College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Translator & Interpreter Corps > TIC Faculty > Listbeth Swain

Lisbeth Swain

Lisbeth Swain

Research and teaching have been a passion for her entire career. Dr. Swain’s first research experience was working for the Smithsonian Institute in Panamá, while living among the indigenous Guna in Caribbean San Blas. She has carried this interest into her current scholarly activities that include translation of biological research, computer-assisted language education, research into the performance of learners under hybrid instruction, and the intersection of indigenous cultures and languages with the modern world. Dr. Swain is a certified interpreter and trainer.

Dr. Swain has an active scholarly program of translation of biological research into Spanish and is published in peer reviewed scientific journals. She uses this line of inquiry to expand communication of English-writing scientists working in the Caribbean to the Spanish-speaking populace, as an opportunity for interdepartmental and interinstitutional collaboration, and as a vehicle for student engagement, education, and publication. She has multiple translations in peer reviewed scientific journals published with multiple collaborators from multiple institutions, and she is currently working with several students from her translation course SPN 334 Advanced Translation, CbSL to produce a translation of a complete publication.

Dr. Swain collaborated with the university to include significant community service components into her courses to contribute to the university mission of service. Her translation course includes a Community-based Service Learning (CbSL) component that fulfills the Junior Year Experiential Learning (JYEL) requirement. She works with local Hispanic non-profit organizations that provide translation and interpretation services for Spanish-speakers to access government and health services including immigration forms and citizenship exams, housing and financial assistance, and public health outreach and medical insurance assistance. Her success with implementing these outreach components in her courses is reflected in the 2018 ‘Exemplary Service Award’ from the Irwin Steans Center. She has developed activities for digital instructional platforms and completed the DePaul Online Teaching Series (DOTS) and earned the ‘Quality Matters’ Star Award in hybrid course design.

Dr. Swain has an active research program investigating computer assisted language learning. She published a manuscript entitled ‘Language learning under classroom conditions during the transition to hybrid instruction: A case-study of student performance during the implementation of instructional technology’ in the European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and currently has two manuscripts in preparation. The first is entitled ‘Technological enhancement of instruction and its effect on performance in the Spanish language classroom’ that she presented at the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) annual conference in Panamá. The second manuscript is inspired by the collaboration between course work and service work (Community-based Service Learning, CbSL) for the translation course that she developed and teaches. Currently, she is working on a project examining the pedagogical approaches to teaching Spanish language and culture, instruction and learning. This research focuses on pedagogical approaches to the teaching of Spanish Translation, specifically on a curriculum that connects to community service and advocates for the inclusion of social and cultural knowledge and was presented for the AATSP annual conference in San Diego.

In exploring future directions, Dr. Swain presented at the 7th Annual Transnational Latino Conference, Comunidades Indígenas y Latinas: Making Academic Connections through Community Experiences on ‘How the Smithsonian Research Institution fits within the Indigenous Guna Community’. This presentation was in collaboration with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Northwestern University, and was an interdisciplinary exploration of the intersection of modern science with the culture, language, and traditions of the Guna indigenous community, particularly in relation to natural resource conservation, coral mining, sea-level rise, and climate change. She intends to use her experiences over years of living among the Guna to continue and expand this line of inquiry.

Swain LO, Swain TD. (Work in progress). Scientific Translation: Coral affected by climate change in the Caribbean side of the Isthmus of Panamá in the Guna Yala Reserve area.

Swain LO, Swain TD. 2017. Language learning under classroom conditions during the transition to hybrid instruction: a case-study of student performance during the implementation of instructional technology. Peer Review. European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching 2: 49–64. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1034563

Swain, LO 2017. Translation into Spanish: Swain TD. Revisiting the phylogeny of Zoanthidea (Cnidaria: Anthozoa): staggered alignment of hypervariable sequences improves species tree inference. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, (MPE) 118: 1–12. Peer Review.

Swain, LO 2015. Translation into Spanish. Swain TD, Strimaitis A*, Reuter K*, Boudreau W*. Towards integrative systematics of Anthozoa (Cnidaria): evolution of form in the order Zoanthidea. Zoologica Scripta. Peer–reviewed. DOI: 10.1111/zsc.12195

Swain LO. 2014. Translation into Spanish: TD, Swain LM. (2014) Molecular parataxonomy as taxon description: examples from recently named Zoanthidea (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) with revision based on serial histology of microanatomy. Zootaxa 3796: 81–107