Professional Language Development Project

The PLDP is a 3-week, intensive summer translation and interpretation institute for bilingual high school students from the Tucson area, held at the University of Arizona. Students have the opportunity to learn about and practice translation and interpretation and to work directly with experts in the field. Here’s a news story about the PLDP that will give you a sense of the program.

We are currently seeking funding to enable us to run the 2016 PLDP! 

Here’s a quick snapshot of the impact that the PLDP has had on students, based on a recent survey of alums:

Statement % Agree or Strongly Agree

My PLDP experience had an impact on my decision to go to college.

77%

My PLDP experience had an impact on which college I chose to attend.

49%

My PLDP experience had an impact on what I chose to study.

79%

My PLDP experience had an impact on my success in college.

85%

My PLDP experience had an impact on my decision to pursue my current job, or a job I have held previously.

57%

My PLDP experience had an impact on my getting my current job, or a job I have held previously.

59%

My PLDP experience had an impact on my success in my current job, or a job I have held previously.

76%

That’s an amazing and lasting impact from just three short weeks!

If you would like to help this program continue, please contact us: pgatto@email.arizona.edu


If you are a teacher in the Tucson area who is interested in the PLDP for your students, please contact us. If you’re a Tucson area high school student and are interested in the program, please contact us (and tell your teacher about the program).

We would like to thank the UA Office of the Provost and the Marshall Foundation, for their support of the PLDP. Thanks also to Amphitheater Public Schools, Sunnyside Unified School District, and TUSD for their previous support.


PREMISE
Bilingual students possess a powerful and underutilized set of linguistic and cultural skills that, when accessed, both increase the motivation and the abilities necessary to pursue higher education.

The Professional Language Development Project (PLDP) was the first FIPSE-funded project undertaken by the National Center for Interpretation. It is a three-week summer institute that trains high school juniors and seniors in translation and interpretation. The PLDP clearly demonstrated that bilingual students possess a powerful and underutilized set of linguistic and cultural skills that, when accessed, increase both the motivation and the cognitive abilities necessary to pursue higher education.

Based on the impact that the PLDP had on students, the University of Arizona has continued to support the program, which has been offered every summer since 2000. To date, over 300 students have participated in the program.


HYPOTHESIS
Training in interpretation and translation generalizes to increase:

  • Language proficiency
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Academic engagement

Our research through the PLDP provided strong evidence that training in interpretation and translation produces considerable cognitive benefits in terms of students’ linguistic, metalinguistic, analytical, creative, and executive functioning, resulting in improved academic outcomes. Expanding the reach of this program has been the basis of all our subsequent FIPSE-funded projects.


These projects have been primarily funded through grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). Additional support has been provided by Mrs. Agnese Haury and the Haury Trust, as well as the University of Arizona.