Aston University offers emergency interpreter training for Ukrainian speakers to support refugees

Aston University offers emergency interpreter training for Ukrainian speakers to support refugees Aston University offers emergency interpreter training for Ukrainian speakers to support refugees

May 3, 20222 min read
  • Dr Emmanuelle Labeau and Dr Yvonne Fowler are running Emergency Interpreting Training for Ukrainian Speakers to introduce them to the basics of interpreting
  • The 10-hour training (10 x one hour) will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings online for five weeks
  • It is part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project with support from Aston University’s College of Business and Social Sciences.


Aston University has kicked off a five-week introduction to interpreting course for Ukrainian speakers to enable emergency interpreters to support Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK.


It is part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project called BRUM (Birmingham Research for Upholding Multilingualism) with support from Aston University’s College of Business and Social Sciences.


Dr Emmanuelle Labeau (AHRC fellow for the Future of Language Research) and Dr Yvonne Fowler are running Emergency Interpreting Training for Ukrainian Speakers. The 10-hour training scheme (10 one-hour sessions) started on 28 April 2022 and will take place every Tuesday and Thursday evening online for five weeks.


It has been devised to enable emergency interpreters to deliver a better service to traumatised Ukrainian refugees whose English is limited and who may require interpreting help in every aspect of their lives to access housing, physical and mental healthcare, educational facilities and welfare benefits.


Dr Emmanuelle Labeau, co-director of Aston Centre for Applied Linguistics (ACAL) at Aston University, said:


“Ukrainian refugees are arriving in the UK and there are few trained qualified Ukrainian interpreters to support those refugees with limited or no English in their dealings with public services.


“We have had a fantastic response to our offer of free emergency training in interpreting for Ukrainian speakers in the West Midlands, as part of the AHRC-funded BRUM project.


“I am thrilled that we have been able to pull this together and I am really pleased with how the first session went. We have people of all walks of life such as social services, healthcare, education and even a refugee who are so committed to help in any way they can, and it is lovely to empower them to do so!”


Dr Yvonne Fowler said:


“I am really proud to see this project get off the ground and help people in need.


“I have been a public service interpreter trainer for the last 25 years.


“My work has mostly involved preparing interpreters for the Diploma In Public Service, Interpreting Law and Healthcare options.


“But during this period, I delivered emergency interpreter training to support various waves of refugees who have come to Birmingham over the last 20 years: the Vietnamese boat refugees, the Bosnian refugees in the aftermath of the Bosnian war, and a month in Kosovo after the war there to train Albanian and Serbian interpreters at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.”


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