Posted by: SSU Lingua Franca | May 5, 2021

Bring Intercultural and Global Learning into Class: ITL 400 Italian Translation Practicum Goes COIL

By Anna Rocca

Pioneered by the State University of New York (SUNY), the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is a pedagogical approach using digital technology to provide students with experiential international learning without traveling abroad. Differently from a technological system, platform, or software, COIL links faculty and students from different academic institutions located in different countries, and engages students in interactive, shared problem-solving exercises and projects with international peers. Adopted by several U.S. and international institutions to advance the curriculum’s internationalization, the COIL method has been proposed to SSU faculty in Fall 2020 by the Center for International Education (C.I.E.), facilitated by Dr. Julie Whitlow, Assistant Provost for Global Engagement, and Dr. Julie Kiernan, Faculty Fellow for Global Engagement.

Workshop in legal translation with Dr. Claudio Cambon

I decided to be part of this pilot project with my advanced class of Italian, ITL 400-Italian Translation Practicum, during the Spring 2021. I looked for an Italian partner institution interested in collaborating towards this program, and thus met the Italian Professor, Patrizia Martini, who teaches English at the Liceo Linguistico Simon Weil, located in Treviglio, Lombardy, Italy. The two of us had several Zoom meetings during the Fall and Winter terms to share ideas, potential ways of collaborating, and to craft course goals and assessments as well. We also decided to look for leaders in the field of translation to offer workshops to our students throughout the semester in both Italian and English. Prof. Martini found an Italian expert in literary translation, Dr. Anna Rusconi, and I found an American expert in legal and technical translation, Dr. Claudio Cambon. Trained at the prestigious Civica School of Interpreters and Translators Altiero Spinelli in Milan, Dr. Anna Rusconi has been translating narrative and essay writings from English into Italian since 1986. She also taught literary translation in both Milan and the University of Pisa and in 2013 founded, together with her colleague Gina Maneri, the “Summer School of Translation Gina Maneri and Anna Rusconi” in Tuscany, that forms students specializing in Linguistic and Translation. Dr. Claudio Cambon has worked as a freelance translator from Italian, French, Spanish, and German into English for almost 20 years, primarily in the fields of law, business, accounting and finance, marketing, as well as architecture and the visual arts. The son of two literary translators, Dr. Cambon was born in the US, grew up in Italy and Germany as well, graduated at Yale University in 1990, and he now lives in Paris, France. The two experts offered a 3-class workshop each on literary and technical translation techniques, each of them in their own native language.

Nido di Seta, Sericulture coop in San Floro, Calabria, Italy

SSU and Italian students met synchronously eleven times via Zoom and worked outside of class to collaboratively translate expressive, informative, and operative material. Each SSU student paired with three Italian students and formed 8 different Teams in which they acted as a group leader. Finally, SSU students had an additional professional task, a Community Service Project. They translated from Italian into English a variety of promotional material from the Italian Agricultural Cooperative of San Floro, Calabria, Nido di Seta.

Because of this unique format, ITL 400 course aimed to: 1. Bring intercultural and global learning into class and emphasize experiential student collaboration; 2. Foster student interaction with peers abroad, thus instilling a sense of global citizenship among them, and a professional behavior that respects diversity; 3. Open opportunities for global engagement and professional communication with Italian clients; 4. Enhance the WLC mission of preparing “a diverse community of learners to contribute responsibly and creatively to a global society!”


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