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Friday, 30 November 2012

A point on  Liaison Interpreting
 (community interpreting)
 ( Can it can work better if we integrate technology in the curriculum?)

In the west, especially in heavily immigrant populated countries ( north america, the nordic countries..ect) this phenomenon is better known by ' community interpreting', mainly carried out in Public hospitals , immigration contexts...ect

Although my research focus is on translator education, it is difficult to diregard interpreter training from the equation. As highlighted in some readings on translation studies ( Munday, 2004, 2008, 2012), in research it is difficult to split the two complimentary fields : Translation and Interpreting studies ( with some differences of course). Also, the fact that I trained student interpreters for two years while I was teaching in Higher Education in Morocco makes it even compeling. Reflecting on both Translation and interpreting practice while researching in theoretico-empirical or pure theoretical  sources makes it even compeling.

My MA was in Translation & Interpreting (Heriot Watt University), I done it at the time when Prof. Basil Hatim was still there. The experience was rewarding.

Here is some tips I can highlight based on my earlier teaching experience in liaison and consecutive interpreting (2008-2010)..
  • Active pedagogies work well in organizing group work ( organizing students in teams of three)
  •  Using a scenario based technique in the classroom : I tried to first prepare a case( strory or event)where there is a thematic problem (immigration, hospital context, Trade center, airport)...then, in group, we did some brainstorming discussions , mostly critical dicussion in the classroom about the problem at stake.
  •  Students get together in groups ( groups of three: Dcotor/patient/interpreter OR Buyer/seller/interpreter)and ( as per the instruction I designed for thsi specific purpose), they needed to prepare a dialogue (long enough) and present the story (simulation) in the classroom as it occurs  in real time.
  • Next session, when they come in to perform, I set an evaluation grill for their colleagues to evaluate them. Myself I give my own evaluation as well ( professional aspect: non verbal, verbal, terminology, voice articulation, speaking in public...ect).

Things went much better when I brought into the classrrom two YOUTUBE videos of interpreter interventions (examples of interpreting done by professional and non-professionals). This  streamed video (learning object or material) had a great impact on students. Then, I realised that they needed a diffrent type of learning environment : a technology / multimedia enhanced environment.
After that, I designed other activities where both media enhanced technologies as well as active pedagogies were integrated : This had great outcomes in terms of not only learning , but also improving their SELF-ESTEEM .They felt they could do it on the ground. That is , for me, an educational outcome. If the learning objectives were that the student COULD BE ABLE TO INTERVENE in a such or such situation....Job is done then !

For interpreter training, integrating technology is very important element in the elarning curve.However, which tools to use and which pedagogical priniciples to rely on to design and deliver courses ? and how to design a learning environment for that specific type of training...That is what I am working on in my current project. There is abundant research in educational technology, e-learning, educational studies, psycho-education....ect that can help to design such courses for translators or interpreters.

Educational studies can inform Translator and Interprerter tarining. 


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Innovative educational approaches to interpreter training: integrating technology and active pedagogies

Pedagogical approaches to interpreter training
(Interesting online conference ...coming up soon ) 

The Link:


My remark:

 The use of technology as well as  blended, online and distance modes of training in translator or interpreting education seem to be an emerging phenomenon. With globalisation and changing work patterns in the translationa nd interpreting industry ( immigration, changing demographics, digital natives, e-generation...ect), it seems that it makes sense to rethink existing pedagogical and educational models or approaches.

Check also that this conference is going to be delivered on Blackboard platform , saving plenty expenses (air fair, hotels..ect). I hope other confrences or discussions could be discussed regularly amongst the Translationa dn interpreting scholars, teachers, students and practitioners following this method of presentaion and event organization (Virtual video conferencing).

In the field of online education, these type of encounters enhance collaboration and exchange of experiences and practices that could yield better and efficient results for the community.
Some of the universities organize their seminars for the doctoral students via online meetings ( Live video-conference meetings).


Languages and Translation Departments:

E-learning , online learning and integrating technology in the teaching and learning process.

This is a great move and initiative from King Khalid University. Similar initiatives were taken by King saud University (Wiki Project for enhancing Arabic content in the Internet).Good to hear this.

The same project (WIKI project)was supported by Qatar Foundations in Doha. Shame that Arabic is amongst one of the six UN languages and -yet- its content is so poor in the Internet. My next project is to open an Arabic blog whereby the contents on translation and interpreting news, practise and research will be published in Arabic. Another solution, is to create a multilingual knowledge base online . Coming up soon...!!!

I am quite aware of the efficiency of using WIKIS in training students on revision skills using a collaborative approach (project based collaborative approach- Kiraly (2000) . I hope you may have some ideas about this or ways to clarify this in a better way. Did some of you have used these tools before in teaching?. I can see the Wikis' educational potential in nurturing and developing crucial competencies that are badly needed in translation practise : working in groups , in networks (at international and local levels), coordination skills ( who is doing what, training on meeting deadlines through working online , coping with last minute changes). 

