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Inclusive Outreach through Translation
A brand new project from the Translation Exchange aims to bring about cultural change in university outreach, by developing sustainable methods of inclusive practice. Read on to find out how you can get involved!

Numbers opting to learn languages at school and at university continue to decline, yet there is great energy & inspiration within the translation, teaching and international literary community. Inclusive Outreach through Translation will harness that energy to develop, test and publish a set of pilot resources and guidelines for inclusive outreach. The project's findings will be published open-access and shared with other universities, outreach organisations, and language advocacy organisations. The new resources will feed immediately into our Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators, which we ran for the first time in 2020-21 with over 500 participant schools. We are confident that the rich, creative act of translation is a perfect way to make language-learning as relevant and inclusive as possible.

The project will bring together colleagues at Oxford and beyond, as well as teachers and pupils from across the UK, to develop and test translation activities that explicitly seek to include and appeal to the broadest range of young people by taking account of ethnicity, socio-economic background, gender and sexuality. The project involves partnerships with the Oxford University Department of Education, St Mary’s University, Twickenham and the new Special Interest Group on Decolonising the Modern Foreign Languages curriculum (Association for Language Learning) – ensuring that trainee and established teachers are closely involved from the outset.

Inclusive Outreach through Translation [IOT] is a partnership between the Translation Exchange, the Oxford Modern Languages Faculty and the Stephen Spender Trust. It is co-funded by these organisations and by the Humanities Division Culture Change Fund. 

During 2021 and 2022 we are working with other partners across the sector to publish:

  • example resources for inclusive outreach
  • a set of principles to guide inclusive outreach
  • guidelines for how translation can be used to make outreach inclusive.

If you are interested in taking part, please email Catriona Parry, the Project Coordinator.


Project Lead: Dr Charlotte Ryland

Coordinator: Catriona Parry

Project team: Sharvi Maheshwari, Georgia Nasseh, Ye-Ye Xu

What do we mean by 'outreach'?

Many terms are used across the UK to describe this activity, including 'access', 'widening participation', and 'schools liaison'. We prefer 'outreach' because it indicates pro-activity: at QTE we consider our role to be active, reaching out to young people and showing them the pleasure, relevance and creativity of a languages education. In this way, we intend to influence positively the numbers of young people learning languages at schools and applying to study languages at universities (not just Oxford!). By 'inclusive' outreach we mean resources and programmes that explicitly seek to include and appeal to the broadest range of young people according to ethnicity, socio-economic background, gender and sexuality. 

Languages can be the most inclusive subject on any curriculum, and universities can play a key role in making that happen.