METM22 presentation

Creative Translation in the Classroom: focus on translator-facilitated workshops

Laura Bennett, Beaconsfield, UK

In 2019, the UK-based Stephen Spender Trust launched the Creative Translation in the Classroom programme as part of its promotion and celebration of multilingualism, translation and international literature. Broadly speaking, the term creative translation is used to describe a range of initiatives that use translation in creative ways in the classroom, with multiple cross-curricular and social benefits.

For the last two academic years, alongside her translation work, freelance translator and MET member Laura Bennett has been part of a team of translators delivering creative translation workshops to their partner secondary schools in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire on behalf of the trust. With activities based on translating comics, picture books, plays, poems and songs from a range of source languages into English, these workshops provide students with an initial introduction to creative translation and the doors that other languages and cultures can open. The talk will focus on several of the workshops Laura has delivered, both in person and remotely, providing concrete examples of the work the students are asked to do and their responses. Not only have these activities proved popular with pupils, whether they had a prior interest in language learning or not, but they also offer participants from monolingual backgrounds in an increasingly monolingual country unparalleled insight into other languages and cultures.

Involvement in outreach projects such as these clearly has the potential to allow translators to raise the profile of language learning and multiculturalism, and it also allows us to give something back in a way that adds to our own career satisfaction and shapes our identity as professional translators.
[Read a member’s review of the presentation.]

About the presenter

Laura Bennett is a UK-based freelance translator from French and Italian into English, specialising in art history and sport. Her clients include major museums and publishers. She has been a workshop facilitator for the Stephen Spender Trust’s Creative Translation in the Classroom programme since 2020.