Teaching learners, learning teachers: developing learning and teaching competence through process-oriented collaboration
Massey, Gary; Ehrensberger-Dow, Maureen (2013). Teaching learners, learning teachers: developing learning and teaching competence through process-oriented collaboration: Conference paper. In: Translation Studies: Centres and Peripheries . 7th EST Congress. (29 August - 1 September 2013). Germersheim: European Society for Translation Studies.
Translation is an event involving a variety of agents and at the same time a cognitive act forming part of the event (Chesterman 2011, Toury 2012). Professional translators live “in a crowd”, interfacing and interacting with all kinds of partners involved both in the event and the act of translation, and team translation is rapidly becoming the norm (Gouadec 2007).
Current translation pedagogy addresses both the event and the act. In the wake of the holistic EN 15038 (2006) translation quality standard (cf. Biel 2011, Greere 2012), there has been re-strengthened advocacy of Kiraly’s (2000, 2005) call for authentic, situated learning in collaborative projects, empowering learners to enter the professional translation community by developing responsibility, autonomy and competence. As for the translation act, the importance of students reflecting on their decisions and actions and of the role played by metacognition in the development of translation competence and expertise (e.g. Bergen 2009, Göpferich / Jääskeläinen 2009, Shreve 2006) is generally recognised, with student performance at least partly being tracked and assessed on the basis of written commentaries, learning journals, or problem and decision reports (e.g. Bergen 2009, Garcia Álvarez 2007, Gile 2004, Orlando 2012). With the increasing interest in translation process research, a number of researchers have sought to raise learners’ strategic awareness, foster their self-monitoring skills, and build a translator’s self-concept by applying inductive elicitation techniques such as dialogue and monologue think-aloud methods (e.g. Dancette 2003, House 2000, Kiraly 1995, Kussmaul 1995), retrospective oral commentaries based on keystoke logging (Alves 2005, Hansen 2006) or on screen recordings (e.g. Pym 2009, Kujamäki 2010, Massey / Ehrensberger-Dow 2011, Hofer / Ehrensberger-Dow 2011), and similar “learning-by-observation” and “learning-by-doing” approaches (cf. Dam-Jensen / Heine 2009). These experiments and studies suggest that such methods could effectively supplement traditional product-oriented teaching by providing learning opportunities not only for students, but presumably also for teachers, who are provided with deeper insights into learners’ procedural knowledge and skills.
Process-oriented methods in translator education tend to place teachers as external observers, reviewers, and assessors of student processes; good practices are benchmarked by means of professional or teacher processes and experience. Although some work has been done on what teachers can and do actually learn from observing student processes during the act of translation (e.g. Massey / Ehrensberger-Dow 2011, 2012), the precise nature of their dual role as both learners and teachers remains to be investigated in detail. Likewise, while much has been made of the teacher’s role as facilitator or role-player in the translation event (e.g. Kiraly 2000, 2005), little account has been taken of the learning potential for teachers directly involved in the collaborative act of translation itself.
This paper reports on the results of qualitative case studies carried out at our institute. Based on teaching experiments in which teachers work together with students as peers in translation teams, the studies deploy both self-report and a range of process research techniques to uncover what and how teachers can learn from their students (as peers) and how students can learn from their teachers (as peers) when observing and collaborating in the act of translation as part of a situated translation event.
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