LINCS launches languages app

An exciting new application has been launched by our Languages and Intercultural Studies department, enabling new migrants to learn the language of their host country and familiarise themselves with culture-specific vocabulary and concepts; thereby potentially removing some barriers to integration. The Moving Languages app is the result of an EU-funded project led by Finnish organisation Learnmera Oy, with LINCS at Heriot-Watt as one of the partners.

Free to download on iOS and Android, the app is user-friendly, versatile and comprehensive, providing a gamified language- and culture-learning tool. It contains 4000+ illustrated vocabulary items for easy concept recognition, grammar exercises, flashcards, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, culture, administration, health and immigration tabs, dialogues with audio, audio spelling and comprehension tests and many other features. The app covers topics that are essential during the first steps of living in the host country.

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Banning disposable plastics – not a simple solution

Professor Kate Sang, Professor of Gender and Employment Studies and Disability in SoSS’ Business Management Department, was recently recruited to the Scottish Government expert panel on single use plastics. in this blog, she argues that “ban plastic straws” is a simplistic and potentially ineffectual tool in the fight against ocean pollution, which may harm and disadvantage disabled people.

Following the broadcast of Blue Planet 2, there has been an increasing interest amongst the general public on how to reduce ocean plastics. Images of a turtle with a plastic straw stuck in his or her nostril, a seahorse carrying a cotton bud and marine mammals caught in fishing nets have understandably upset viewers. We can see increased efforts on behalf of communities to clear up their beaches, and charities such as Surfers against Sewage have seen increased interest in their work. Emma Shepherd reported in The Guardian that school children have been so moved by images of marine life in distress that they are putting pressure on their parents to change their use single use plastics.

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HW – a centre of excellence for translators and interpreters

Our Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies recently hosted the 2018 AGM of CIUTI (Conférence internationale permanente d’instituts universitaires de traducteurs et interprètes), the oldest and most prestigious international association of university institutes with translation and interpretation programmes in the world. Delegates attended from 49 member institutions and interpreting was provided in English, French and German. The AGM was followed by the first ever CIUTI academic conference which was centred around the theme of translation and interpreting in an era of demographic and technological change. There were a total of 30 papers on the programme, covering topics as diverse as cognitive processes in translating; neural machine translation and tech training, as well as panels and a workshop. All were very well received, with the President of FIT, the International Federation of Translators, describing Heriot-Watt as a “true centre of excellence for training translators and interpreters for the future”.

The CIUTI event coincided with a visit from the Head of the Directorate General for Interpretation (SCIC) at the European Commission, Mrs Florika Fink-Hooijer, and Ms Cathy Pearson, also from SCIC. They met with staff members in LINCS and toured the excellent interpreting facilities in the Henry Prais Building. Discussions focused on possibilities for enhanced cooperation between Heriot-Watt and the European Commission; one strand of this will be Pedagogical Assistance where Cathy Pearson will return to Heriot-Watt in September to deliver interpreting classes to the new cohort of MSc interpreting students.

Our very own Bloomberg Trading room

We are thrilled to announce that our Accountancy, Finance and Economics programmes are soon to have their learning experience enhanced with the opening of our very own Bloomberg Trading Simulation room. Championed by the department’s Deputy Head, Associate Professor of Finance Dr. Mo Sherif, the Trading Room will allow our students to put theory into practice in a real-time environment.

Bloomberg is widely acknowledged as the largest interactive trading platform available in the market and is used by the majority of prominent global finance companies. SoSS Students using our platform will, therefore, replicate the Bloomberg trading rooms of financiers worldwide. Working with a simulated market environment using actual, real-time data, and a variety of functions simulating both trading and non-trading workflows. With these state-of-the-art tools, our students will enrich their research and classwork, with hands-on knowledge of analysing financial markets, assessing economic scenarios and interpreting key news developments that impact the global economy.

Introducing the Trading Room has immense potential for the School and its students.

“Our Bloomberg Trading room is going to be brilliant, we will be able to show and not just tell; it will give us as lecturers the opportunity to bring our textbook theory to life! Moreover, we will be able to provide our excellent students a safe environment to take risks and grow their confidence, and this experience will give them a competitive edge for a career in the financial services.” Dr Mo Sherif

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