Workshops for K-16 World Language Teachers

First Round: March-June, 2023; Second Round: Spring 2025

Two K-16 workshops--three sessions each, occurring in hybrid format--will occur during the four-year grant cycle, and will have three primary foci: 

  • To explain techniques to use translation as a pedagogical tool to create engaging tasks for language students
  • To address language teachers' questions and issues related to translation
  • To offer the teachers an opportunity to practice the craft of translation. 

Participants will leave the workshops with concrete ideas about how to formally use translation in student activities, and how to encourage responsible use of translation informally on a day-to-day basis. Cohorts consist of in-service and pre-service K-16 world language teachers, including instructors from Kirkwood Community College. In-service K-12 teachers are eligible for a License Renewal Credit through the University of Iowa's Teacher Leader Center. Pre-service teachers qualify for workshop credit on their Teacher Leader Certificate, a requirement before student teaching. The workshops will be led by a small team of translation experts working closely with K-12 world language pedagogy experts.

Workshop for High School Students


This in-school workshop will provide an opportunity for high school-level English Learners (ELs) in  in the region to learn about translation techniques while drawing from their full linguistic repertoires and knowledge of multiple languages in some translation activities. This multicultural literacy and exchange workshop will encourage students to work together to translate short literary texts,  affirming the importance of their multilingualism and home language knowledge. 

Participants will produce a small multilingual collection of translations that will be available for use in K-12 classrooms to encourage similar learning experiences. We hope to collaborate with schools in the Iowa City Community School District (district with over 14,000 ELs [12.9%] in 2021-2022), West Liberty (over 1,200 ELs [27.5%]), and the Cedar Rapids Community School District (about 15,000 ELs [7.7%]). 

Workshop for Translators/Interpreters in School Districts & Social Service/Civic Organizations


This one-day online workshop for translators and interpreters will feature practical training in such tasks as document translation and real-time interpretation. It will also feature discussion about cultural and linguistic diversity, non-verbal communication, and building rapport with families and students. 

This workshop is intended for two groups of professionals: 

  • Bilingual individuals who carry out translation services in school districts, social service, and civic organizations who have little to no training in interpreting spoken or written language
  • Individuals who have had training in translating or interpreting who are seeking continuing education, mentoring, and peer networking opportunities. 

Participants will be recruited from school districts, civic organizations, community groups, and community college networks. The workshop will be led by a team from the University of Iowa who have expertise in translation, K-12 English, and in language for specific sites and purposes (e.g. Spanish for business, medicine, and law enforcement).

Workshop for Mental Health Providers


Most mental health services delivered to children and families of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds involve English-speaking counselors. Current counselor education programs and professional development place little to no emphasis on training clinicians in interpreting how culture and language impacts their clients' emotional and relational expression in session. Nor do they provide training about how a counselor's own culture and language affect their interpretation and conceptualization of a client's world view and needs. 

The hybrid workshop is for clinical mental health and school counselors working in school districts and mental health clinics in the community. The one-day emotional and cultural translation workshop will feature practical training in such tasks as identifying emotional states through diverse expression, identifying how client symptoms are affected by their socio-cultural and linguistic parameters, communicating accurate empathy, and cross-checking interpretation and problem conceptualization. It will also feature discussion about cultural and linguistic diversity, non-verbal communication, and building rapport with families and students. The workshop will be led by a University of Iowa team of cross-cultural mental health experts and translation experts.