The Wiki platform in the case of Arabic could serve two things :

1- Training translators on major skills badly needed in the real world of translation (revision, collaboration)
2- Filling up a gap : empowering the Arabic Language content on the Internet (Imagine how many times we translators need assistance from google search  in fixing terminological or phraseological issues and we find how poor are the online resources in Arabic). However, when I work on a technical translation from French or Spanish into English, researching documents (parallel corpus data, for instance)  or terminology becomes easier ....


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Very interesting and emerging trends in translationa nd interpreting.

12th Portsmouth Translation Conference
'Those Who Can, Teach': Translation, Interpreting and Training

Innovative trends and tendicies in Translation and Interpreting. Please check the topics dicussed in this conference.

For the first time I see themes like :

  • Best practice for practical translation workshops
  • Translator training and cognition
  • Translators, interpreters and CPD
  • Translator and interpreting training online (distance learning)
  • Training the trainer
  • Relevance of translation theory in and outside the classroom
  • Educational theories
  • Employability
  • Clients need educating too!

These are indeed 21st century topivs and innovative trends to look for... Those highlighted in BLUE fall into the area  of my ongoing research as a Phd candidate.

اصدار قرار من قبل الشيخ خليفة آل نهيان لأجل تعديل مهنة الترجمة بالامارلت

New law issued regarding translation practice in the UAE...very interesting. Please check below link.

Notice that the Diploma in translation is compulsory to get certified...imagine how many new training / opportunities there will be ....universities need to respond to these type of training requests, such as creating certificates, online and disatnce courses , diplomas as well as Full BA and MA degrees.

These diplomas should also be geared to satisfy the needs of the new type of demographics ( already existing practioners, people who already work and have family commitments ). So, other training contents and educational  approaches need to be designed/developed. Courses like translation studies, ethical issues and relevant historical studies in translation may be on the menu. The practIcing adult (TRANSLATOR) is back to university to get more education and training to transform and improve his or her previous ways of doing things. In the case of the UAE there will be even practitioners who need linguistic upgrade as well as conceptual and technical development - provided that there will be a team of translator trainers, researchers or scholars who can enhance 21st  competencies and beliefs into the currricula. A thorough market awareness and use of technology as well as an acquaintance with the more recent approaches (dynamic and active pedagogies) in translator education and training for both adults professionals  returning to study and traditional students is necessary to do that.

There is a difference when you train traditional students, and when your clients (students) are adults who happen to be back to university just to improve their career prospects or comply with legal requirement to carry on their practice- like in case of the attached article.


Sunday, 25 November 2012

  ضرورة تفعيل جانب الارشاد الأكاديمي في الجامعات العربية...مسؤولية فردية و مؤسساتية؟
(article content: absence of academic and career orientation at Arab Uiniversities:
 The need to mobilise institutional and individual efforts to solve the problem  )

The link


Saturday, 24 November 2012

 Video about new approaches to learning / teaching.....Learning in and beyond the classroom

The topic is geared to people (teachers, trainers, working personnel in private organisations) who need to make efforts to embrace new working practices and approaches.

The link:

Useful link for translator trainers and researchers to rethink approaching training practices and issues in a translation programme/course.Think about creating a translation certificate or diploma programme for non-traditional students (people already working a freelancers or in-house) to seek further professional development or accreditation ( Obtain a diploma in translation they dont have, for instance).

Also, it may apply for normal MA or BA courses in teaching translation in a bi-modal university (giving both classroom- based  and distance courses), some translational competences could be better enhanced through a learner- centured approach , collaborative in nature (project work in practicums) and supported by educationally sound technology tools, especially web based technologies (e-mails, forums, threads, chats, synchroneous tools).


Sunday, 18 November 2012

 Course Outline from face to face classroom into an online version of the course

As part of teacher training course in Higher Education before I started my PhD (In 2011), I submitted as part of my assignment an innovative type of work consisting in the possibility of converting a course in terminology and documentation given by a professor working in translation and linguistics department here in Montréal (canada). Here is the brief abstract for that mini-paper. I would like to develop it into a paper for publication.

       In this assignment, I will present a course outline designed by a professor in the translation and linguistics department at the Université xxxxxxx for first year undergraduates. It is about Terminology and research documentation. The professor had agreed to use his sample as data for my assignment.
        In the coming paragraphs, I shall discuss the structural aspects of the document as well as analysing components and finalising with an attempt to propose a possibility of using the same course to be delivered online through making adequate justifications and suggestions. Taking the course to an online platform will only be discussed in a glimpse since the main purpose in this assignment is mainly to focus on the main important of an efficient course outline and role of ‘aligning’ the objectives, the learning outcomes and the assessment tasks, as well as analysing those elements of the outline and project my own appreciation of the document based on  new insights from learning theories, instructional design and andragogy (how adults learn) applied to translator or interpreter training.


On Freelancing Practice in Translation

An online  workshop in tele-translation work (online freelancing) I gave in 2011 . ATIDA ( Arabic Translation an Intercultural Dialogue Association).

