Building competence and bridges
Massey, Gary; Jud, Peter; Ehrensberger-Dow, Maureen (2015). Building competence and bridges: the potential of action research in translator education. In: Paulina Pietrzak; Mikolaj Deckert (Hg.). Constructing Translation Competence. (27-48). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Peer reviewed.
For more than a decade, action research has been explicitly advocated as a practical and practicable tool in translation studies. Over the same period, it has been used to research translator education, with qualitative case studies regarded as a viable means to help teachers and institutions better understand what translation competence is and how it can be built. Combining action and reflection, theory and practice, action research represents a participative, practically oriented approach directly involving not only the researchers themselves but also other stakeholders, which in the various contexts of translator education includes teachers, students, professionals and/or clients. Its methods therefore appear especially suited to examining the effects both of process-oriented training focussed on the cognitive act of translation and of the co-emergent situated learning environments provided by authentic collaborative assignments. For a number of years, our institute has been promoting and supporting a range of small-scale pedagogical action-research projects in order to bridge the divide between theory and research on the one hand and professional practice on the other. In this paper, we consider the viability of action research as a means of pedagogical investigation and organisational development. After introducing the general background and institutional context of our teaching and research initiatives, we present the design and results of some recent action-research projects aimed at investigating learning effects in process-oriented and authentic situated translation scenarios, exploring the very real potential of action research in curriculum, student and staff development.