Intercultural Research Centre Symposium and Ceilidh 2021

‘People, Landscape and a Sense of Place’

SYMPOSIUM

This year, our IRC Symposium and Ceilidh was a virtual event and hugely successful. We were delighted to welcome guest speakers, vocalists, poets and a wide range of attendees all in keeping with our overarching themes of ‘People, Landscape and a Sense of Place’.

A welcome was extended by both Dr Katerina Strani, the Acting Director of the IRC, and Prof Mairéad Nic Craith, the former Director, who introduced the event. Dr Strani reminded us that the IRC’s research seeks to build understanding and develop appreciation of the experiences and representations of living with, or between, different cultures, identities, communities or languages. To this end, our research is built around three key themes:

The Symposium was organised around these three research themes and we were delighted to welcome three guest speakers on each of these themes, as we kept in mind our focus on the Symposium’s overarching theme of ‘People, Landscape and a Sense of Place’

An introduction to our first guest speaker was made by Professor Ullrich Kockel, who outlined our ‘Heritage and Sustainability’ theme at the IRC. Dr Nessa Cronin, Lecturer in Irish Studies and Associate Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, Ireland, was then invited to begin her talk entitled ‘Shared Inheritances, Environmental Futures and our Planetary Home’. Dr Cronin brought out some fascinating themes such as placemaking and disruption, prompting some of our attendees to reflect on their own experiences within these fields. Other highlights of her talk included the importance of cultural heritage to promote social cohesion, as she noted the detrimental impact that climate change has had on both tangible and intangible cultural heritage practices, as well as socio-ecological and economic systems.

Secondly, Professor Chris Tinker introduced our ‘Popular Culture and Inclusion’ theme and we enjoyed listening to the thoughts of Professor Heiko Motschen­bach­er, Professor of English as a Second/Foreign Language at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and General Editor of the Journal of Language and Sexuality (JLS). Prof Motschenbacher’s talk was entitled ‘Walk­ing on Wilton Drive: A lin­guist­ic land­scape ana­lys­is of a homonorm­at­ive space’. There were several interesting and enlightening points made, highlighting the negotiation of normativity and the allegory of symbols in relation to gender norms. These thoughts prompted some attendees to consider the power of language and how linguistic landscapes can shape norms. One of our attendees also reflected on the popular and well-recognised symbol of a rainbow and how this has come to be known as an emblem of hope through the difficult period of Covid-19, challenging a previous association with the symbol.

Our final lead theme for the day was ‘Migration’ and this was introduced by Dr Katerina Strani. The IRC Migration theme looks at how cultures, communities and societies in the broad sense are shaped by migration. Some of the key research interests under this theme are identities, including linguistic identities, belonging, intercultural dialogue, as well as racism and othering (in multicultural societies). Our guest speaker for this theme was Dr Emma Hill, Research Fellow at the Department of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. Emma’s research on Somali populations in Glasgow has informed her more recent work on the governance of integration for asylum seekers and refugees across the UK and Europe.  Emma’s talk was focused on ‘Co­lo­ni­al gene­a­lo­gies and the Glasgow Bajuni Cam­paign’. This is a lesser known and challenging topic, based on Dr Hill’s ethnographic work in Glasgow over 2 years. The talk touched on the self-representation of asylum seekers, noting the construction of a sense of place as well as highlighting identity and language in asylum-seeking procedures.

Our three guest speakers were then invited to participate in a Q&A session with our attendees. The interdisciplinary aspect of the day was extremely evident and participants discussed overlapping interests, themes and key questions. We were delighted to receive positive feedback from those who attended and challenged our guests to continue the conversation offline.

We were tweeting throughout the symposium, using the hashtag #HWIRC2021. This time, we were careful not to use any hashtags that were taken by other conferences. Those of you who were at our previous IRC Symposium in 2019 may remember that #IRC2019 was also used by the International Rubber Conference and the International Rapeseed Congress 2019, which led to some funny interactions on Twitter!

The symposium was interpreted into British Sign Language by our BSL Interpreters.

CEILIDH – MUSIC AND POETRY

7:00pm brought around our IRC Online Ceilidh, where we welcomed talented performers to share vocals, poems and discussions around the focus of our day, ‘People, Landscape and a Sense of Place’.

