Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, USA

Type of institution: Institute 

Locations: Monterey, USA

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Our speakers are from The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey are Renée Jourdenais, Rosa Kavenoki and Winnie Yung-Chung Heh.

Renée Jourdenais is the dean of the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation, and Language Education (GSTILE). She received her PhD in Applied Linguistics from Georgetown University, and subsequently worked for the Center for Applied Linguistics as a language test developer. In 1998, she joined the Institute’s TESOL/TFL faculty, becoming program chair in 2003, a position she held until her appointment as dean of the former Graduate School of Language and Educational Linguistics in 2007. She has done extensive consulting work in language assessment, medical interpreter assessment, curriculum development, and teacher training, both in the United States and overseas. In 2006, she led a curriculum design team in the development of the immersive language curriculum for the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy. 

Rosa Kavenoki was born in St. Petersburg, Russia where she obtained her MA in Spanish Linguistics and Literature. Throughout her career she has continued to do freelance work in T&I, using Spanish and Italian at first, then English after moving to the U.S in 1985. She has worked with expansive and eclectic subject matter for such organization as the U.S. Secret Service, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, International Launch Services, and the International Olympic Committee, among many others. As part of her extracurricular activities, Professor Kavenoki built a network of Russian-English T&I schools incorporating all leading Russian universities. Currently, she is launching a one-of-a-kind, trilateral, Russian-Chinese-American enterprise for young T&I professionals.

Winnie Yung-Chung Heh is a Career Advisor: Translation, Translation and Interpretation, Conference Interpretation, and Translation and Localization Management. Since graduating with a Master of Arts in Translation and Interpretation from MIIS, Winnie has worked as a freelance conference interpreter, taught interpretation at the Institute and held a variety of positions in the Language Service Provider industry. She has held prominent roles for the past 25 years with LanguageLine Solutions, most recently serving as Vice President of Transformation. Winnie Yung-Chung Heh runs a Facebook page “T&I Careers MIIS”.

  1. Define the aim of your translators’ training system.

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies educates professionals to advance understanding, promote peace, and drive change in pursuit of a more just world.

Intercultural communication and understanding is essential for today’s professionals seeking international careers. Our programs, centers, and initiatives help bring about positive change in meaningful ways, teaching students to facilitate communication across languages, both written and spoken; build understanding through language; bridge cultures through international education; Improve fluency and cultural understanding in a specific language; lead and train multicultural teams.

  1. Please describe the milestones of your School’s evolution.

The Institute was founded in 1955 as the Monterey Institute of Foreign Studies by Gaspard Weiss, in collaboration with his wife, Louise Weiss, and cofounders Frank Elton and Sybil Fearnley. Weiss and his foreign language colleagues envisioned a graduate school that would promote international understanding through the study of language and culture. While the Institute’s name and programs have evolved, its core identity as an innovator and leader in international professional education has remained constant.

In 1979, the Institute’s name was changed to the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

In 2010 Middlebury formally acquired the Institute following a five-year affiliation agreement. Middlebury is known worldwide for its leadership in language instruction, environmental studies, international programs, and innovations in experiential learning. In addition to its undergraduate college, founded in 1800, Middlebury operates the Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad, the Middlebury Language Schools, and the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English.

In 2015, the Institute was renamed as the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Our rich heritage as a leading international professional graduate school continues to inform our mission and curriculum as we move forward as part of a global network of programs for future leaders.

  1. How do identify and select your trainers/speakers?

Our translation and interpretation faculty have years of professional and academic experience and continue to be active in their respective fields as literary translators, translation and interpretation scholars, pedagogical leaders, and conference interpreters, among others.

  1. What’s the best thing about your type of CPD / training?

Two-year, 60-credit programs include core course work in translation and interpretation practice, localization tools and technologies, and professional development and career skills. Each degree includes a practicum for students to engage in authentic translation and interpretation experiences, often working with local community partners.

We offer a 30-credit, two-semester program to students who have substantial prior course work in translation and interpretation as well as professional experience in the field. 

  1. What industry representative do you collaborate with?

The Institute has established partnerships with organizations around the world, providing Translation and Interpretation students with summer internships and postgraduate opportunities:United Nations Institute for Training and Research (Geneva, Switzerland);  World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva, Switzerland); United Nations (New York, NY) Office of Language Services; U.S. Department of State (Washington, DC).

The Institute is an active member of a number of translation, interpretation, and localization professional and educational organizations: International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC); Conférence Internationale Permanente D’Instituts Universitaires de Traducteurs et Interprètes (CIUTI); American Translators Association (ATA); Globalization and Localization Association (GALA). 

  1. What do you wish to change in your system of training?

One of these directions is a globally networked curriculum, so that our students can take advantage of all we have to offer, in all of the locations where they can be educated.

We intend to be more effective leaders by building and maintaining the exciting global partnerships that we’ve already begun (some of which we’ve maintained for decades). We will offer a curriculum that takes students around the globe and gives them a better sense of place, and commitment to place, with each educational endeavor. That we are shaping leaders who know what it means to lead because they have embraced the experiential component of learning that will be part of all their classroom environments. And that Middlebury will be a place where students participate in public discourse with both intellectual rigor and generosity of spirit. 

  1. How do your students improve their native language proficiency?

Your A language is typically the language that you grew up with and were educated in during school. This is the language and culture that you feel most familiar with and can understand and speak with fluency, cultural awareness, understanding of nuances, and grammatical accuracy.

Your B language is the language that you feel almost as proficient in as you do your A language. You typically have both substantial academic and in-country experience with this language. You understand its nuances and cultural references, and can use it almost as fluently and expertly as your A language. Most translators and interpreters will listen/read in their B language as they interpret/translate into their A language, but many others will also work bidirectionally. That is, they will also listen/read in their A language and interpret/translate into their B language.

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies educates professionals to advance understanding, promote peace, and drive change in pursuit of a more just world.