The Community of Heidedal

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Faculty of Humanities and partners in Heidedal was approved by the executive committee of the UFS. On 26 May 2010 this memorandum was signed during a function in the Centenary Complex. The partners are: Reach, Dr Blok High School, Heatherdale Diakonale Dienste and Kindersorg.

On Monday 4 March 2012 a discussion took place and the partners then helped in identifying the community of Heidedal’s concerns as well as ways to improve the current community engagement project (The Socially Responsible Learner of the Year 2013). A summary of their concerns was drawn up and the portfolio committee, Community Engagement and Service Learning, addressed these concerns by restructuring the rules and guidelines of the Socially Responsible Learner of the Year competition.

Social Responsible Learner of the Year

April 2012
The project was launched at the three high schools in Heidedal - Dr Blok, Petunia and Heatherdale. The learners seemed very enthusiastic about the project. The learners have already completed the first phase of the competition and the ten finalists then moved on to the next phase which is the implementation of their projects. The ten finalists were also given an opportunity to present their projects at the Trevor Barlow Library in October 2012.

April 2013
The project was launched at the three high schools in Heidedal - Dr. Blok, Petunia and Heatherdale. The grade 11 Life Skills teachers group identified a few candidates who were said to be academically strong and have the potential to succeed at the University of the Free State. More than 20 learners participated and only ten will be allowed to go into the next phase of the competition. The winner will be announced on 19 October 2013 during the prize-giving ceremony in the Trevor Barlow Library. Mrs Edelweiss Coetze (Diakonale Dienste), Mr Patrick Kaars (Reach) and Mrs Ester Knoetze (Childcare Bloemfontein) have agreed to be part of the panel of judges.

Academic Prize for Service Learning

The Faculty of the Humanities hosted an academic prize-giving ceremony in April 2013. There were two groups of students; one group of undergraduate students are from the Social Work Department and the other group is post-graduate students from the Psychology Department. During this ceremony the winners were awarded certificates and a cash prize for having achieved the best results in a service learning module in the Faculty.

Description: Community Engagement Keywords: Faculty of Humanities, academic prize, service learning, Department of Music, Psychology
The best undergraduate Service Learning group 2013:
Magnus Buys, Chaline Botes, Andrea Taljaard, Monique Ross, Marelize Rheeder

Mandela Month

The Faculty of the Humanities marketed the launch of a B. degree in Community Development at the Qwaqwa Campus as part of Mandela Month. During this event Dr Peter Westoby presented a workshop to students, NGOs, social workers, community workers and academia on structuring the development practice within South Africa, PNG, Vanuatu, the Philippines and Australia. He has published and co-authored several books as well as academic journal articles on community development.

The Faculty is currently busy planning for the banners and brochures for a Community Engagement Open Day.

A very good relationship was formed with Mr Monnapula Molefe from the Department of Linguistics and Language Practice. The students are progressing very well in their training. There is an improvement in their interpreting and translation skills. These students are already assisting the local Police Station with translation and interpreting skills. Plans have already been put in place on how to attain the goals set forth for the current year.

The Multilingual Informatics Development Project (MIDP V)

The aim of this project is to institutionalise the functioning of multilingualism that exists at grassroots level in the Philippolis area. This will be achieved by means of increased access to infrastructure (such as the library), the training of ad hoc language practitioners, and workshops on the use of interpreters and language practitioners, multilingualism, as well as the development of appropriate terminology.

In the middle of May 2012, a new project manager was appointed to the MIDP V project in the place of Jani de Lange. The new project manager, Elizabeth Deysel, took up the position at the beginning of June 2012. This decision was taken by management who decided that the involvement of the project manager needs to be intensified in order to build better relations with the community of Philippolis. In addition, it is important to establish a strong presence in Philippolis. Therefore the project manager will visit the location more frequently and stay there for two days per week.

Ms Deysel is also an occasional lecturer and short course presenter in interpreting and human language technology at the UFS. In her new role, Deysel will oversee and coordinate all the development work that must be carried out as part of the project objectives. She will also facilitate the workshops. 

Project objectives:

The project aims to achieve the following outputs over the next three years:

  • The establishment of electronic resources for ad hoc language practitioners (computers with relevant software).
  • The identification of the needs of ad hoc language practitioners and clients.
  • The training of ad hoc language practitioners by means of eight workshops that will be presented over a period of three years (the training will be tailored according to the practitioners’ needs).
  • The training of those who make use of language practitioners by means of a workshop. (Publications issued during 2010 will be used as a guideline.)
  • The publication of terminology lists for various fields in Afrikaans, Sesotho and English.
  • A seminar with a publication as an outcome.
  • Research on the theme, Meertaligheid voor meer kansen (Multilingualism for empowerment).

The following is a description of the objectives of the project for 2012. The objectives and deadlines of the project proposal were adapted according to the letter of approval.

Maintenance of Resources in Library

The project will focus on the maintenance and building of academic resources in the library. The books that will be purchased by the project will focus on interpreting and translation studies, and linguistics and language. Dictionaries and other resources, which will benefit the students and the community, will also be purchased.

The books donated in the previous terms all focused on translation. For this term, the focus was on interpreting and linguistics. Previously it was identified that the library needed resources in the form of dictionaries for African languages. The following books were purchased and donated to the library:

  • Multilingual translation terminology.
  • Oxford English/Xhosa dictionary.
  • Introduction to sociolinguistics. 
  • Framework for the study of linguistics.
  • Key concepts in language and lingistuics.
  • Language and culture.
  • Introduction to interpreting studies.

