Necessity of tech integration into translation training programs
In order to get a job in today's workplace, translators need to acquire higher thinking and the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy. They also need to learn about different cultures and how to work on a global scale. One key question today is how translator training programs should meet these needs in advance. To meet these requirements, tech integration into translation training curriculum is strongly recommended. This paper seeks to stress importance of tech integration into the system of training translation.
Today's economy is based on a global perspective. Translation students, as future translators, need to compete and collaborate with the world. Thus translation training programs must be catered along these lines and support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts.
Based on this fact that learning to translate means acquiring the knowledge, skills, techniques, and strategies that allow translators to render a text in another language so that it causes the same effect in the target reader as the source text did in the source-language reader, a translator not only needs to have knowledge about correct decoding of the original text and idiomatic encoding into the target text, that is knowledge about language use and linguistics, comprehension of cultural features, research skills, but also the correct use of the tools for terminology management and computer-assisted translation, are necessary to guarantee quality in the final product.
In addition to supporting four key components of learning and providing translation students with the required knowledge, skills, techniques , teaching effectively to students with different cultures, levels of ability, background, interests, learning styles and modalities is also a major challenge faced by training translation programs.
Managing to overcome these challenges is not something to be done through traditional chalk and talk classes.
In order for translation students to receive appropriate education, technology has to be integrated into the translation training programs in one way or another. Technology is a versatile and valuable tool for teaching and learning and becoming a way of life.
2. Advantages of Tech Integration into Translation Training Programs
Technology plays a huge role in the existence of humankind in the 21st century. It has become an integral part of society, so it is necessary to integrate its use in education in a variety of ways. There are advantages of using technology in translation teaching system, such as:
- Individualized learning: student can proceed the learning in his/her way and pace and access information in a non-linear and self-tailored fashion.
- Motivational power: “positive addiction,” technology positively impacts student attitudes toward learning, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
- Resource-based learning: potential to link many different types of resources and provide a guided path through them; potential to provide access to many primary sources, archival materials, databases, etc. to facilitate original research.
- Collaborative learning: ease of communication and collaboration even across distances; challenge to idea of exclusively personal “intellectual property”.
- Interactivity: potential for choosing how to pursue and synthesize information, for commenting on information, for self-assessment quizzes, for contributing information.
- Publication: potential for easy and inexpensive publication of student work for classmates and even for a worldwide audience.
- Updatability: infinitely changeable, can be kept very current.
- Cross-functional environments: potential for helping students with real-life association and the ability to work in cross-functional environments.
- Global studies: Technology can bring experiences of other cultures vividly into the classroom.
- Instructional tool: technology helps all students, including poor students and students with disabilities, master basic and advanced skills required for the world of work.
- Assessment tool: technology yields meaningful information, on demand, about students' progress and accomplishments and provides a medium for its storage.
- Student – centered classes: The teacher’s role has changed from the center of attention as the dispenser of information to a role of a facilitator helping the students set goals and providing guidelines for learning.
Of course, this list could be made larger, but it is limited to the most important points. The following part shows some opportunities that the technology provides for translator training program.
3. Several Types of Technology Helpful in Training Translation Programs
Today's technology can provide teachers and students with opportunities for teaching and learning that were impossible in the past.
- Search engines: Research is the most important reason to use the internet in education. It provides students a wealth of information open to them, such as essays, debates, panel discussions, video presentation of information, and so on.
- Website: Website creation is the second important reason to use internet in training translation programs. This website might include a collection of student-created translations, critiques of translated texts with different genres, comparing a translated text with its original, and so on.
- Blog: Blog is another reason to use internet in training translators programs. A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently. What a great way for students to work with peers and to communicate their ideas and to get immediate feedback.
- ELearning: eLearning can assist educators in offering a more complete offering of courses. With the right training an online course can deliver an excellent educational experience for all students. eLearning can provide a valuable means to help meet challenges of twenty first century education.
- Moodle: Moodle is a learning management system for creating internet-based courses started by Martin Dougiamas. It was designed to support a social constructionist framework of education. Moodle is provided freely as open source software. You are allowed to copy, use and modify Moodle provided that you agree to: provide the source to others, not modify or remove the original license and copyrights, and apply this same license to any derivative work.
- Moo: Multicultural diversity is a big issue in trying to develop an appropriate teaching protocol. The World Wide Web and Internet provide an alternative to the traditional methods of teaching. A specific application is a multi-user domain (MU) which allows multiple users to log on to a coexistent environment (Sleeter and Tettegah, 2002). The MU can be object-oriented (MOO), text based, descriptive environments which are virtual online environments created for problem solving, live interaction and collaboration.
- Various computer technologies and translation tools: All translation students need to know how to do high-level word processing, basic DTP and HTML work, as well as deal with terminology and glossary databases, and MAT/MT tools. These technologies should be introduced through special classes, of course, but then should be a part of the daily translation curriculum. Students should be expected to create complex word-processing documents for their translations, to do database and terminology projects, to deal with HTML files, and even to open and translate text strings within software code. This will prepare them for the demands of the translation industry.
It is the responsibility of translation training programs to teach students not only the academic skills that they will need, but also communication, organization, and technological skills that are required to be successful in today's society. To fulfill these duties effectively, technology must be integrated into their curriculum. Anything less will simply give them more to learn after they graduate, defeating the purpose of the training they have paid for and worked through.
Sleeter, C. & Tettagah, S. (2002). Technology as a tool in multicultural teaching. Multicultural Education, 10(2), 3 - 9.
The Facts About… 21st-Century Technology (2002). U.S. Department of Education (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2003 from http://www.nclb.gov/start/facts/21centtech.html
Published - August 2009
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