Tras unos meses de “vacaciones” y siguiendo la línea de mi artículo “Mi experiencia en el Máster en Investigación en Traducción e Interpretación (UJI)”, hoy quiero agradeceros vuestro apoyo (¡ya somos 621 en Facebook!) y presentaros el TFM de mi último Máster en Formación del Profesorado: “A new approach to translation. Translation as an integrated skill in the foreign language classroom”. Aquí os ofrezco un resumen en inglés sobre el trabajo.
The use of translation in the classroom has been one of the time-honoured issues in the study of ESL and EFL, as it has dominated linguistic research and teaching since Roman times until the present day. However, the analysis of its advantages and disadvantages has normally been based on the use of the decontextualized direct translation from L2 to L1, and not on translation from L1 to L2 or on a contextualised use of translation. For this reason, and in order to create a continuum with our research on the norms of translation, we decided to gather all the possible information on the use of translation in the foreign language classroom (FLC) and use it in a much more practical way in order to do a case study and answer several research questions:
1) Is bilingualism/multilingualism useful in the learning of a foreign language?
2) Is bilingualism/multilingualism useful in the teaching of a foreign language?
3) How is translation used today in FLL?
4) How is translation used today in FLT?tra
5) Which techniques/tools do students use when working with a text in English?
6) Do they resort to their knowledge of their mother tongue?
7) What are the students’ opinions about the usefulness of translation in FLL?
8) Do teachers resort to translation exercises in order to teach English in their FLC?
9) What are the teachers’ opinions about the usefulness of translation in FLL?
The collected information was used for the design of a proposal of a task-based translation approach. However, our main aim was not to design a whole teaching methodology based on translation, but to set the ground for the use of translation strategies in the FLC from a content and task-based approach.
In order to answer the proposed research questions, a review of the literature on the use of the first language in the classroom and of some of the teaching methods that involve the use of the L1 was presented in chapter 1. Chapter 2 makes a review of the literature on the use of translation in the FLC and presents a refutation of some of the most common arguments against the use of translation in the classroom. Furthermore, different traditional ways of using translation in the classroom were described. In chapter 3 a case study was presented with the main aim of comparing the students’ and teachers’ opinions about the use of translation and the first language in the classroom. The results of this case study showed that translation is one of the most used techniques by students when working with a written or oral text in English and that it plays an important role in their learning process of a foreign language. Furthermore, results showed that both students and teachers consider knowing more than one language and doing translation exercises may come in handy when learning a foreign language.
These results set the ground for the design of two translation tasks (an international and an interdisciplinary task) based on the use of translation from a communicative and content-based approach and on the use of translation as an intercultural communication tool for students.