BLENDED ONLINE INTERPRETING STUDIES TEACHING WITH RSS FEED AND WIDGET MEDIA PORTAL: DESIGN AND PRACTICE
Moscow State University of Economics, Statistics and Informatics (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
The article outlines main features and principles of media feed and widget portal design and methodology on how to use it for practical oral Translataion Studies (Interpreting). The portal is based on NETVIBES, free RSS feed and widget site provider. It permits to easily embed on one page or tab all kinds of world media in different languages and on various topics (or subjects), as well as lot's of other necessary widgets. For example, students' personal blogs, wikis, gadgets, slide presentations, news posts, videos and other, already opened on one page.
The main goal of this portal is to significantly activate and intensify interpreters' training and to develop professional skills, both in simultaneous and sequential interpreting. The students specialized in Linguistics, Intercultural Communication and Translation Studies are using this portal. For the experiment, a focus group of students-volunteers, numbered up to 10 from 40 total, was selected. The course lasted one academic semester. It served as complementary to the online Blended wiki-based Translation Studies course, taught for the same students.
Several portal tabs (or pages) cover different topics, such are politics, business, IT, webinars and general communication ones. News feeds, podcasts and multimedia widgets in English and in Russian languages were embedded there. So,on each topic tab the student easily access and work with media news feeds (written posts), podcasts (audio with players), vidcasts (video with player) in Russian and in English. But it is to remember, that students need full access to high speed Internet and headsets for PCs or mobile devices to open the portal and to work on the tab in class. For example, they have embedded BBC daily news vidcast. Every student of the class gets individual assignment to watch, listen and interpret 1 minute news from BBC online video broadcast and has 10-15 min to get ready with simultaneous translation of it. When ready, the teacher and all other students of the experimental group listen to the original and then its interpreting (from one language). Then they evaluate translation accuracy and discuss its variations. All students of the class do it by turn.
Another example of group training: on the same page all students have another embedded site to listen to the professional sequential interpreting of the interview.They are actively commenting on it and proposing their own versions (in two languages). As hometask, students can translate news posts, listen to longer podcasts or watch a webinar on the topic and prepare its partly sequential or simultaneous translation for class meeting (Blended flipped method).
The great benefit is that all portal educational resources are authentic, renewable, multimedia, presenting any possible accents, any languages combinations on any topics at any levels of difficulty, length and variety for interpreting studies. And it is all free for educators and students.
The results of the experiment showed that the students were much more fluent and diversified in oral translation skills, both simultaneous and sequential at a time, then other ones who learned it with traditional splitted academic methods without Internet possibilities. The author briefly describes main technical details of the portal design,gives some practical advice on how to merge it with Blended wiki-based translation course and general methodological guidelines on how to arrange such specific Blended activities.
keywords: blended learning
, interpreting studies
, translation studies
, rss feed
, higher education
, english language