Tag Archives: MIIS

MIIS Faculty Lisa Donohoe published

MIIS Faculty Lisa Donohoe Luscombe has recently been published. The article is called Language and identity in a post-Soviet world: language of education and linguistic identity among Azerbaijani students. 

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Lisa’s article was published by the journal, Nationalities Paper: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, and can be found at this link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/.VADD89JdXcg#.VADH8tJdXcg

Congratulations Lisa!

Returned Peace Corps volunteer shares his story

Returned Peace Corps volunteer Adam Garnica recently shared highlights of his two years as an English teacher in Mongolia through the Institute’s Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) program.

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“Summarizing my Peace Corps experience is difficult. I spent two years maintaining my own blog (http://www.2secondstreet.wordpress.com/) to help disseminate my experience, and even then, I find that the stories told there only scratch the surface. My favorite posts include my one on the history of Mongolian script, the story of me getting my first deel, and the list and description of traditional Mongolian dairy treats.

I spent two years teaching at a collection of schools, working with 25 teachers and over 2,000 students to help improve English teaching and language ability. I met a variety of fascinating characters who ended up being teachers: Munkhtuya, a nurse who joined the democracy rallies in Sukhbaatar Square back when the country switched from their communist model, Nergui, who ran a small business and observed the illegal fur trade, and Bujidmaa, a young woman born after the revolution who sees new hope for her country. The students were diverse and unique, full of optimism, anxiety, warmth, and promise for the future.

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There were wonderful projects where I met unique people. I traveled to the taiga on the border with Russia, in the middle of a national park, to do health and English workshops with the Tsaatan, or Reindeer People. I participated in the English Language Teacher’s Association of Mongolia’s (ELTAM) annual seminar with one of my co-teachers, presenting a poster on a simulation we did on civilizations. I climbed a mountain with several men to watch the sun rise during the lunar new year. I cut a young girl’s hair to signal the end of her infancy. Along the way there were miners, students, business owners, herders, restauranteurs, and welcoming strangers.

Mongolia is going through unique growing pains, and for two years, I saw the effects. Inflation hurt everyone I saw as the value of money spiraled downward. Alcoholism wandered the streets in broad daylight, or sat motionless by the school’s gates. Wealth flowed into the city, but only to select pockets. Skinheads, businessmen, young families, and environmental protestors in traditional garb flooded the streets of the capital, hoping to shape their nation’s future.

The country is so much more than the conquests of Chinggis Khaan, and I’m glad I got to learn and experience a bit of their culture as they work through this important time in their nation’s history. It helped give me a new perspective on the developing world, politics, nature, and education, and how no matter where you go, people want safe, secure, and meaningful lives.

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I’m also happy to be back at MIIS, where I know the students and faculty understand the value of what I was able to experience. It’s also nice to not be cold all the time, but that’s another story for another time!”

TESOL Alumni Update from Brandy Barter

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!

Alumni in India

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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.

Spring Speaker Series starts off strong!

Barbara Sawhill gave an engaging two-hour interactive talk last Friday to TESOL/TFL students on the importance of renouncing a “multi-paged, intricately detailed, iron-clad syllabus” and replacing it with a student-centered, participatory class outline with collaborated class goals between the students and teacher. Barbara teaches Spanish at Oberlin College and is the Director of the Cooper International Language Center.

photo from: cogdogblog

Barbara renounces the old Factory Model of Education, which in her opinion lacks a context for students’ learning. This “Fordist” classoom is out of touch with the world around it and sees students as empty vessels who simply absorb and memorize, rather than experience and create.

As an educator, Barbara sees her job as “making this experience [in the classroom] as meaningful for you [the student] as possible”. She insists that as educators, we need to listen and model for students what we expect of them. As learners, we don’t need to simply find all of the answers, but learn how to create “really well-rounded, thoughtful questions”.

Four questions that Barbara asks her students at the beginning of each term are:

How do you learn?

Why are you here?

What do you want to learn?

How can we help you get there?

You can check out her work and ideas at  http://languages.oberlin.edu/lab-info/center-staff/ and http://languagelabunleashed.org/ and typical posts like http://languagelabunleashed.org/2010/03/15/the-backwards-syllabus/ Barbara introduces herself at http://vimeo.com/19050537 .You can read about her Spanish class at http://languages.oberlin.edu/courses/2010/spring/hisp205/ and http://languagelabunleashed.org/tag/hisp205/

Marciel Santos will be the next speaker this Spring, He will be talking on April 14 from 3-5 pm. Stay aware of fliers around campus for more information!