Our first performer was Steve Byrne, a Scots singer and researcher who was awarded the title of Scots Singer of the Year in 2019. He shared a few songs with us which we all enjoyed, as he recounted his authentic experiences with ‘People, Landscape and a Sense of Place’.

For more information about Steve, you can click this link: Steve Byrne – folksinger and musician

We then welcomed Meg Bateman to share some of her poetry with us. Meg is a Scottish academic, a poet and a short story writer and we were delighted to listen to her recite some of her work exploring Gaelic culture.

One of her books can be found using this link: Window-to-the-West.pdf (uhi.ac.uk)

Our penultimate performance of the night was by impressive Niillas Holmberg – Sami poet, novelist, scriptwriter and musician. Niillas performed one of his poems and two traditional Sámi yoiks. You can learn more about his work by clicking here: Niillas Holmberg

Finally, we enjoyed listening to Brian Ó hEadhra and Fionnaig Nic Choinnich who are singers and songwriters. They performed songs from the Gaelic traditions, which we were encouraged to singalong to. A link to their latest CD can be found here: Home (brian-fionnag.com)

Our Symposium and Ceilidh were huge successes, and we were delighted to welcome guest speakers and performers to share their knowledge and join the conversation as we focused on key IRC themes, under the main focus of ‘People, Landscape and a Sense of Place’.

For more details about the Her­itage and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty theme, con­tact U.Kockel@hw.ac.uk  

For the Pop­u­lar Cul­ture and In­clu­sion theme, con­tact C.G.Tin­ker@hw.ac.uk  

For the Mi­gra­tion theme, con­tact A.S­trani@hw.ac.uk

Lucy Lannigan, PhD Candidate in Heritage and Sustainability, Intercultural Research Centre

Study for a PhD with us ! Apply for a scholarship !

The following projects are available:

Minority sign languages and sign language contact.
(Supervisory team: Dr Robert Adam & Dr Annelies Kusters)

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Robert Adam
(r.adam@hw.ac.uk)

Syrian identities in the UK.
(Supervisory team: Dr Lina Fadel & Dr Katerina Strani)
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Lina Fadel (lina.fadel@hw.ac.uk)

Deaf geographies. (Supervisory team: Dr Annelies Kusters & Dr Robert Adam)
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Annelies Kusters (a.kusters@hw.ac.uk)

Enhancing multilingual communication and ensuring procedural fairness through empirical research on interpreting and/or translation in police settings. (Ref.: SoSS-2021-017) (Supervisory team: Dr Eloísa Monteoliva & Prof Jemina Napier)
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Eloísa Monteoliva (eloisa.monteoliva@hw.ac.uk)

We look forward to receiving your applications.

ITI Webinar by Ramon Inglada (LINCS) on the Thorny Issue of Payment Rates for Machine Translation

Ramon Inglada, Assistant Professor in Spanish and Translation Technologies in the Languages and Intercultural Studies department at Heriot-Watt University, was delighted to accept the invitation from the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) to talk about the ever complex issue of payment for Machine Translation (MT).

This invitation came after a successful presentation on MT given by Mr. Inglada for ScotNet, the ITI Scottish regional network, which covered general concepts related to MT (from types of MT engines to quality levels).

The ITI presentation, which attracted an online audience of almost 200 translation industry professionals, was more specifically focused on MT pricing models, with the general aim of raising awareness about the different alternatives and recent developments in this area.

The presentation began by highlighting the complexity of this topic given all the different factors at play. It made the case for professionals working in machine translation post-editing (MTPE) projects to move away from the idea of having a unique word-based rate for all such projects and to explore the possibility of charging a dynamic per-word or hourly rate based on project conditions (such as quality of the source content, quality of the MT output, language combination and deadline). The concept (developed, among others, by Corinne McKay) of using objective data to set translation rates based on a calculation of billable hours and a target hourly rate was also discussed.

The webinar then proceeded to analyse different well-established pricing methods currently being used in the translation industry in order to establish MTPE pricing models (with options including proofreading rates, dynamic ranges for specific MTPE rates, hourly rates and Translation Edit Rate, also known as TER). After this, other more novel alternatives in this field were mentioned (including the potential use of pricing algorithms or special higher rate percentages for certain content), as well as the possibility of introducing a model of standard pricing for this type of projects across the industry.