Further training of ad hoc practitioners

It was decided at the end of last year to adapt the number of training sessions. The formal training sessions were reduced, but an informal get-together was established. The students meet once a week to discuss new terminology, discuss the week’s news, and attend court sessions. These sessions keep the students motivated and positive. The students have a portfolio which they need to work on each week. The exercises include translation, terminology development, interpreting, as well as language exercises.

This year, the focus is mainly on the training of the students. Four formal workshops will be presented per term that will focus on interpreting, translation, terminology and the utilisation of resources for language practice. An additional workshop will be presented for the community to introduce the necessity of language practice in the town and explain how to utilise the students as a resource.

Research and Symposium

A small component of the MIDP V project will consist of research. The main objective of the research component is to be able to record the activities of the project for future reference. This will be done in collaboration with the Department of Language Management and Language Practice.

The seminar that was planned for 2013 will take place this year. The participants will include representatives from Belgium and the UFS. There will be submissions from other attendees.

Formal workshops

The second workshop for 2012 took place at Sikunye Khaya from 26 to 28 June 2012. Six of the initial 15 students attended the second workshop. During the first workshop it was found that the students need more practical exposure and exercise in interpreting. Thus, the workshop had a specific focus on practical interpreting exercises. It was presented by Elizabeth Deysel, Dolly Mthembu and Tshepo Pule. Deysel presented the theoretical lectures and Mthembu and Pule presented all the practical lectures and exercises. At the end of the workshop, the students were evaluated. They had to interpret in an artificial set-up which was done by the three presenters. All of the evaluations were recorded with a video camera in order for the students to be able to assess themselves at a later stage and monitor their progress.

The third workshop for 2012 took place at Sikunye Khayaon on 5 and 6 September 2012. It was presented by Monnapula Molefe. The workshop focused specifically on translation and terminology management. Only four of the initial 15 students attended the workshop.

The reason for the decrease in the number of students can be attributed to the fact that some of them attend a college in Bloemfontein, while the rest have been appointed in permanent jobs and were not granted leave to attend the workshops. Certain measures have been taken to increase the number of students and motivate them to attend the training. These can be summarised as:

  • To motivate student participation, it was suggested that students visit the main campus of the UFS in Bloemfontein once a month. During their visits they will receive vocational training in cultural and language development. All of their expenses (accommodation, meals and access to museums) are paid for by the MIDP V project. Each student also receives a stipend of R100.
  • It was decided that the students will enrol for the accredited short course, Introduction to Community Interpreting, at the UFS. They will receive their training as part of their visits to Bloemfontein. At the end of their training the students who have successfully completed the course will receive an accredited certificate.
  • To accommodate the students who are permanently employed, some of the training will be presented in the evenings from 17:00 to 18:00 at Sikunye Khaya, Philippolis.

Student informal workshops and visits to Bloemfontein

The students’ first visit to Bloemfontein took place on 22 and 23 August 2012. Eight students took part in the training, which indicated that these visits encourage participation in the training.

On the Wednesday the students paid a visit to the National Afrikaans Literacy and Research Museum where they were exposed to well-known writers of Afrikaans and Southern Sotho literature.

With this visit the students were also exposed to the interpreting equipment used at the University and which was taken along and used at the museum for simultaneous interpreting. Each student had the opportunity to interpret the lecture at the museum to the rest of the students.

As it was the students’ first visit to the UFS, the students were given a tour of the university campus on the Thursday. The tour included different works of art exhibited on the campus. The students enjoyed being exposed to an academic atmosphere. After the campus tour the students assembled in a lecture room where they were given tasks based on their visit to the Literacy Museum. They were divided into three groups and each had to design a poster based on an Afrikaans author, displaying their biography and some of their work. These posters were taken back to Philippolis to be displayed at Sikunye Khaya.

The students’ second visit to Bloemfontein took place on 26 and 27 September 2012. Only four of the students were able to attend because of work commitments.

On the Wednesday the students attended practical interpreter training in the Interpreting Laboratory on campus. They were exposed to the computer assisted interpreter training software, BlackBox, which they used to conduct exercises in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. Their exercises were recorded and the students were able to assess their interpreting.

On the Thursday the students paid a visit to Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein. The exhibition on display was titled “People, Prints and Process Twenty Five Years at Caversham”. The exhibition featured over a 100 works by more than 70 artists.

Description: Community Engagement Keywords: Faculty of Humanities, community engagement, service learning, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, People, prints, process, Caversham.
Students at Oliewenhuis art Museum

Research and symposium 

The research component of MIDP V is done in collaboration with the Department of Language Management and Language Practice. Monnapula Molefe is conducting research in Philippolis for his Master’s degree, titled “Interpreting and translation for service delivery in local public service contexts”.

The MIDP V symposium took place on the QwaQwa Campus near Clarens from 11 until 14 September 2012. Fourteen papers were delivered by delegates from South Africa and Belgium. The symposium was the first international event to be held on the QwaQwa Campus. As part of the event, Prof. Peter Raper, Professor Extraordinary, delivered his inaugural lecture titled “From Stone Age to GPS: The fourth edition of the South African Place Names Dictionary”.

Description: Community Engagement Keywords: Faculty of Humanities, Qwaqwa campus, community engagement, service learning
Students at the QwaQwa campus

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