If you are a teacher

Since languages became non-compulsory in 2004, uptake of foreign languages has plummeted. Students and teachers alike find the curriculum restrictive and fewer students are choosing languages for A-Level. The new translation component of GCSE and A-Level exams presents uncharted territory. Furthermore, there is little opportunity to engage multilingual students and harness their linguistic ability in the classroom.

We work with teachers to re-energise and excite students about language-learning. Our teaching demonstrates the relevance of translation, presenting it as fun, useful and applicable to any chosen field of study or career path. We stretch students beyond the curriculum, providing them with the opportunity to engage with languages, literature and other media not usually on their radar. 

We work closely with liaison teachers to tailor our workshops to the specific student group, and our networked approach offers students perspectives from range of leading translators. Our workshops introduce students to key skills and approaches to translation, developing their critical thinking skills, creativity and ability to use language thoughtfully.

If you would like to develop a workshop or workshop series with us for your school, please contact us.

“Gitanjali’s presentation style had fantastic energy and a clear passion that came across, which made the workshops very inspiring, engaging and exciting. The materials used were also fantastic – very relevant and interesting for the pupils.”

Teacher, Geneva English School

If you are a translator

Despite being a highly complex and challenging skill, translation is largely misunderstood and often seen as ‘problem’ easily solved by software such as Google Translate. Diversity in translation is a serious issue, in terms of who is able to become a translator, what is translated into English and from where. The ways translations function are often hidden and so are the ethical choices implied and driven through them.

We offer excellent development opportunities for translators to run translation workshops at schools based on their language knowledge and interests. We support all our translator collaborators in developing their own workshops and learning how to tailor them for different student groups. We also provide intensive training for translators with no prior teaching experience and opportunities for translators to share skills and knowledge with each other.

We work with our translators to change the narrative around translation at secondary school level. Together we demonstrate how translation has the power to teach students to interrogate social structures and question their own assumptions. In doing so we train competences the students can apply in any field. We introduce students to new, underrepresented languages and different perspectives, and showcase translation as a valuable skill and worthy intellectual pursuit.

If you would like to find out more, please contact us.

“Translation is much more interesting and complex than what I thought – you have to take into account the author’s background but also analyse your own biases in interpretation.”

Student, Lycée International Winston Churchill

If you'd like to support us

The Brexit era has exposed a pressing societal need for cross-cultural understanding and self-awareness. The vote stressed the political power of unconscious biases which have long shaped issues such as those highlighted by the gender pay gap and the Lammy Review. Language-learning has the potential to train students to engage sensitively with these issues, however uptake of the subject continues to decline. There is a need to develop new and creative solutions to these challenges.

Shadow Heroes uses translation to revitalise the experience of learning foreign languages at school. An exercise in cultural mediation, translation teaches students to address complex issues in a creative setting. We provide students with a space to express and critically engage with their worldview during fun and challenging workshops.

We introduce students to languages, literature and other media from around the world, and enable access to a wide range of perspectives through our network of collaborators. Our workshops range widely both thematically and linguistically. Students develop a range of skills applicable to any field or career path, and learn to be confident and critical global citizens.

If you would like to support our work in schools, please contact us.

The RSA

The Camden Collective