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profile picture of Dr Isabelle Heyerick Welcome to new member of staff, Dr Isabelle Heyerick

We are delighted to welcome a new staff member on board, Dr Isabelle Heyerick, Assistant Professor in Applied Sign Linguistics. Dr Heyerick's area of expertise is signed language interpreting and her research is situated on the intersection of (applied) linguistics, intercultural studies, and language ideologies. She holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Leuven, the first doctoral study to explore which linguistic interpreting strategies Flemish Sign Language interpreters use and why.

During her postdoctoral Marie Skłodowska Curie fellowship at the University of Warwick, Isabelle focussed on how discourses and ideologies about deaf people and signed languages prevalent in both the majority society and in the Deaf communities influence signed language interpreters’ linguistic decisions. During the COVID-19 pandemic she conducted a small-scale international study on how the increased visibility of signed language interpreters in the media during this period influenced new learners’ motivation.

Dr Heyerick has taught in signed language interpreting programmes at various levels (vocational, Master, postgraduate) and have been a guest lecturer at a wide range of departments at universities across the world. At the University of Leuven, she assisted the development of the postgraduate programme for signed language conference interpreting. She was also involved in securing funding for the university to set up the first formal training for signed language interpreters who are deaf. The first cohort of deaf students started in January. She is an active volunteer within the signed language interpreting community, including Secretary of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters( and the Vice-President of Tenuto, an organisation offering continuous professional development for sign language interpreters in Belgium (Flanders).