JUSTISIGNS 2 project

Supporting deaf female victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence

By Jemina Napier & Luce Clark

See the link to this blogpost in British Sign Language (BSL):

In this v/blogpost Jemina Napier and Luce (Lucy) Clark from the SIGNS@HWU team in the Centre of Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS) at Heriot-Watt University provide an overview of the work to date on the Justisigns 2 project. The wider project focuses on how to support victims and survivors of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence from deaf and migrant communities, with a view to understanding best practices for key professionals (i.e., police, health and social) and interpreters working together to ensure access to support. The Heriot-Watt University team are focusing on support for deaf women specifically.

The Justisigns 2 project runs from January 2020 to May 2022 but had a delayed start due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is a follow-on from the Justisigns project, which focused on best practices for police officers and sign language interpreters working together.

Below is a translation of the overview presented in BSL.

JEMINA:          This vlog is about the Justisigns 2 project. My name is Jemina Napier and I work at Heriot Watt University. 

LUCE:               My name is Lucy Clark, I work as a research assistant with Jemina. 

JEMINA:          The purpose of this vlogpost is to explain about the Justisigns 2 project and the goals of the project.

Firstly, we will explain the background of the project, then we will provide details of our work to date and our on-going plans. 

Essentially, we are aiming to understand deaf women’s experiences of gender-based violence (GBV), which can be defined in many ways to include domestic, sexual and emotional abuse, and their needs for accessing support.

Much of the information and support for GBV victims is not available in British Sign Language (BSL) or other sign languages, so this project, funded through the European Commission, brings together a European consortium coordinated by Interesource Group. Heriot-Watt University is the UK partner and we are working with partners in Ireland (Trinity College Dublin), Spain (University of Vigo) and Belgium (European Union for the Deaf). 

We are aiming to develop training materials and resources to support professionals and interpreters working with deaf female victims and survivors of GBV. In an ideal world, any deaf woman who has been abused should be able to receive support from specialist deaf services to get the support directly in BSL (known as language concordant care).

But we know that this is often not possible, so many deaf women will have to receive support through mainstream hearing services, meaning that police officers, counsellors and support workers will have to work with BSL interpreters.

So, the goal of this project is to develop resources as well training materials for both BSL interpreters and allied hearing professionals who work to support deaf female GBV victims and survivors. The project will enable us to better understand the best way to support deaf women and their needs – most importantly – in sign language. 

So far, since starting work on this project we have set up a UK advisory group, involving representatives of key organisations that work with deaf people, with female victims of GBV, or with sign language interpreters, namely BDA Scotland (British Deaf Association), Wise Women in Glasgow, Scottish Women’s Aid, SignHealth, and ASLI (Association of Sign Language Interpreters UK). The organisations will ensure that our project results are most useful, by making us aware of the needs of the key stakeholders.

Since we set up the advisory group, we have also recently administered a survey to interpreters and hearing support professionals to find out what training needs they have to support their skills development in working with deaf women in GBV contexts. We have also run a few online information sessions: (1) a general information event for the British Deaf community, a webinar for deaf women on International Women’s Day, and (3) a joint information session for police officers with the Police Scotland Domestic Abuse Coordination Unit in collaboration with the SIPR (Scottish Institute for Policing Research). 

Also, we held an online workshop with BSL interpreters and deaf IDVAs (Independent Domestic Violence Advocates) to discuss best practices for working together, the challenges involved and any barriers in supporting deaf women. 

We have done a lot of work so far, and we are excited exciting that Luce has now joined the team as a new staff member, and just started at the end of June 2021.

LUCE:               Yes, time flies! 

JEMINA:          Why don’t you explain what you have been doing since then?  

LUCE:               So far, I have done a lot of research, primarily analysing the video of the discussion between the IDVAs and Interpreters; their knowledge and experience, it was amazing. Because I knew from my own experiences, I personally understood what they were talking about. I learned along the way, analysed what they were discussing (for key themes) and produced a translation. We will be sharing the results of that soon. 

Also, I have conducted other research examining the news in Scotland, England and Wales for local relevant updates concerning domestic and gender-based violence. For example, there is one news item that stood out for me: now in Scotland, if a couple are living together to in a rental property, and the perpetrator of abuse is arrested, the victim can stay safely in the rental property. This means that the perpetrator has to leave the property, and the landlord can approve for the victim stay at home to be safe. Information like this is important to share in BSL, which I will be doing regularly through vlogs.

Plus, I will be sharing information on how to recognise different signs to use for concepts related to abuse. It needs to be recognised as the abuses can be wide ranging. So we need to identify appropriate signs for different types of abuse, for example like ‘informed consent’ and pronouns and other terminology. Because we want to ensure that we create a safe space to talk about GBV, for people from LGBTQIA+ and other minority communities, including different ethnicities and disabilities. We can improve access to information by focusing on the key thing that is common to the various deaf communities, and that is providing information in sign language.

