About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2341-2347
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING THROUGH ORAL TRANSLATION PRACTICE OF MULTILINGUAL NEWS WEBSITES

J. Van Dyk

University of Pretoria (SOUTH AFRICA)
Oral translation practice within the parameters of a language course is a highly beneficial method to improve communication skills among foreign language learners. As students tend to translate mentally before speaking a foreign language, they should explicitly learn to abandon formal transfer of their reference language by applying a professional meaning-based translation approach. Since students who have not yet mastered the target language are tempted to rely on the source language, translation practice provides an ideal occasion to teach them to avoid literal and non-idiomatic translation from their first language and to look for alternative means of expression that correspond to their level of proficiency. However, a so-called traditional pedagogical translation of texts into and from the foreign language often practiced in language classes proves to be highly time-consuming and risks emphasising students’ habit of transferring words, phrases, and rules directly from their first language. Instead, oral on-sight translation into the foreign language proves to be a very economical way to teach students to re-express the meaning of the source text in their own words, thereby limiting undue interference from their other languages.
Various multilingual news websites provide audio and written material on current affairs topics that are in general familiar to students. These sources often combine a short written text and a sound recording that can be downloaded and listened to in class prior to an oral on-sight translation of the accompanying text. Depending on the resources available in the classroom, the lecturer can either print the texts and download the audio recordings to be played in class or, in the case of a well-equipped language laboratory, let students work directly from the computer screen and record their translations for subsequent evaluation. The activity can be adapted according to the language proficiency of the students, as weaker groups can, for example, listen to the recording in their first language and the foreign language. This provides students with sufficient supplementary information in their various languages to understand the written text and re-express its meaning in the target language in their own words. During the subsequent sight translation, they therefore rely on the context known to them, as well as on their memory to recall the vocabulary previously heard. Instead of trying to copy the source language, they re-express the meaning in their own words and use sufficient strategies and alternative means of expression to compensate for their limited language knowledge and intuition. Similarly, when speaking the foreign language outside the classroom, they also focus on the meaning of their utterances and use compensatory strategies to overcome language shortcomings, instead of copying from their reference languages or avoiding the problem altogether by switching to another language.
This paper will present examples of multimedia resources readily available to the language teacher, as well as propose a pedagogical application of on-sight translation practice based on these resources, with examples taken from French, German, Spanish and English translation combinations.
@InProceedings{VANDYK2009FOR,
author = {Van Dyk, J.},
title = {FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING THROUGH ORAL TRANSLATION PRACTICE OF MULTILINGUAL NEWS WEBSITES},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2341-2347}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Van Dyk
TI - FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING THROUGH ORAL TRANSLATION PRACTICE OF MULTILINGUAL NEWS WEBSITES
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 2341
EP - 2347
ER -
J. Van Dyk (2009) FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING THROUGH ORAL TRANSLATION PRACTICE OF MULTILINGUAL NEWS WEBSITES, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 2341-2347.
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