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  1. 1. Developing transferable skills and enhancing employability through liaison interpreting F. Chouc French Teaching Fellow [email_address]
  2. 2. <ul><li>Liaison interpreting for business student : the activity placed in context </li></ul><ul><li>The class, its pedagogical use and the development of key transferable skills </li></ul><ul><li>From feed-back to self-assessment : a good basis for forward development </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is liaison interpreting ? <ul><li>The activity itself: </li></ul><ul><li>« an exercise in communication » (H. Keith), «  a means of developing the learner’s communicative competence » (R. Towell). </li></ul><ul><li>Setting : a dialogue staged between 2 teachers, communication managed by the students. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The activity in context <ul><li>Liaison interpreting as part of the IML course </li></ul><ul><li>- a course combining management modules and language modules </li></ul><ul><li>- 3rd year abroad , in a partner institution (business school) </li></ul><ul><li>- languages activities specifically designed for the IML course: case studies in 4th year </li></ul>
  5. 5. The activity in context <ul><li>Example of case-study : the wine industry   </li></ul><ul><li>fictive company created, with a basic scenario : the wine producers from Auvergne want to improve their brand image and expand sales. </li></ul><ul><li>Series of Spoken and written activities organised around the theme (marketing project, summary of related documents, etc …) </li></ul><ul><li>       </li></ul>
  6. 6. The activity in context <ul><li>simulation of business meeting between a representative of a British wine retailer and a representative of the Auvergne wine producers – students act as interpreters at this meeting. </li></ul><ul><li>Liaison interpreting often at the end of the case-study. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The activity in context <ul><li>Aims and objectives of the course : </li></ul>Address an audience in an appropriate manner. Manage face-to-face interaction. Develop the principal skills and practices associated with business situations requiring an advanced level of linguistic competence Divide attention (multi-tasking). Develop a critical understanding of intercultural and interlingual issues. Demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with professional level issues. ( http://www.sml.hw.ac.uk/undergraduate/modules/languages/c40/fj2.html )
  8. 8. The expectations of the market <ul><li>Key skills valued by employers (CIHE survey 2008, AGR survey 2008): </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Team Working </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integrity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intellect </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Confidence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Planning & Organising </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The expectations of the market <ul><li>The skills gap (CIHE survey 2008, AGR survey 2008): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>49% of employers are disappointed with graduates’ foreign language skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>86% of employers value good communication skills but are « disatisfied that graduates can express themselves effectively » </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is also a gap between the skills of graduates and expectations of employers for commercial awareness and analytical skills </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Using liaison interpreting to foster these skills <ul><li>Why make management students do liaison interpreting ? </li></ul><ul><li>A communication exercice </li></ul><ul><li>Adjusting the focus : business-related skills at the core of the activity </li></ul>
  11. 11. Using liaison interpreting to foster these skills <ul><li>Communication challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Obvious one : language </li></ul><ul><li>BUT also : </li></ul><ul><li>- how to bridge cultural gaps </li></ul><ul><li>- learning to ask questions and seek explanations / clarifications </li></ul><ul><li>- communication manners / gate-keeping techniques : empowering the communicator and building up confidence </li></ul>
  12. 12. Using liaison interpreting to foster these skills <ul><ul><li>- voice-management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- problem solving skills / creative solutions (the « nose-rubbing » technique) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integrated learning : interconnected activities around one theme </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- pulling resources together from different sources (other activities, other types of materials on the theme) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- glossary building and anticipation : targetted research for the activity </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Using liaison interpreting to foster these skills <ul><li>Team-work and ICT skills </li></ul><ul><li>- brief discussion in class: brainstorming on the liaison scenario beforehand </li></ul><ul><li>- ICT tools for practice : self-study lab, manipulation of free-ware for recordings </li></ul><ul><li>- the VLE : a platform for further team-work with the use of online wikis </li></ul>
  14. 15. Using liaison interpreting to foster these skills <ul><li>Awareness of current issues on a global scale: </li></ul><ul><li>The themes : business sectors and business- related activities </li></ul><ul><li>The content : updated and in keeping with current issues </li></ul>
  15. 16. Skills development : beyond the classroom <ul><li>The feed-back : a tool for a constructive critical reflexion </li></ul><ul><li>- general feed-back in class / how students work </li></ul><ul><li>- discussing the issues : the focus on communication </li></ul><ul><li>- how to improve ? Discussing solutions and following up on practice </li></ul>
  16. 17. Skills development : beyond the classroom <ul><li>Towards autonomous learning, for forward development planning </li></ul><ul><li>- self- assessment tools : assessment sheet, scripts and audio recordings = tools to redo the task and analyse it </li></ul><ul><li>- filming a session : unpopular but constructive exercise </li></ul><ul><li>- the autonomous liaison assignment </li></ul>
  17. 18. Critical analysis based on graduate survey <ul><li>The survey </li></ul><ul><li>sample of graduates (2005-2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Current field of work of the graduates: </li></ul><ul><li>Management role/business-related job: 50% </li></ul><ul><li>Language-related careers : 20% </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching : 30% </li></ul><ul><li>NB: considered IML students and students from other courses who did liaison interpreting </li></ul>
  18. 19. Critical analysis based on graduate survey <ul><li>Top 3 key skills ranked (CIHE/AGR list ) </li></ul>
  19. 20. Critical analysis based on graduate survey Relevance of liaison interpreting related to skills
  20. 21. Critical analysis based on graduate survey <ul><li>Key skills identified by graduates surveyed : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning and organising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>= Quite consistent with what employers have identified. </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance of liaison exercise in developing these skills </li></ul><ul><li>= fairly to very relevant for the top 4 skills identified </li></ul>
  21. 22. Conclusion http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/skillsmap.htm
  22. 23. Conclusion <ul><li>Liaison interpreting can develop many key skills valued by employers. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a relevant exercise for business students too, as this activity is very versatile and develops more than just language skills. </li></ul>

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