Guidelines for establishing criteria for the assessment of translation tests at YADIM, Çukurova University
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The assessment of the quality of a translation has long been an issue under discussion both in the field of translation studies and in the teaching of translation in second language curriculum. Variables such as the purpose, type and audience of the translation, viewpoint of the assessor and the context of the act of translating are intricately connected. A combination of these variables leads the assessors to adopt specific criteria for the assessment of each translation. As is the case with the marking of translation tests at The Center for Foreign Languages (YADIM), assessment requires standardisation of the criteria adopted by different assessors. The necessity of achieving standardisation among assessors introduces the problem of establishing clearly-defined criteria for assessing translation. The purpose of this study was to suggest guidelines for establishing criteria for the marking of translation tests given to intermediate level students at YADIM, Çukurova University. To collect data, ten translation teachers were interviewed and observed once and then they marked eight mock-exam papers. The course outline for the translation courses in the institution was analysed. In the interviews, questions about the institutional and course aims, teachers’ priorities regarding the translation process and formative evaluation and the problems perceived in summative evaluation were asked. In the observations, the teaching stages and their sequencing and the distribution of teachers’ feedback on various aspects of students’ translations were observed. In the mock-exam markings, the same teachers marked eight student translations. To analyse the data collected through interviews, a coding technique was used. The frequencies and percentages of the themes under each category were quantified for each teacher and teachers’ priorities were identified individually. The frequencies of teachers’ feedback on various aspects of students’ translations in the observed courses were quantified. The mock-exam papers marked by teachers were analysed, error categories were identified and teachers’ priorities regarding the errors were determined. The results revealed that teachers differed in the ways they approached translation. Four teachers favoured information translation which took contextual elements of the source texts into consideration and six teachers favoured literal translation which mainly took the structures in the source text into consideration to the exclusion of contextual elements. In accordance with the methods they favoured, their materials selection criteria and evaluation priorities also differed. To minimise the discrepancies among teachers in the marking of the translation tests, an analytic scoring scale and guidelines for testing and marking were suggested.
KeywordsP306 .T87 1999
Translating and interpreting--Study and teaching.
Language and languages--Study and teaching.