Translation in the classroom (Pros (Working in groups encourage learners…
Translation in the classroom
Sentences, words, passages, instructions that are given in the L2 language are examples of comprehensible input.
Translation requires special attention to the details, which helps students with spelling, vocabulary usage, and sentences structure acquisition.
Promotes critical thinking, when the students are solving this kind of tasks, due to the difficulty of making sense of a word based in its context, is like solving a jigsaw puzzle.
Provides a useful pedagogical tool by which certain aspects of language can be transformed by learners very effectively.
Well designed translation activities in the classroom can practice the 4 skills and the 4 systems. In terms of communicative competence, they require accuracy, clarity, and flexibility.
Is a highly communicative activity; the reason is to make sure that the content being communicated is relevant and that we exploit all possibilities for communication during the activity.
Working in groups encourage learners to discuss meaning and use target language at the deepest possible levels
Translation is a real-life, natural activity and increasingly necessary in a global and culturally diverse environment.
Foreign language learners frequently use translation to facilitate language learning and to acquire the new language.
Can be used as an effective medium for developing the learners' communicative competence and for teaching properties and types of meaning underlying semantic relationships, communicative language functions, sentential information structure, and discourse values.
Allows learners to make comparisons between L1 and L2, relate new knowledge to existing knowledge, promotes noticing and language awareness
It minimizes students comprehension problems when reading in L2, giving that they can understand meanings, connotations when they translate words or sentences
Over use can become a fossilization issue
Native language interference
Challenging for students with basic knowledge of the L2
Absence of a single translation can cause confusion when the student try to convey meaning
Difficult skill for those students that are not familiar with analytical or verbal-linguistic learing stategies
Morphosyntactic structure and operation may differ from L1 to L2
Poor learning strategy when it comes to the communicative language teaching (CLT) approach
The use of the native language in the class, is a serious barrier to effective language learning.
It does not allow students to create/negotiate meaning in the L2.
Interferes with reading comprehension, student pay more attention to independent words rather than the main ideas
It makes hard for teachers to be able of recognizing most of the students gaps
Is counterproductive because forces learners to view the foreign language through their mother tongue
Running translation: adaptation of the running dictation activity which potentialize the use of the 4 language skills
Find the translation: students are given a fragment of a passage and they need to come up with the translation. This activity promotes discussion
Find the fib: students are given different translations versions of a sentence with some faulty ones, they need to find the wrong ones and justify the reason why those versions are wrong. promotes discussion and grammatical awareness.
Guided composition: students will use key terms given by the teacher in the L1 language, Then they need to create their own writing in the L2 language. this activity promotes a transfer of meaning as well as meaning negotiation.
Learner groups: work on translating different sections of a text, and then regroup to connect together their parts into a full text.
Culturalization List: Learners bring in examples of L1 language (in their own country) or L2 (in another country) for discussion and translation.
Expose Phrases: Learners bring in short texts/proverbs/poems and present them to the class, explaining why they like them. These are then used for translation.
Translate the song: In pairs or small groups, students choose a popular song in their Mother Tongue and translate it into English, ensuring that it is still singable to the same tune! and vice-versa
Translating a movie: Learners translate the script of a scene from a film and compare it with the original translation.
A question remains
Should teachers know why they are using a translation activities and what they expect students to get out of it?