TRANSLATION ASSESSMENT: FROM POINTS- BASED TOWARD HOLISTIC GRADING
Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Translation skills have been playing a crucial role in today’s multicultural world of global business, education, research, social interaction as a whole.
There has been a long standing tradition in the foreign language training to assess tasks using points-grading system. This tradition has been accepted by translation skills trainers who work for university-based translation programs across the world. Many teachers state that points- based grading system provides transparent and clear criteria to assess the translation assignments, trainers who stick to the above system insist it is a must to maintain and support objectiveness in the translation classroom.
The above system is based on identifying typical errors concerning the student’s choice to use vocabulary (wrong word), morphology categories (i.e. wrong part of speech), and syntax structures (i.e. wrong sentence structure).
A certain number of points are assigned for each type of the above mentioned mistakes.
Nevertheless researchers acknowledge the points-based grading system in translation skills training varies from one university to another (Mc Alester 2000, Garant & Garant 2001) and underline the importance to review the translation task assessment systems ( House 1997).
The paper argues for a holistic approach to translation task assessment.
First, the paper explores theoretical background for the above statement with the focus on the social constructivist and process-oriented approaches to translator training and translation task assessment, and special emphasis is laid on socio-cultural approach to understanding process-oriented translation phenomenon (Gonzáles Davies 2004, Gile 1995, Pym, Schlesinger, Jettmarová 2006, Tennent 2005).
Second, the paper outlines results of translation trainers and students’ interviews to identify their opinions in respect of points-based grading system.
Further on, a methodology to develop a holistic process-oriented assessment of translation tasks is described; comments on its application in the translation practice classroom are provided basing on the second stage of translation trainers and students’ interviews to identify their attitudes to the proposed holistic grading system.
The above theoretical research and empirical studies have led us to the conclusion that points-based grading has to be replaced by holistic process-oriented assessment that tailors students’ needs to future translation challenges environment.
Garant, J., Garant, M. 2001. Case Study: variation of assessment practices in translator education. In: Kukkonen P., Hartama-Henonen (eds.) Mission, vision, strategies and values. A celebration of translator training and translation studies in Kuovola. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, pp. 45-58.
Gonzáles Davies M. 2004. Multiple voices in the translation classroom: Activities, tasks and projects. Benjamins Translation Library 54. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Gile, D. 1995. Basic Concepts and Models for Translator and Interpreter Training.
House, J. 1997. Translation quality assessment: A model revisited. Turbingen, Narr.
Pym, A, Schlesinger, M., Jettmarová, Z. (eds.) 2006. Socio-cultural aspects of translating and interpreting. Benjamins Translation Library 67. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Tennent, M. (ed.) 2005. Training for the New Millennium. Pedagogies for Translation and Interpreting. Benjamins Translation Library 60. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Keywords: Translation quality assessment, points-based system, holistic approach to grading.