Sunday, 10 June
11:20–12:00, PRESENTATION SESSIONS 5
Maria Sherwood-Smith, Outreach and research communication in English: Opportunities for language professionals
Certain trends in the research climate in the Netherlands – especially the growing emphasis on the societal relevance of research and the tendency towards large, multidisciplinary projects – open up opportunities for those language professionals who support researchers. Researchers increasingly need to communicate about their research with non-specialists, whether the general public or their project partners from other disciplines. The majority of this communication occurs through English. For English-language professionals, these trends are reflected in a wider range of research-related text types for translation or editing. The texts serve different communicative purposes and span a variety of registers, ranging from informal written texts such as blogs or tweets and texts for oral production (TED-talks, presentations) to more formal texts such as funding applications. In addition, language professionals are needed to teach researchers the skills they need for research communication in English.
In my presentation, I will discuss how the developments outlined above affect the language support and courses I provide at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences in Leiden. We will look at examples of the different types of texts I translate and edit for researchers. On the teaching side, I will discuss the Research Master’s course on ‘Presenting Your Research’ that I teach together with lecturers in Psychology, and how we have adapted this course to focus more on presenting to a broader audience. The central objective is to draw attention to the trends identified and to explore some of the opportunities they open up.
My presentation should be of interest to all language professionals who provide language support to researchers, whether as editors, translators, or teachers of academic or scientific English.
About the presenter
Maria Sherwood-Smith is a lecturer in Academic English in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences in Leiden. She holds a BA in French and German from Trinity College Dublin, and a DPhil. in Medieval Languages from the University of Oxford. Her research focused on vernacular authors’ use of a Latin source text. After temporary lectureships at the universities of Manchester and Oxford, she moved to the Netherlands in 1999. Since 2003, Maria has been employed as a translator for the Dutch police. She also works as a freelance translator and language editor, mainly for academic publications.