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Self-Acessment in Translator Training

Self-Acessment in Translator Training

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Published by: lixiaoxiu on Feb 19, 2009
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18 February 2009 
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Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK
Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t794297831
Bryan J. Robinson
; Clara I. López Rodríguez
; María I. Tercedor Sánchez
University of Granada, SpainOnline Publication Date: 08 December 2006
To cite this Article
Robinson, Bryan J., Rodríguez, Clara I. López and Sánchez, María I. Tercedor(2006)'SELF-ASESMENT INTRANSLATOR TRAINING',Perspectives,14:2,115 — 138
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Full terms and conditions of use:http://www.informaworld.com/terms-and-conditions-of-access.pdfThis article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial orsystematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply ordistribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contentswill be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug dosesshould be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss,actions, claims, proceedings, demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directlyor indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
Bryan J. Robinson, Clara I. López Rodríguez and María I. Tercedor Sánchez,University of Granada, Spain
Self-assessment is a process that enables students to assess their own performance and greatly facilitates their acquisition of increased responsibility for their learning and performance. The ad-vent of e-learning in the Spanish university system has provided opportunities to reorient transla-tor training and accept new challenges that enhance the quality of undergraduate studies.
The present study demonstrates that the benets of this new mode of instruction are especially
appropriate to translator training. We describe the results of centring e-learning course designon self- and peer-assessment combined with tutor-moderation through the application of a ratingscale of criterion-referenced descriptors. Our data demonstrate that the quantitative outcomesof learning remain constant. Furthermore, we include a range of qualitative data which indicatethat students have a positive perception of the new learning and assessment processes, suggestingthat these are responsible for increasing their awareness of important aspects of the translation process.
Key words:
Spain: translator training; e-learning; self-assessment; peer-assessment; tu
tor moderation; criterion-referenced descriptors; tertiary education.
Bridging the gap between e-learning and telework
Professional translating is prototypical telework (Castells 1996, Olvera Lobo etal. 2005 and In press): translators work in or for agencies for clients all over theglobe; they may seldom have personal contact with the authors or users of thetexts they create and may, indeed, have lile contact with colleagues involvedin a particular project. Consequently, the Information and CommunicationsTechnology skills required must form an integral part of undergraduate transla
tor training in order to prepare students adequately for their future. To this end,it seems more than logical that university translation course modules should betaught in an online environment that models as closely as possible the realitiesof the professional world (Olvera Lobo et al. 2005, Alcina Caudet 2002).Furthermore, because translators are increasingly called upon to work withas wide a range of linguistic combinations as possible in order to guaranteetheir employability, and since the traditional barriers on directionality (‘Thoushalt only translate into thy mother tongue’) have been trampled into the dust,the ability to self-assess translation quality is vital. Translators must be able toassess the quality of their work with the highest possible degree of objectivity.In this context, Martínez Melis and Hurtado Albir (2001: 281) stress the impor
tance of classifying translation errors using a metalanguage that contributes toa beer understanding of the nature of those errors and the cognitive processesinvolved in their generation. These authors point out that in translation errorclassication it is necessary to take into account the dierence between: (i) er
rors relating to the source text (ST) and errors relating to the target text (TT),(ii) functional errors and absolute errors, (iii) systematic errors (recurrent) andrandom errors (isolated), and nally, (iv) errors in the product and errors in the
0907-676X/06/02/115-24 $20.00Perspectives: Studies in Translatology© 2006 B.J. Robinson, C.I.L. Rodríguez & M.I.T. SánchezVol. 14, No. 2, 2006
2006. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. Volume 14: 2
process.Since the Declaration of Bologna in 1999, the process of convergence inEuropean universities has highlighted a series of skills that are considered prior
ities in the academic, professional and personal development of students (CózarSievert 2003). Among these skills we nd proactive learning, teamworking andquality assessment, all of which are developed to a higher degree through e-learning than in the traditional Spanish university classroom. In contrast withthe traditional translation classroom, where knowledge would only pass fromteachers to students, in this new teaching context, teachers act as facilitators inthe learning process, and the classroom is not separated from the real world.The translation task is carried out under real-world conditions: there are clientsand experts in the subject eld, and students work in groups and rotate theirroles. In the translation classroom, these principles have been applied for sometime in approaches derived from social constructivism and collaborative learn
ing (Kiraly 2000, González Davies 2004, Olvera Lobo et al. 2005 and In press,Robinson 2003).To achieve the highest possible degree of student involvement in their learn
ing process, enhance their sense of responsibility for their own work and ensurethe course provides students with adequate preparation for the professionalworld they are soon to enter, we have chosen to design this course around theconcepts of self- and peer-assessment and tutor-moderation. To this end, wehave structured the assessment procedures around a rating scale of criterion-referenced descriptors (See Table 1 and the Method section later in this paper).The use of rating scales is frequent in the holistic approach to assessment,which aims to oer in a single score an overall impression of the quality ofstudent work (Waddington 2001). They all consist of a numerical scale alongwhich each number or range of numbers is labeled with the description that itrepresents. We consider that the most appropriate model for evaluating nalyear students is a holistic method. In this way, translation tasks that do not needa nal revision will obtain a higher mark, whereas those that need thoroughrevision will fail. Rating scales are transparent, as they are normally availableprior to the start of the learning process, meaning that all participants, studentsand tutor, know from the beginning how to assess quality. The initial learningobjective of the course is to negotiate agreement on the interpretation of thecriterion-referenced descriptors. All participants debate and discuss the criteriain order to reach mutual agreement on their meaning. Criterion-referencing isthe means by which “performance is interpreted in relation to predeterminedcriteria. Emphasis is on aainment of objectives rather than on scores, and thedescriptors are summaries of the degree of prociency or type of performanceexpected in relation to a particular score” (ALTE 1998: 140, 142 and 146). Thus,the rating scale is the essential tool by which all performance is openly dened,debated, negotiated and measured.This approach distinguishes our course from other University of Granadacourses currently oered online, in which self-assessment takes the form ofquizzes, oen using specially developed soware such as the HotPotatoes ap
plication (www.hotpotatoes.info). While this soware is used in our course, it islimited to providing students with immediate feedback on their learning in theform of multiple choice, cloze or ll-the-gap activities. HotPotatoes is a valuable

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