Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 5880-5883
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
Curriculum design is one of the key and crucial elements to organize sustainable educational process.
First, the paper analyses the current state of affairs as far as university-based translator and interpreter training curricula are concerned. Most university-based translator training programs are designed as rational, theory-based curricula that include practical knowledge contents, but do not reveal how some particular program responds to different situational contexts, different stakeholders’ needs (Calvo 2009).
On the other hand, recent years have witnessed some shifts that are aimed at adapting curriculum theory to modern higher education challenges (Jonnaert et al.2006:7).
According to the author’s point of view, within the current integration of Academia, research, and professional translation activities there should be rational and skills-focused approaches symbiosis when curriculum design is concerned.
The paper will provide comparative analysis of some Russian and European universities translator training curricula for Master of Arts (MA) programs. The paper will explore how Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia and EU-based European Master in Translation program (EMT) have succeeded to adapt their seemingly rational model–based curricula for MA in Translation programs to domain - specific contexts.
The above programs revealed possible ways to combine rational and skills-focused approaches to translator and interpreter training curriculum design by implementing a smooth shift from a content-driven to a skills-based approach.
The paper will specify certain principles to implement the above shift, including the importance of course interdependence and cohesion, the necessity to specify course content with the view to subsequent discipline studies, the dominance of practical perspective, a solid interdependence of theoretical knowledge and practice skills and their transferability and adaptation to different industry and university contexts, different trajectories to diversify the curriculum, etc.
Further on the paper is expected to list some curricula design shortcomings, such as lack of curriculum alignment and inappropriate sequencing, insufficient or inaccurate course information, knowledge fragmentation, lack of curriculum integration, content overlapping, etc.
The above analysis allowed to identify some key methodology provisions in regard to the curriculum design theory, including skills-based focus, interdisciplinary background of curriculum development, viewing curriculum as a permanent process and not a theory product, teachers’ solid training in teaching strategies, knowledge, skills and abilities transfer with respect to social needs and real-world challenges.
The paper will specify the core of situational and needs analysis as the starting point to any curriculum design that require multi angle analysis at different levels, including international level (international trends in domain under study curriculum design), national level ( national trends, challenges, goals, Higher Educational Standards for curriculum design), industry level ( Industry needs and professional standards), university level (concrete university policy and constrains, university students and teachers’ profile).
The author is the Head of MA in Legal Translation and Interpreting program and its curriculum will be taken as an example to show how the situational and needs analysis works for curriculum development.
Translator training curriculum, curriculum theory, rational curriculum, skills-led curriculum.