It is amazing this work, and I am still excited to work in this project. Looking forward to gathering more information, as the more we have, the more aware we are. So, we will share more information once we have agreed what information needs to go out. 

JEMINA:          We have been busy with this project! It will run for one more year, and hopefully we might get an extension (fingers crossed!). 

Forthcoming plans include a workshop for deaf and hearing interpreters to get together to discuss, like Lucy said earlier, how we sign different terminology and jargon. For example, we sometimes see the sign ‘victim’ signed in a way that is similar to a sign for ‘guilt’, which implies that it is the victim’s fault, which is never the case. A more appropriate sign might be to show the person has suffered, or has experienced abuse, but it is not their fault. There are several other examples for us to discuss the appropriate signs for different terms. Especially if an interpreter is accompanying a victim in a police context where they are being questioned about an incident, or to a  hospital for a medical check-up, or to a counsellor appointment, or to other support services, there can be legal or medical terms that come up that are important for the interpreter to understand. So, Luce is doing some initial research, and then we will have a workshop to discuss these terms with the aim of creating a BSL glossary to make freely available. 

We will also provide workshops for police officers and other hearing support service professionals, as well interpreters, so they can reflect on how best to work in these situations with deaf victims. If you continue to watch our vlogposts, we will regularly share information about the workshops/events coming up.

We also hope to conduct follow up interviews with deaf women about their lived experiences. If we can log their experiences, we can better understand their needs which will inform the development of training materials that reflect their needs. 

LUCE:               And just to add that we are fully aware that most deaf women may feel nervous when it comes to participating in interviews. We would like to be clear on this that all interviews will be 100% confidential. They will help us to generate the evidence to understand the journeys of deaf women having to access hearing services through interpreters. This is our focus as we would like to know how can we improve the situation, to support professionals and interpreters to employ best practices. To avoid additional stress caused by having to explain about deaf-specific issues, which can create tensions. Our goal is to make sure the support services are smooth was possible, to work together to focus on victim, so hearing professionals and interpreters can better work toegther.  As a survivor myself who has been through domestic violence, if you are comfortable, I welcome you to talk to me, and I guarantee that anything you say will remain confidential.  Our job is to make sure you are safe. We want to be clear on that.  

JEMINA:          That’s right. It is a good point. Especially because the interviews will be recorded in BSL. From the videos we will take note of the most important things, but then the videos will be deleted immediately as soon as we are finished. The videos won’t be shown to anyone else, or kept for any other reason. No names will be revealed. The aim of the interview is to learn about experiences, and to use example quotes in the training to reveal those experiences; but no one will ever know who said what. which can be used to develop better training. It is a good point and it is important to be clear on that. 

So, what’s next? Luce has vlogging plans! 

LUCE:               Yes, I will be vlogging about any events in the UK, or new information, e.g. about change of laws or the fight for law reform, or campaigns for the victims. That information I will be vlogging via Twitter and Facebook. The more information out there, the better. You can follow us, tag us, and share the information with friends and family. It will raise awareness about these situations, and we will signpost information on where people can get support by the right people/organisations. And the best thing is that it will all be in BSL; we will be translating information into in BSL. This we hope to launch soon, aiming for a vlogpost every month. So, keep an eye out for it. If you have any information that you would like to share with us, that we can do; I will share it through the vlog. 

JEMINA:          So, watch this space! 

LUCE:               Keep safe, all of you.  

Thoughts on Language, Culture and Migration

By Grace Igbinoke, S5 pupil and Career Ready Intern at the IRC in LINCS

I have always loved travelling because I get to see new places and know about new cultures. The even more fun part for me is that when you travel, you get to learn new languages. Languages are jigsaws that you have to complete, and it is important that, after you have completed one, you take care of it, and you don’t undo it. When you become bilingual (or perhaps polyglot), your brain is trained to have more than one language ready to answer at the time. This trains your memory retention, your ability to focus and it is a great way to make people more broad-minded as they will acknowledge the existence of how objects and gestures are seen in the different cultures. This in turn makes people more respectful and empathetic.

Maybe my love for languages comes from the fact that I grew up in a polyglot family. My parents speak four languages each, but for one reason or another they never thought me their first language – Edo. This did not stop my love for languages, in fact it only reinforced it.

One of the reasons my parents did not teach me their language is that they needed to learn another language themselves, which left little to no time to focus on teaching their children their own language. Another reason is that they thought that their language was irrelevant compared to my actual first language, Italian, which is a language from Europe. 

Sadly, this is the thought many immigrants have when moving. This idea that because a language is from Europe, it is more valuable than a language from Africa or Asia is very upsetting.

Some people will argue that perhaps some languages are more important and valuable than others. My take on this opinion is that: yes, some languages are definitely more valuable on your CV, because they are languages from more economically influential countries (or simply because there are more speakers of that language), but no, no language is more important than another one. Languages hold cultures and stories, and no one has the right to decide which language is valuable and which isn’t, because it is only harming the next generation’s knowledge of their own culture. I am saying this from experience.