The presentation gave rise to a very lively 1-hour long Q&A session, with plenty of challenging questions and insightful audience comments. After more than 2 hours the webinar was brought to a close, with the general feeling that, even after a very extensive and useful discussion and exchange of ideas, MTPE pricing models remain a complex and multi-faceted issue that will undoubtedly continue to be the subject of passionate debate for many years to come.

InterTrainE Newsletter: February 2021

Welcome to the final newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Intercultural Training for Educators (InterTrainE)! The 2-year project is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

InterTrainE course launch

Our free online course on Intercultural Training for Educators was officially launched at national events and at an international final dissemination conference earlier this month. The InterTrainE course is available in 4 languages (English, Greek, Italian and Finnish) and the national events presented the local language version of the course.

National Multiplier Events

ITALY

The Italian course launch took place on 28th January online. The project lead for Studio Risorse, Monica Miglionico, and the project lead for Il Sicomoro, Valeria Zampagni, presented the Italian course and engaged in a long discussion with educators, migrant learners and other stakeholders in Matera and beyond.

GREECE

The Greek course launch took place on 27th January online. The project lead for KEKAPER at the Region of Crete, Charalambos-Nikolaos Piteris, and the project lead for the European Education and Learning Institute -EELI, Kalli Rodopoulou, presented the Greek course and engaged in discussion with participant educators, local and regional authorities and other stakeholders.

FINLAND

The Finnish course launch took place on February 11th online. The project lead for Learning for Integration ry, Marja-Liisa Helenius, presented the Finnish course and engaged in discussion with participant educators, learners and other stakeholders.

UK – FINAL LAUNCH EVENT

The UK dissemination and final launch event for the project took place on February 1st online. The project lead for Creative Learning Programmes, Chrysi Koundouraki, and the project coordinator from Heriot-Watt University, Dr Katerina Strani, presented the InterTrainE course and engaged in discussion with participant educators, learners, academics and other stakeholders in the UK and the rest of Europe.

The InterTrainE course

The InterTrainE course is divided into 4 Modules and each Module consists of 4 units.

Module 1: Theoretical Background, Basic Principles and Concepts
Module 2: Intercultural Competences in the Context of Migration
Module 3: Adult education practices in intercultural contexts
Module 4: Impact and global citizenship

A certificate of completion awarding 5 EQF credits is issued to learners who complete the course and achieve a minimum of 70% in each Module. Learners can choose to complete part of the course according to their training needs, however they will not receive a certificate of completion if they do not complete all 4 Modules.

There is a discussion forum where you are invited to ask questions and discuss key concepts or case studies in the course under the principles of peer learning.

The course is accompanied by a Course Syllabus and a Trainees’ Handbook.

You can find all our completed outputs, including research reports, curricula, the course syllabus and the trainees’ handbook on our website: http://intertraine.eu/outputs

Remember that our website and our outputs are available in all project languages: English, Italian, Greek and Finnish.

Be part of our conversation! Register on our platform http://intertraine.eu/moodle/ and follow the online course. Send us your feedback at info@intertraine.eu

Thank you for all your support!

Project website and social media accounts

Our project website includes information and updates on our project, as well as all Intellectual Outputs to date. The website is available in all partner languages – English, Greek, Italian and Finnish.

Updates are published regularly on social media. To make sure you don’t miss out:
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Research Gate  

For any questions or comments, please contact: info@intertraine.eu

Or the project coordinator:

Dr Katerina Strani
Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies
Henry Prais Building
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS
UK
Tel: +44 131 451 4216
A.Strani@hw.ac.uk

“InterTrainE update – our online credit-bearing course is ready!

InterTrainE NewsletterDecember 2020

Welcome to the fifth newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Intercultural Training for Educators (InterTrainE)! The 2-year project is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies

Baby news

Congratulations to Alastair Mackie (HWU) who became a Dad in July! Alastair, his partner Zoe and baby Mikkel are doing great. This is the third new member of the InterTrainE team, with Kalli Rodopoulou (EELI) and Kate Sailer (CLP) also welcoming bundles of joy last year 🙂

Our course is ready!

We are very happy to announce that our online course is now ready and freely available through our platform! http://intertraine.eu/moodle/

The InterTrainE course is divided into 4 Modules and each Module consists of 4 units.

