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Group work in translator training: a case study of a module in Translation Project Management

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Agata Sadza

on 5 November 2012

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Transcript of Group work in translator training: a case study of a module in Translation Project Management

Group work in translator training: a case study of a module in Translation Project Management Outline and aims of the presentation Position of group work and collaborative learning in HE pedagogies
Group work as part of translator competence
The module: learning objectives, learning procedure, assessment and feedback
Evaluation and conclusions Group work can be an effective tool in translator training, however it requires a careful design of the assessment procedure and its close alignment with the aims of the module. Group work in HE contexts collective problem solving and decision making
delegation and organisation of work
oral and written communication
interpersonal dynamics issues increased student motivation
development of individual responsibility
co-constructing knowledge as a result of group interactions
improved democratic skills
(King and Behnke 2005)
students perform well in group situations
are appreciative of the experience
are willing to cooperate
(Desrochers et al. 2007) Benefits of cooperative learning enterprises Group work as part of translator's competence focus on 'text-based' subcompetencies Available literature For example:
Neubert (2000): five parameters of translational competence: language, textual, subject, cultural and transfer competencies
Orozco (2000): two main components of translational competence: transfer competence (communicative competence in the two languages, extralinguistic knowledge, instrumental-professional competence, psycho-physiological competence) and strategic competence (translation strategies and procedures) 'translator education should reflect and prepare for real-life authentic practices in the translation workplace' (Kenny 2006: 26) Authentic practices in translation workplace EMT competencies > translation service provision competence > interpersonal dimension >
'Knowing how to work under pressure and with other experts, with a project head (capabilities for making contacts, for cooperation and collaboration), including in a multilingual situation'
'Knowing how to work in a team, including a virtual team' 'The translator ... may need ... to cooperate with the client, a reviser, subject experts and possibly with other translators working on the same project. In real-life translation projects the team can consist of translators, revisers and a project manager' (Mackenzie and Vienne 2000: 127, qtd. in Kenny 2006: 27) uncertainty and unease Challenges related to group work in HE contexts logistics (incl. group selection)
amount of teacher supervision and direct instruction/intervention
assessing group projects
(Lejk, Wyvill and Farrow 1999, King and Behnke 2005) fairness of assessing group work? Assessment group grades 'are unfair ... convey incorrect messages, violate individual responsibility, [and] generate resistance to cooperative learning' (Kagan 1995, qtd. in King and Behnke 2005: 58) Group assessment or individual assessment? individual assessment: going against the very purpose of a group exercise, where the group experience is of paramount importance Translation Project Management rationale
institutional context Learning objectives:
to familiarise students with the main tenets of project flow and project management in the translation industry
to accustom students to an authentic practice of group work on translation projects Constructivist teaching philosophy Experiential learning Learning procedure 'real-life' scenario whereby the participants are faced with a 'real' translation project and expected to work out a successful way of preparing and delivering the Final Product (Translation + Glossary)
blended learning: independent learning plus 3 classroom-based sessions plus VLE (Moodle)
teams of 4-6 people: Project Manager (1 person), Terminologist/QA (2-3 persons) and Translator (2-3 persons). Tutor as the Client. Would the groups be self-selecting?
If not, would they be selected randomly?
Would the cultural background of the participants play a role? Group selection Agata Sadza 12th Portsmouth Translation Conference
10 November 2012 How much explicit input on group work should be provided? (i.e. should students be given exact instructions as to how to perform their tasks?) Amount of instruction Assessment > difficulty of measuring teamwork and individual contribution
> differences between students in terms of individual talent Assessing the product or assessing the process? 'it may still be best for an instructor to concentrate on grading the group product even if it means assigning a single grade to all members', such assessment being 'at least based on a product directly observed by the instructor' (King and Behnke 2005: 59)
'if the product is not assessed, students are unlikely to take it seriously' (Lejk, Wyvill and Farrow 1999: 12) Actual assessment procedure FINAL GRADE:
50% Reflective Report (2000 words) on what a participant learnt about group work and translation project management (reflective self-assessment of what happened, what could be improved and what could be carried forward and implemented in real practice);
30-40% (depending on the role) quality of the Product;
10-20% (depending on the role) participation, involvement, commitment Formative
feedback two 300-word Interim Reports
dual purpose:
practice in reflective writing
tutor's control over the process Conclusions Students' feedback: practical, interactive and student-oriented character of the module
free rein as to how to schedule and organise their work; encouraged to explore various ways of working and to learn in collegial and experiential manner
individual accountability to peers as strong motivating factor
opportunity to observe and appreciate the specificities of the different roles in a translation process individual preference for a more structured and teacher-centred approach
interim reports = additional workload Thank you for listening a.sadza@londonmet.ac.uk Any questions students ‘should expect to spend significant portions of their lives working in groups and teams’ (King and Behnke 2005: 57) developing these skills experientially enhances
deep (as opposed to surface) learning
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