Isabel Santafé

International learning

Name Isabel Santafé
Position Associate Lecturer in Hispanic Studies

College of Humanities

Developing students’ skills and employability through the Translation Business Project

Dr Isabel Santafé is an Associate Lecturer in Hispanic Studies. Working with Dr Richard Mansell, Isabel runs the innovative Translation Business Project. Supported by the College of Humanities, this extra-curricular project is aimed at final year Humanities students as well as MA Translation students, with the goal of helping students to develop their intercultural, linguistic and entrepreneurial skills, to enhance their employability.

Over ten weeks, students work in teams, with each team representing one of the languages that is taught at the University, including Spanish, Italian and Chinese, to develop their own translation business, presenting their ideas at a Final Gala. The students have to work together to make the project a success, with a number of MA students also taking on the role of Mentors, providing support to the teams. As Isabel explains:

“[Students] have to create their own translation business, and they have to find their own source texts to translate, and they have to present all their work in front of a panel of professional translators and also…business experts…[Students] really…[enjoy]that bit when they…can present…their own product”.

For the Project, students create a range of material, such as websites, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages.  Isabel is keen to encourage her students to use technology, including social media, to enhance their learning and develop their transferable skills. As Isabel points out:

“I think it’s really important to also show them how to use social media from a professional perspective because it’s something completely different. For example, in the Translation Business Project, the students…used Twitter, Facebook, they create[d] websites, but they do it from a professional perspective to promote a business, and that means the way they write is completely different. They have to be persuasive, they are creating a…[brand], they are selling a product, and that’s a completely different approach that I think is going to help the students to adapt to the professional world…and make them more employable”.

As part of the Project, the students’ work is also featured on the Translation Business Project Blog, providing them with an opportunity to showcase their work. Access to the Blog can be found in the Additional Resources section.  

Benefits of e-assessment for enhancing student engagement

Isabel is also keen to explore the benefits of e-assessment for enhancing students’ understanding and engagement with material. Following her involvement in a wider project led by the College of Humanities in 2012, Isabel has been creating and implementing e-assessment in her own teaching.

“I think technology definitely adds value to assessment practice and some of the advantages that I have found with the use of e-assessment are that, for example, the students can get the results in a short time, they can get instant feedback…they can do the assessment…[at] their own pace…Also in terms of accessibility, it’s also very useful for some students who might have some learning difficulties or disabilities, so that also respects diversity. And also from my point of view, from the educator point of view, it is also really useful to assess…student progress…[as] you get instant results so you know…what the students need to reinforce, what you need to work on a bit more and that definitely helps to achieve more effective learning and also to achieve the learning objectives”. 

Aim 4: International learning, research & experiences

To provide international perspectives in all programmes and a multi-cultural experience for all students

What students say:

  • “As project manager, this was definitely a good project to develop my leadership skills, but not only, working with a team also allowed me to develop my communication and team work skills. With a group project, spread over a few weeks, where everyone has a specific role, communication is the key to a good group cohesion which is essential for a successful project.”
  • “I learned about the financial side of business, such as creating invoices and reasonable prices. I enhanced my creative skills by designing advertising material - something I would never have been confident doing before this project. I learned the importance of organisation and practice when presenting. My team work and communication skills were also developed. Finally, I learned how to use social media to promote a business - again, something I had very little knowledge of before this project.”
  • “I gained a very useful insight into the life of a freelance translator, courtesy of the round table event”
  • “The highlight of the project, in my opinion, was the final presentation gala. I felt like it was a really good afternoon and a chance for all of us groups to show what we had been working on. I was both quite proud to show our work, and very eager to see what other groups had done. It was also a good opportunity for us to get some feedback both on the business side of our project and the translation side of it which was very enriching. Overall, a good afternoon, spent in good company.”
  • “I actually spoke in detail about this project in a graduate scheme interview I had the other day, so it has been very useful in that respect!”

Additional resources

Developing students' employability through the Translation Business Project

“[The Business Translation Project provides students with] the opportunity to put into practice all the skills they learn in their seminars and their lectures, and…actually apply them to a…professional scenario”.

Benefits of e-assessment for improving students' engagement with material

‘[M]y experience [of e-assessment] has been really positive, and also the feedback I got from students has been really positive. I think they welcome a variety in assessment”.