I’m doing is actually just helping the other volunteers be more effective, which feels good.

You can read further about her adventures via her personal blog.

Corpus linguistics and concordancing

This past weekend GSTILE students, faculty and staff attended a five-hour workshop on corpus linguistics and concordancing, presented by Susan Conrad, an alumna of the MIIS TESOL program, and now a faculty member in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University.

Susan Conrad, corpora and concordancing workshop

Susan Conrad, corpora and concordancing workshop

Susan’s workshop focused on the use of corpora for language teachers, and covered both software programs and web-based resources.

Materials from Susan’s workshop — as well as those from other GSTILE lecture series events — are available in the GSTILE >> TESOL/TFL section of Moodle:  Materials from TESOL/TFL Speaker Series.

Alum to be published in CATESOL Journal

MIIS TESOL alumna Janine Poreba recently received news that her Applied Linguistics Research (ALR) project will be published in the Winter 2010 issue of the CATESOL Journal.  She writes,

CATESOL

CATESOL

Recently, I dusted off my ALR project (“Negotiation Strategies in Two-Way Conversation Partnerships: Their Use and Usefulness”) and re-read it. I’m working at Santa Monica College, and some colleagues and I are starting a Conversation Exchange Program here, so I wanted to see if I’d uncovered any useful information back in my grad school days. Sure enough, I had, and what’s more, the paper was still interesting to read. I made some changes and submitted it to the CATESOL Journal, and I just found out that it’ll be published in their Winter 2010 issue.

Congratulations, Janine!  And thanks to Kathi Bailey for passing along the news.

Beverly Derewianka, Friday, Feb 19

Who: TESOL/TFL students & all others with an interest in languages
What: Guest speaker Beverly Derewianka
When: Friday, February 19, 2010, 2:00-4:00 PM
Where: Morse, Room B104

Getting Personal: Using language to engage with readers to express feelings, persuade others to our point of view, judge peoples’ behavior, and moderate our expression of attitude.

A major function of language is to enable the expression of interpersonal meanings – feelings, opinions, judgments, humor, sarcasm, and so on. Often, however, this important aspect of language competency is not taught explicitly, possibly because such meanings are so deeply embedded in the culture that even native speakers are not consciously aware of how they employ these subtle resources. This paper will draw on Appraisal Theory (Martin & White 2005) for a model to help language teachers think about such issues as:

  • how is language used to express feelings, persuade others to our point of view, judge peoples’ behavior, and so on?
  • how can we moderate our expression of attitude?
  • how can we use language to engage with the reader in various ways?

GSTILE welcomes everyone and hopes to see you there.