My point is: the culture is held by the language in which it is spoken. For example, certain words or phrases simply do not make any sense if translated. Also, every language has its own sense of humour, which might make absolutely no sense in another language. Each language is beautiful and different. Therefore, it is important that all languages are valued.

In conclusion, languages are fun and unique, and they are an important instrument which will effectively keep a culture going for generations. So, if you are a free spirit as myself, pack your bags and on you go, your next destination is to be learning a new culture through its language!

Grace Igbinoke, S5 pupil and Career Ready Intern at the IRC in LINCS

IndyLan Newsletter – July 2021

IndyLan Newsletter – July 2021

Welcome to the third newsletter of our Erasmus+ project Mobile Virtual Learning for Indigenous Languages (IndyLan).

The 26-month project (2019-2021) is led by Heriot-Watt University and the Coordinator is Dr Katerina Strani from the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies. The project includes the following 5 partners from 4 countries (UK, Finland, Norway and Spain):

The IndyLan project is developing a mobile application that will help speakers of English, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish to learn Gaelic, Scots, Cornish, Basque, Galician and Saami, all endangered at different degrees.  Our project’s educational tool is designed specifically for users to help them learn not only some of Europe’s endangered languages but also more about the cultures of the people who speak these languages.

The tool constitutes a gamified language-learning solution that will contain around 4,000 vocabulary items (both terms and expressions) in about 100 categories. The modes that will be available in the application are: Vocabulary; Phrases; Dialogues; Grammar; Aural Comprehension; Culture. 

Our vision is for the IndyLan app to contribute to endangered language learning and revitalisation so that these languages remain alive and relevant in contemporary societies and economies. 

Our project website is available in 11 languages. It has a dedicated section on the languages and people of the IndyLan app, with videos and resources. On our website you can also find news and updates, as well as a list of our downloadable outputs.

News and updates

Covid-19 impact on our project

We have continued to work remotely in the past year and held all meetings online. Since our last newsletter in June 2020, we met online three times: in September 2020, in December 2020 and in March 2021, which would have been our third official project meeting in Bilbao. The official project meeting took place on 23rd March 2021 on Zoom. During this meeting, we discussed progress with Intellectual Output 2 (the app in beta version), internal and external evaluations of our intellectual outputs and dissemination activities. We also started preparations for Intellectual Output 3, the pilot testing phrase, and revised the timeline for the finalisation of the app content.

Partners met online for the 3rd official project meeting in March 2021

Our initial plan was to have the app ready in beta version in April and to launch it in June. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in some unforeseen delays, with reduced capacity across the project team. We are now aiming to start the app testing in August and to launch the app officially in September.

We will keep you posted !

You will also be invited to our local and international dissemination events in the Autumn – details will be available in due course.

Sneak peek at the app

Partners have completed the translation of about 4,000 vocabulary items, as well as phrases and dialogues, grammar exercises, culture tabs and various types of exercises for each language. This was no easy task, as there were many untranslatable terms (there are no words for ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in Cornish), terms with complicated translations (‘to own something’ in Gaelic) and other terms with more than one translations (see snow terminology in Sámi).

We are now finalising the app backend and are testing the app internally. Here are some screenshots !

Dissemination and events

Áile Javo, the Secretary General of the Saami Council, one of the project partners, presented the project at an UNESCO -led event on Indigenous Languages in January:

#ArcticConnections – Indigenous Languages: Thriving in a Digital Age – YouTube

Katerina Strani, the project coordinator, presented the project in her talk ‘Language and Communities: Present and future Scottish-Arctic collaborations’, at the Scotland-Arctic Network Series: Engaging Local and Indigenous Communities event, in March: https://youtu.be/gSAL0gMg-m0 

Heriot-Watt’s biannual Intercultural Research Centre Symposium was held in May, and this year it included an online celebration in the form of a cèilidh. This included performances by Steve Byrne, who is working on the project, Meg Bateman, Niillas Holmberg, Brian Ó hEadhra and Fionnaig Nic Choinnich.

If you missed it, you can read about it here: Intercultural Research Centre Symposium and Ceilidh 2021 | LifeinLINCS 

Steve Byrne performing at the Intercultural Research Centre Symposium ceilidh

This year’s Speak Cornish week events were held online, and our project engaged with some activities on Twitter. Meur ras Kernow ! (=thank you, Cornwall)

Next steps:

  • The internal testing and  backend finalisation will be completed in the next few weeks.
  • The testing phase, which constitutes Intellectual Output 3, will begin in August.
  • Intellectual Output 3 will be the pilot testing of the app which will be carried out by remote users as well as participants in our multiplier events in all partner countries in the summer of 2021.
  • The app is scheduled to be launched at the Final Dissemination Conference in Cornwall in the autumn 2021.

The app will be available for download globally for free in both iOS and Android. Like all language-learning apps, IndyLan is complementary to other language- and culture courses and can be considered to be part of self-study material.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndylanP

 Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectIndyLan

For any questions or comments, please contact us at info@indylan.eu

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:

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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