Our involvement with the Olympic Games began with the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. At the time, Professor Bill Weber, then Dean of the Graduate Division of Translation and Interpretation, had arranged an academic internship for 32 T&I students, thus making MIIS an “Official Supplier of Translation and Interpretation Services.” Students provided services in written translation of documents and simultaneous interpretation in English and French at the Main Press Center.
Ever since, Professor Weber has been involved with the Olympic language services and was chief interpreter at 14 of the last Summer and Winter Games.
Although Professor Weber has decided to retire from the Olympic scene after next year’s Games in Rio de Janeiro, after serving the Olympic Family for thirty two years, the MIIS tradition shall continue with Alexander Ponomarev (MACI 1997), who has been chosen as chief-interpreter for the Rio Games.
As has been the case in the past 34 years, many MIIS graduates will be on what has become known as the “Olympic Dream Team” of interpreters. We also expect to involve a large group of MIIS students to serve as language volunteers with limited interpreting duties in Rio as well.
Another MIIS graduate, Maureen Sweeney (IPA 1994) has also been involved as a key consultant for the International Olympic Committee with the local Organizing Committees, ever since the Atlanta Games in 1996. She continues to consult in the fields of language services, including language volunteers, as well as venue protocol. The latter includes all venue medal ceremonies, VIP seating and lounges, as well as checking on all participating nations’ flags and national anthems.
In an email update, TESOL alum Brandy Barter shared some good news. She recently accepted an ESL instructor position at Millikin University–a small private college in central Illinois. It is also only 30 minutes from her hometown. In the interview, she bonded with the director of the program, Steven Hales, a fellow MIIS TESOL alum, over all the TESOL professors. It’s great to see the MIIS network in action!
Jeff Fowler (MA TESOL ’12) and Kimby Murakami (MA TESOL ’12) travelled to India to work for fellow MIIS Alum Tarana Patel’s (MA TESOL ’06) education organization, LearnEd, at Sankalchand Patel Colleges in Visnagar. They each taught two classes in the intensive English program at the college. In addition, the duo collaborated to present English for specific purposes (ESP) courses to engineering faculty.
Fowler taught English to undergraduate students with high-beginner to low-intermediate proficiency majoring in Computer Application, Business Administration, and Natural Sciences. Murakami taught undergraduate and graduate students with intermediate to advanced English proficiency majoring in Dentistry, Pharmacology, Engineering, and Computer Application. Each course incorporated a community outreach component chosen by the students. In team of two to three, students taught a 45-minute lesson to students in grades 1 through 5.
Fowler and Murakami reported that the students were enthusiastic to practice English and to share their culture with the foreign teachers. Both teachers enjoyed participating in Indian festivals (e.g., Kite Festival, Festival of Colors), exploring the ancient buildings in nearby towns, and sampling the culinary delights available in India.
Murakami heads back to India this month with MIIS alum Angie Petinos (MA TESOL ’12) to work in a 6-month teacher training program offered by LearnEd at Divine Child International School.
On December 18, 2011 the MIIS event at the NTNU (National Taiwan Normal University) event in Taipei, Taiwan was a success! It was hosted by Marsha Chou and the keynote speaker was Jason Yeh. The event was titled: “What can I do with my 2 languages? An interdisciplinary approach to cross-cultural understanding. ” Thanks to the alumni speakers Ruby Lai (10), Ted Lynch (09), Jodie Lee (09). Additional thanks was given to Lawrence Hsu (2010) for helping with refreshments, and for Irene Chen for reserving the auditorium.
Professors Laura Burian, Jacolyn Harmer, and Julie Johnson presented at the CFI (California Federation of Interpreters) Annual Conference in San Francisco on October 21. CFI is a professional association and labor union advocating for the interests of the legal interpreting profession. The attendees were primarily California certified and registered court interpreters wanting to enhance their professional interpreting skills.
Professor Burian presented a session on effective Mandarin/English consecutive note-taking strategies. Professors Burian and Harmer jointly presented on segmentation as a technique for controlling décalage in simultaneous interpretation. Professors Harmer and Johnson jointly presented on deliberate practice for Interpreters seeking to enhance their expertise.
MIIS Alumna Katharine Allen (Spanish T&I, 2008) presented on how interpreters can leverage 21st century technology as well as effective consecutive interpretation note-taking strategies for formal testimony and informal dialogue.
MIIS Alumna María Cecilia Marty (Spanish T&I, 1995) offered the following workshops: Hands-on Transcription / Translation and Monitoring Your Simultaneous.
In June of this past summer, MIIS Alumni Katharine Allen and MIIS Associate Professor Holly Mikkelson traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to teach trainers in the health care interpreting profession. The course was sponsored by TAPIT (Tennessee Association of Professional Interpreters and Translators), MING (Medical Interpreter Network of Georgia), and TAMIT (Tennessee Association of Medical Interpreters and Translators), all of whom assisted in promotion of the event.
Holly and Katharine instructed trainers on assessment, creating materials for courses, and technology use in their profession. A portion of the training focused on utilizing new web technologies as well as the use of iPads and smart phones, allowing for the use of cutting-edge technology in the interpreting profession.
On June 2, 2011 MIIS alumni Luis Daniel Salazar and Amanda Townsend helped interpret at the Monterey Peninsula College 10th Annual Latino Student Recognition Ceremony. The event lasted 2 hours and included a speech by Keynote Speaker Simon Salinas, a Monterey County Supervisor. MPC sends special thanks for helping their students succeed!
Jaala Thibault (MATESOL ’07) and Tara Bates (MATESOL ’07) are getting settled in Kabul, Afghanistan this week, where they will serve as the only two U.S. State Department English Language Fellows in the country this year. “Being selected as an English Language Fellow for the State Department is one of the most prestigious positions a recent MA graduate in TESOL or TFL can achieve,” says TESOL Professor Kathleen Bailey.
The two women will be sharing a Kabul apartment under the supervision of the Asia Foundation, a Central Asian nonprofit organization that has been working in Afghanistan since 1954. Jaala met her students at Kabul Education University for the first time on September 22 and says “The students are really eager to get their classes with me underway, and the faculty is excited to use me for a million projects.” She jokingly adds that she must have some Afghan blood in her background because everyone she meets addresses her in Dari, and some people even refuse to believe her when she says she is American. “From a security standpoint all of my Afghan friends say I am lucky to look like an Afghan!”