Rethinking translation in language teaching: a needs assessment to prepare curriculum guidelines specific for the translation course at YADIM, Çukurova University
Bosher, Susan D.
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The role of translation in language teaching has long been questioned; it has alternatively been encouraged or restricted. Recently educators and methodologists have expressed their doubts about ignoring the role of translation in language teaching and have suggested use of translation at all stages, particularly as a "fifth skill" at advanced levels. This study aimed to prepare curriculum guidelines to redesign the current translation course at YADIM (The Center for Foreign Languages), Cukurova University in line with these current views. To help prepare these guidelines, the views of students, teachers and departments were sampled; a needs analysis covering 50 graduate students, 50 undergraduate students, 20 teachers, and 15 departmental representatives from various departments was conducted at Cukurova University. Two parallel questionnaires were given to the subjects: one to the students and the other to the teachers at YADIM. Interviews with departmental representatives were conducted to investigate departments' expectations from the translation course given at YADIM. Data gathered through questionnaires and interviews were analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques, and the following results were found. First, translation is perceived as a very important language skill in departmental study, and it is indicated both by students and teachers that translation significantly contributes to language proficiency, which can be used as a basis for reconsideration of the role of translation in general language development. Second, the results show that the current translation course at YADIM does not meet the students' needs and administrators' expectations which are to be prepared for departmental study by translating subject area texts, and practicing extensive (main idea) translation rather than intensive (sentence by sentence) translation. Third, the results show that the use of translation in departmental study for graduate and undergraduate students differs; while graduate students use translation primarily to review the literature written in English for their thesis, projects and so forth, undergraduate students use translation during the lessons to note down what they understand. Based upon these findings, curriculum guidelines for the design of the translation course given at YADIM were prepared and included in the study.
KeywordsP306 .S27 1996
Translating and interpreting.
Translating and interpreting--Study and teaching.
Language and languages--Study and teaching.