Module 1: Theoretical Background, Basic Principles and Concepts
Module 2: Intercultural Competences in the Context of Migration
Module 3: Adult education practices in intercultural contexts
Module 4: Impact and global citizenship

A certificate of completion awarding 5 EQF credits is issued to learners who complete the course and achieve a minimum of 70% in each Module. Learners can choose to complete part of the course according to their training needs, however they will not receive a certificate of completion if they do not complete all 4 Modules.

There is a discussion forum where you are invited to ask questions and discuss key concepts or case studies in the course under the principles of peer learning.

The course is accompanied by a Course Syllabus and a Trainees’ Handbook.

You can find all our completed outputs, including research reports, curricula, the course syllabus and the trainees’ handbook on our website: http://intertraine.eu/outputs

Remember that our website and our outputs are available in all project languages: English, Italian, Greek and Finnish.

Joint Staff Training Event highlights

Our online Joint-Staff Training Event took place on 16th-20th November. The JSTE was hosted by KEKAPER – Region of Crete, sadly not in Rethymno, but on Zoom. 22 participants from the 7 partners in 4 countries were trained on the basis of the InterTrainE course, provided feedback and critically evaluated the course content and impact.

Some highlights from the week’s activities:

On Day 1, we focused on Module 1: Basic Principles and Concepts. We discussed interculturalism and intercultural education in the context of critical adult education. We looked at dimensions of privilege and their role in the classroom. This discussed included power dynamics in intercultural classrooms, motivation, language of instruction, languages of learners, empowerment and co-construction of knowledge.

Day 2 focused on Module 2: Intercultural Competences in the Context of Migration. We discussed stereotypes, bias, uncertainty, trauma, deskilling, confidence, motivation and empathy. Not bad for one module!

Day 3 focused on Module 3: Adult education practices in intercultural contexts. We revisited group dynamics in intercultural classrooms, and discussed racism and discrimination in the classroom with relevant case-studies. When we finished, Yannis asks us to state one word that we would take away from today. We all agreed on “Inspired”!

Day 4 was focused on the final module, Module 4: Impact and Global Citizenship. We discussed our role as educators, taking into account everything we had learned and discussed so far. We looked at both personal and social impact, which sparked a debate on age and gender bias.

Who says the online medium limits engagement? We had a long and interesting discussion on Intercultural v. Global education.

On Day 5, which was the last day of the JSTE, we focused on case-studies prepared by the participants. These case-studies and personal stories sparked a discussion on the importance of empathetic listening and attitudes as opposed to judging isolated behaviours. An interesting debate followed on politics in the classroom, languages in the classroom, group work and group dynamics, and the difference between individualist and collectivist cultures.

That’s a wrap!!! We are all still buzzing. Cheers! متشکرم Grazie Gracias Kiitos Ευχαριστούμε Faleminderit

We have analysed the JSTE feedback and made minor changes to course material in response to participants’ recommendations. Our External Evaluator, Dr Jim Crowther also provided us with comments and an evaluation of the final course. We are very grateful to our external evaluator for his feedback and guidance. His expertise and engagement with the project are invaluable.

Be part of our conversation! Register on our platform http://intertraine.eu/moodle/ and follow the online course. Send us your feedback at info@intertraine.eu

Next stages

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all our remaining activities will take place online until the end of the project in February 2021. Our national Multiplier Events and our project’s Final Dissemination Event will take place in the coming months.

Watch this space for the dates of our national multiplier events and for our project’s Final Dissemination Event, when the course will be formally presented!

In 2020, many aspects of our work and our lives changed and we are being affected in ways we could not imagine. Online education has a more crucial role than ever before to support and connect learning communities. Stay tuned and check out our activities on our website   http://intertraine/eu

Project website and social media accounts

Our project website includes information and updates on our project, as well as all Intellectual Outputs to date. The website is available in all partner languages – English, Greek, Italian and Finnish.

Updates are published regularly on social media. To make sure you don’t miss out:

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Research Gate  

Our next and final newsletter will be out in February 2021, so stay tuned!

Contact

For any questions or comments, please contact: info@intertraine.eu

Or the project coordinator:

Dr Katerina Strani
Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies
Henry Prais Building
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS
UK

Tel: +44 131 451 4216
A.Strani@hw.ac.uk