Learning about Caribbean culture and brushing up my English in beautiful Barbados
Continued professional development... with palm trees, beaches, gorgeous sunsets, and Caribbean sunshine... does it get any better?
To learn something new is always gratifying in our profession, whether at conferences or during a training session. The two-week AIIC-promoted course for interpreters, English in the Caribbean far exceeded that goal!
The fact that it took place in beautiful Barbados was an obvious asset from the start and, yes, participants enjoyed the beach and gorgeous sunsets after class, as well as excursions during the weekend...
Top quality lectures
But the top quality lectures on a wide variety of topics, served by brilliant speakers, most of them professors at the University of the West Indies (UWI), was definitely the greatest strength of this course.
We had lectures on the history and culture of the Caribbean, regional economics and politics, environmental challenges, tourism, the financial sector, spirituality, health issues, sports (we tried cricket and road tennis!), a Creole cooking class.
Interactive sessions with speakers were often followed by lively discussions among students after classes or visits.
We were also able to access written material on an eLearning module, with a forum on which to raise additional questions.
A Caribbean angle
Lecturers presented information from a Caribbean angle which was thoroughly researched, very rich in content and thought-provoking. I am convinced that this additional knowledge will contribute to helping us better understand the dynamics at play at many of the conferences we serve as interpreters. There was also a linguistic component with a focus on accents which will also be useful in our professional practice.
Kudos to organizers Jihane Sfeir and Sandra Hamilton who, together with Dr Stacy Denny from the English Language Centre of Cave Hill UWI put together this amazing programme, which leaves all ten students energized and wanting to learn more!
We are already looking forward to the next session!
As Andy Gillies put it in an article published in Communicate!, "continued professional development is a win-win!"
Articles published in this section reflect the views of the author(s) and should not be taken to represent the official position of AIIC.
Photos courtesy of Sylvie Nossereau