Back to the future

2011 was a big year for British Sign Language at Heriot-Watt University. 2012 already looks set to be even more significant. What do you think our priorities should be? Here’s a whirlwind review of last year to remind you of what we’ll be building upon.

  1.     January: Students from the international EUMASLI programme , designed and delivered by Heriot-Watt with HUMAK, Finland and U. Magdeburg-Stendal, Germany, present the early fruits of their Master’s degree research at a special workshop in Amsterdam.
  2.  February: Filming is completed on our ground-breaking ESRC BSL Corpus project (with partners including UCL and U. Bristol).
  3.  March: The Medisigns project team – drawing upon research at Heriot-Watt, Trinity College Dublin and U. Stockholm to design new approaches to healthcare interpreting for Deaf people – meet in Dublin for the project’s first intensive workshop.
  4.  April: Gary Quinn presents Heriot-Watt’s work-in-progress on BSL interaction (with U. Leeds and U. York St. John) at the 2nd i-Mean conference.
  5.  May: The innovative Deaf Managers event harnesses all the strengths of Heriot-Watt’s School of Management & Languages in a unique way.
  6.  June: The latest group of Deaf students graduate from the Graduate Diploma in Training of BSL Teachers (alongside Honorary graduate Robert McCrum, Associate Editor of the Observer). Proud!
  7.  July: Signed Language Interpreting: Preparation, Practice and Performance, co-edited by Heriot-Watt’s Dr Svenja Wurm, is presented for publication by St Jerome.
  8.    August: A warm welcome awaits for Robyn Dean, joining the Heriot-Watt BSL group from Rochester, NY.
  9.    September: Elaine Farrow’s work to support public engagement with BSL research receives prize-winning acknowledgment.
  10.     October: Scottish Funding Council confirms that it will grant £744,000 to enable Heriot-Watt to launch 4-year, full-time BSL degrees from autumn 2012 and the Department launches the LifeinLINCS blog.
  11.     November: Heriot-Watt’s BSL:UPTAKE project convenes its latest (and biggest yet!) ‘knowledge exchange’ event in Edinburgh.
  12.    December: Heriot-Watt’s Gary Quinn, in partnership with Mark McQueen (a graduate of our own ‘BSL ‘training of trainers’ course), devises and presents the highly original ‘Dream or Not?’ event at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

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