ATA’S SCHOOL OUTREACH CONTEST NOW OPEN

Educate the next generation of language professionals as well as the next generation of clients by participating in school outreach. BY SONIA WICHMANN

Would you like to help educate young people about the translation/interpretation profession and the importance of foreign languages? A great way to do this is to participate in the ATA’s School Outreach Program by giving a presentation at a school, college, or university. Now you can also enter the School Outreach Contest for a chance to win free registration to ATA’s Annual Conference in Denver in October. Simply speak on translation and/or interpreting careers at any school or university, have someone take a photo of you in the classroom, and submit your entry by July 19. You will earn two ATA Continuing Education (CE) points for each hour of school outreach presentation time, and you will be performing a valuable service to the profession and your audience. This kind of outreach is especially important in today’s climate of budget cuts.

Participating in school outreach is easy, thanks to the excellent resources available on the ATA website. There you will find information on everything from how to contact a school, to presentation advice and sample scripts, and even photography tips. The website provides a wealth of materials that you can use as-is or modify.

I used some of these materials when I participated on Career Day at my children’s elementary school, Berkeley Arts Magnet. Although this school is linguistically diverse, I was struck by the overall lack of awareness about language issues. Many children were surprised to hear that translation could actually be a career but were delighted with copies of Harry Potter and a handout of how to say “hello” in a variety of languages. Reactions of teachers and parents ranged from enthusiasm (“Translation!”) to puzzlement (“Translation??”).

For more information, check the School Outreach Program website. SW

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