Creative Translation in the Classroom

Creative Translation in the Classroom (2019–22) embeds creative translation in our partner schools over the course of a school year.

Photograph of an SST education workshop

Overview

Creative Translation in the Classroom is a three-year programme running in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, with funding from the Rothschild Foundation and Polonsky Foundation. The Creative Translation in the Classroom programme:
  • partners translators and teachers to design and deliver creative translation workshops and activities for pupils in Key Stages 2 and 3
  • shares our creative translation practices with teachers to use in their classrooms
  • develops teaching resources to be used across the partner school and beyond
  • links to the Stephen Spender Prize by including a poetry translation workshop and featuring each year’s Spotlight language (2020: Polish, 2021: Urdu, 2022: Romanian)
Alongside the main Creative Translation in the Classroom programme, we added an annual series of CPD webinars for teachers in 2021. Through the interactive sessions, teachers learn how to design and deliver creative translation and support their pupils to enter the Stephen Spender Prize.
More than a creative translation programme

“We enjoyed discussing how different countries/cultures do things differently and why. I found that many students thought this to be eye-opening”. Participating secondary school teacher


Creative Translation in the Classroom Programme Structure

Creative Translation in the Classroom initiates partnerships between translators, teachers, and classes over the course of a school year. This long-term engagement is delivered through live encounters with translators, teacher-led activities, and asynchronous online resources across 3 stages:

Seasonal Activity: the translator and teacher co-develop an activity based with a seasonal theme (e.g. autumn, winter, Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali or New Year), to be delivered by teachers

School Visit: the translator visits their partner school to (a) speak in an assembly; (b) give a whole-class workshop; and (c) co-deliver a creative translation showcase to other teachers

Poetry Workshop: translators design a poetry workshop to be delivered by teachers to support their engagement with the Stephen Spender Prize

These creative translation activities engage pupils in language craft, increase intercultural awareness, and draw links across the curriculum.

Our Creative Translation in the Classroom Facilitators

Creative Translation in the Classroom brings together a team of talented translators, trained to develop workshops and resources for young people aged 8 to 18.

Photo of Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp translates books from German, Russian and Arabic into English. She has translated picture books, novels and nonfiction from Germany, Jordan, Palestine, Russia, Switzerland and Syria. Ruth graduated from the University of Oxford in 2003 and completed an MA in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Bath. Ruth is co-founder of educational company Babel Babies and co-editor of World Kid Lit blog, a website focused on global and translated children’s books.

Photo of Rahul Bery

Rahul Bery

Rahul Bery is a translator from Spanish and Portuguese into English. He was the British Library’s translator-in-residence for 2018-2019. He is a qualified teacher of Modern Foreign Languages and English as an Additional Language and has taught in primary and secondary schools in London, Bristol and South Wales. Rahul is lead trainer at the Queen’s College Translation Exchange, facilitating Creative Translation Ambassadors workshops for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Photo of Laura Bennett

Laura Bennett

Laura Bennett translates from French and Italian into English and specialises in the fields of art history, museums and sport. She has published a number of books in all three areas, from exhibition catalogues on the Impressionists and the history of a miniature 18th-century wooden relief map of a French city to biographies of Pablo Picasso, Paul Pogba and Zinedine Zidane.

Sascha Aurora Akhtar

Sascha Akhtar’s eighteen years as a practicing writer have led her to performance, education, mentoring, and translation. She is the author of six poetry collections and a book of translations from the Urdu of the first female pilot in the Subcontinent. Sascha teaches poetry and recently created an online course for The Literary Consultancy as part of their #BeingAWriter project. Sascha’s latest two books are a return to her Pakistani/Urdu roots. Sascha curated the 2021 Urdu Spotlight programme for the Stephen Spender Prize.

Marina Sofia

Marina Sofia translates novels, short stories and plays from Romanian and German into English, but has also worked as an interpreter for Japanese and French journalists on some hair-raising occasions. She has published poetry, flash fiction and creative non-fiction in English, and has recently founded a publishing house Corylus Books, specialising in crime fiction with a social edge, particularly from languages that have been less translated into English. She has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology and worked for many years as a cross-cultural trainer and coach.

Sophie Lau

Sophie Lau is a translator, tutor, and writer currently working in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Latin, and English. Sophie has been tutoring primary and secondary school students in said languages, as well as in English Language and Literature, since 2017, and she began teaching ESL in 2021. Sophie is also a keen journalist and poet. She often writes opinion pieces related to her experiences as part of the Hong Kong diaspora, and she released her first poetry collection in 2020. Her life goals are to learn the world’s twenty most-spoken languages and to try to preserve Hakka for future generations!

Georgia Wall

Georgia Wall is a translator working from Italian to English and a part-time Italian tutor at the University of Warwick. Previously she has worked as a nursery assistant and English language tutor in Abruzzo (Italy), and a bookseller. She was a mentee on the National Centre for Writing’s Emerging Translators programme (2020/21) and has a PhD in Italian Studies (2018, Warwick).

Previous Creative Translation in the Classroom Facilitators

Photo of Maja Konkolewska

Maja Konkolewska

Maja Konkolewska is a freelance translator and interpreter working between Polish and English. She holds an MA in Translation Studies from the University of Portsmouth, a Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (Polish-English Law) from the Institute of Linguists Educational Trust, and Qualified Teacher Status. She teaches Community Interpreting and has experience designing and delivering creative translation workshops in primary and secondary schools. An avid reader and road trip enthusiast, she lives with her trilingual family in Brighton and Hove.

Photo of Sophie Hughes

Sophie Hughes

Sophie Hughes has translated some of the finest Spanish and Latin American authors at work today. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize for her translation of Alia Trabucco Zerán’s The Remainder. In 2018 she was named one of the Arts Foundation “25” for her contribution to the field of literary translation. Sophie frequently speaks about translation and give workshops at universities and festivals across the UK and the Americas.

Photo of Cheryl Moskowitz

Cheryl Moskowitz

Cheryl Moskowitz is a poet, novelist, community writing facilitator and creative translator with a background in psychology and theatre. Her Poems from Home initiative encourages EAL communities to engage in creative translation by sharing poems from their home countries. Cheryl translates the work of Ethiopian poet Bewketu Seyoum. She has published two collections of poetry for children, Can it Be About Me? and most recently The Corona Collection – A Conversation as well as a collection for adults The Girl is Smiling (Circle Time Press) and a novel Wyoming Trail (Granta). Cheryl’s new collection Maternal Impression is published with Against the Grain Press in Spring 2021.


Creative Translation in the Classroom Pilot

2017-18 saw the first iteration of what has become our flagship programme Creative Translation in the Classroom. Translators pitched ideas for creative translation workshops, and selected translators were invited to present these at a training day that introduced teachers to the principles of creative translation. A selection of the teachers were subsequently partnered with translators to pilot the workshop in their school. The partnership entailed: a translator-teacher meeting to plan the workshop; a school workshop co-delivered by teacher and translator; and a blog by the translator describing the project.