The role of a language coordinator varies widely depending on the setting in which he or she is working. In a college or university setting, a language coordinator is in charge of the classes offered in a particular language or group of languages. Hospitals or other organizations dealing with the public may have language coordinators to assist with non-English speaking populations. The language coordinator of a translation agency oversees translation projects in a particular language.
Language coordinators at colleges and universities may have a number of specific roles. They may decide what courses should be offered in their languages and which professors should teach them. Some may also assist in hiring new teachers or teaching assistants for the language department. Universities with international programs may hire a language coordinator to work at an overseas campus.
Organizations that send people to foreign countries, such as the Peace Corps or the UN, sometimes also have language coordinators to assist workers in learning the language of their host culture. This person should be fluent both in English and in the host culture's language. His or her job is to provide formal or informal language instruction and to provide workers with resources for independent language study.
Large institutions, such as hospitals, may hire language coordinators to work as liaisons. In the US, these language coordinators are almost always required to be fluent in both English and Spanish. They often serve as translators or seek out translators for patients who are not fluent in English. This type of language coordinator may also work as a sort of public relations officer for non-English speaking communities.
Translation agencies, publishing companies and other organizations that deal with translated materials also have language coordinators on staff. The language coordinator is responsible for overseeing all translation projects in a given language. This person must have native or near-native writing skills in the assigned language. He or she may act as an editor, answer grammar or stylistic questions about the language, and provide guidance for new translators.