Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN17 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 10243-10248
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0939
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Having a long experience in teaching theoretical and practical subjects in English-Russian Translation at university level and facing new challenges due to changing educational standards, both global and national, we have been adjusting the syllabi of our lessons to conform to the new requirements. These consist in reducing the total of academic hours allotted to Translation Studies within new Translation Curricula, redistributing classroom and home activities in favour of students’ self-studies to enhance a responsible creative approach to translation assignments. This has led us to gradually revise the entire approach to teaching Translation disciplines, including the lecturer-students style of communication, the format and contents of lessons and of written tests.

In this article we offer for consideration a new combined approach to classroom activities, enlarging on the students’ ‘cooperation’ with the teacher. We conduct them as a combined three-faceted lecture-seminar-practical Translation class carried out in a non-frontal style, still with the lecturer leading and guiding the conversation-like class within the key themes of the lesson and ensuring that the key issues are taken down and understood for further application. We have enlarged the amount of home translation assignments and online lecturer-students communication with the aim to provide consultation on the guidelines of the course, as well as timely corrections and expert suggestions on translation being done before it is handed in for checking.

The new trends have also affected the format and contents of the partial and final written tests, with a possible extra final oral test on Translation for the students with lower performance rates. In the article we submit for consideration a sample of one of the tests taken from two test-books published by one of the authors of this contribution. The tests have been written, revisited and collected throughout the period of over fourteen years of teaching Translation to students aspiring to become professional translators.

The tests provide for a joint theoretical and practical approach to the key translation issues studied during one or several semesters, monitoring both theoretical knowledge and application skills in doing practical tasks. Tests completion is limited to two academic hours and requires condensed and matter-of-fact answers, along with a responsible and clear handwritten presentation. Each test may consist of 10 to 15 assignments, the level of complexity and the number of tasks depending on the size of the groups and the total number of students taking the test simultaneously, as well as on the students’ average performance in the course of the semester.

The test format has been worked on and modified in accordance with most of the new changes in curricula. Several tests have been posted on the university site for those graduating in Bachelor and Master Studies in Humanities and taking a second major in Translation. The work on the format of both lectures and tests has been under way in the current semester as well, which will hopefully result in a new publication. The results obtained to date have demonstrated the effectiveness of the test format, as well as the fruitfulness of the three-faceted form of Translation lectures.
Translation, new educational standards, adaptation of translation syllabi, joint theoretical and practical approach to class and test design.