Fulbright Scholarship Awarded to TESOL Student

Teaching, travel and foreign languages are TESOL student Lindsey Bowman’s passions. Beginning in February, she’ll have the opportunity to continue to pursue them when she travels to Brazil as a Fulbright Scholar.

The Fulbright program is a prestigious, merit-based international education exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. During her time in Brazil, Lindsey will teach future English teachers at the Universidade Estadual do Para, in Belem, a city of about two million on the banks of the Amazon estuary.

Previously, Lindsey taught English as a foreign language through Harvard University’s WorldTeach program in Colombia and studied abroad in Spain and Tanzania. She has worked extensively in the Monterey Institute’s Intensive ESL programs, as an activity coordinator, tutor, and as a teacher in a month-long exchange program with Osaka University.

In addition to teaching, Lindsey plans to enroll in formal Portuguese classes and to volunteer with a community group for economically disadvantaged women. When she returns to MIIS in January of 2012, following her Fulbright grant period, Lindsey is excited to combine practical, hands-on experience with theoretical study of second language acquisition.

An Interview with Holly Mikkelson

In addition to teaching Court Interpretation here at MIIS, Holly Mikkelson works as a count interpreter and a freelance translator. In 1974, Professor Mikkelson came to the Monterey Institute as a student and studied interpretation. Take a look at her interview to learn how she went from being a student to being a respected translator with people looking to her to write articles and book chapters.

In her interview with Anthony Pym, Professor Mikkelson discusses the current state of court interpretation, education about court interpretation in the U.S. and internationally, and research being done in the field. Professor Mikkelson also talks about the need for more replication of research in the field and the limitations that come with working with legal language and court proceedings.

For more interviews by Anthony Pym with our T&I faculty, the European Society for Translation Studies video page has lots to keep you entertained and learning.

Found In Translation Lecture: The Case of Regional Culture in Japan

The 9th lecture in the Found In Translation series

When: Tuesday, November 23. 12:15 - 1:45 in McGowan 102

Speaker: Dr. Andrew Murakami-Smith, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Language and Culture at Osaka University.

After graduating from Claremont McKenna College, Andrew Murakami-Smith worked as a translator in a lawyers office in Tokyo. A Ph.D. in Modern Japanese Literature from Princeton University was followed by a year and a half translating in-house for a patent lawyer in Osaka. Currently an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Language and Culture at Osaka University, he teaches English to Japanese undergrads, a course in modern Japanese Literature in English translation to international students, and an introductory course on translation to graduate students. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on Japanese dialects (regional varieties) in modern literary works, and he has a continuing interest in regional dialects and cultures in Japan, especially the dialect, culture, and image of Osaka.

Lecture Title: Translating Culture: The Case of Regional Culture in Japan

In literary translation, written representation of local dialects (regional varieties) in characters speech, like humor, may be something that is lost in translation. However, just as translators of Lewis Carroll cannot ignore the untranslatable bits of humor and wordplay, translators of Huckleberry Finn, for example, must somehow attempt to translate local dialects. What are some strategies that might be used? And what of other bits of local color? References to a specific region may include geographical names, names of restaurants and shops, local dishes, cultural practices or concepts, and (stereo)typical temperaments and personalities.

Photo: New York Public Library

In Japanese Literature, works set in or relating to Osaka may include (written representation of) local dialect and all or some of the above local color. What strategies have been used by translators of such works into English? Have they had some idea of translation of culture in mind as they translated the words and sentences of the source texts? Attempting a richer translation of the nuances of local color and regional culture will admittedly result in a foreignizing translation that will place a greater burden on the reader of the target text. On the other hand, what are some benefits that might justify such an attempt? These are some of the questions this talk will investigate, with specific examples of Osaka literary works and attempts at English translation.

Found In Translation Lecture: The Translation Industry and University Translation Programs in China by Benjamin Zeng

The 8th lecture in the Found in Translation series

When: Tuesday, November 16.  12:15 - 1:45 in Irvine

Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Zeng, Professor of the College of Foreign Languages at Zhejiang Normal University.

Lecture Title: The Translation Industry and University Translation Programs in China

The lecture will give an overview of the status quo of the translation industry in China (company structure, technology use, content domain, pricing, etc.), the plight of the translator, and university translation programs.