Here is the Link to the (prelimenary) syllabus  . (The prsentation was given in Arabic)

The workshop was in Arabic/English & sometimes Arabic Dialect (informality allowed given the nature of the intervention). About 48 participants were online. ATIDA decided to offer the course free for promotional reasons. It was a challenge to manage the online facilitation  due to the massive flow of questions I received. A moderator (with whom I should have prior arrangement to organize the activities ) was not available. So, on the spot I had to pick up, amongst all this flow, ONLY relavant questions. Under no circumstances I could have replied to all queries in 1h 30min. On the other hand, that shows how the audeince were interactive and dynamic. Some of them were replying and helping  their classmates on their queries in the chat box (asynchroneous learning object)  which I totally amired : interaction took place not only between me and them BUT also between students themselves; I mean students who did not know each other . I guess that is the type of collaboration that some Pedagotrads like Kiraly ( 2000, 20003) had been talking about, but not in  a technology enhanced learning space ( online or distance learning context).These Arabic speaking students came from all different countries ( including some had participated from Spain, Germany and France).

I learnt few things I will avoid next time when I undertake the same workshop either online or face to face ( in a classroom context). Online facilitation or intervention is different from f2f in terms of learning design, teacher's role and teaching/learning physical environment ( Wall &Bricks against the online platform  or LMS (Learning managemnet system). Training for instructors who want to undertake such initiatives is necessary.

 A Power Point version of the course is available for those interested . Please contact me @


On Freelancing Practice in Translation

An online  workshop in tele-translation work (online freelancing) I gave in 2011 . ATIDA ( Arabic Translation an Intercultural Dialogue Association).

Here is the Link to the (prelimenary) syllabus .

Here is the Link to the Power Point docuemnt I used ( The workshop was in Arabic/English/ Use of ArabicDialect (informality allowed given the nature of the intervention). About 48 participants were online. ATIDA decided to offer the course free for promotional reasons. It was a challenge to manage the online facilitation , due to the massive flow of questions I received. So, on the spot I had to pick up (amongst all this flow ONLY relavant questions). From this, I learnt few things I will avoid when I undertake the same workshop either online or face to face ( in a classroom context). Online facilitation or intervention is different than f2f in terms of learning design, teccher's role and teaching/learning physical environment ( Bricks against the online platform  or LMS (Learning managemnet system).

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Teaching the course ' Approaches in translation studies' using a blended mode of instruction

In 2010 , I taught for the first the course 'Approaches in Translation sutudies (TS) ' to MA students at Hassan II university in Mohamamdia (Morocco). I did my homework and tried to find (a) good reference (s) to build my course. I finaly decided to focus on Mundays' Book , plus other readings in Translation studies(TS). Then, came the issue of how to deliver the course , should I be using ONLY lecturing or add other pedagogical technics. After all, the conceptions that students seem to have about TS is that it is only theory and that they do not need it. The professional MA course seems to be of a practical nature and they were there to only sharpen their practical skills!!. Still, I explained at the begining of the course that both theory and parctical insights from the real world of translation will be embeded in the course. So, no panicking. My approach was that the MA student cohort need to not only sharpen their practical skills( this should be dome bnefore at the BA level), but to develop a translation specific metalanguage and approach or process translation work or texts critically. A chance for them to reflect a bit . We do two things: Educate and train.

In my first days with the students, as I always do with students, was about getting to know each other and ask them key questions to lessen the distantnce and learn about students characteristics and profiles. This would help me to dessign better contents and learning environments , including assessment measures and activities  (formative, summative, performative).

Another issue I needed to fix was the way I should bring in practice into the course. MA students will certainly need some theoretical insights to help them build a metalanguage they could use to comment on their translations and write research in translation. Given the fact that Translation Studies is a new domain for them, and that their prior knowledge about it  is quite limited, it was a good idea to start with something they knew about and heard of before like ' equivalence issue' from a linguistic perspective . Also, a brief dicussion of the work of Nida in translation theory is important, since verybody knows Nida. Then, after that I started to show the shift that has taken place after Holmes Map and explained to them the Map to drag their awareness to the areas of reserach and knowledge that inhabits the new field of translation studies. After that, a chronological presentation of the modern approaches in TS were presented as per Munday classification. This  gave a visible picture for students about the field and how the course will be organized along the term.

I was teaching approach by approach starting from the linguistic up to the last trend or most current approach in the dicipline. This would be helful for them as MA research based students. They will study all the seven approaches in Mundays's book in addition to insights from other recommended references to give some richness to the course.

As for delivery, I thought to integrate some technology to help students to reflect on class lectures. I usually ask them to synthesize each approach in pairs and outside the classroom using chat or forums tools to dicuss critically the approach and relate it to the real world of practical translation ( for instance , related to translation problems and issues in other translation practicum classes or for those who have past experiences in professional translation, they should be able to associate theoretical issues with actual practical instances that they experienced themselves... I usually place pairs as per their profiles: degree of experience in translation). At the end of the chat, I asked them to COPY and PASTE the conversation (data) and place it on a word file and send it to me along with an individual reflective summary of the approach we dicussed in-class. Students will be assessed on this assignment (formative).

After I took a look at the synchroneous conversations (chat) they copied and pasted, I realized that there were few other issues that I need to adjust in the syllabus to improve the course for the following year 2011, such as students' prior knowledge and the way they could indeed practice critical thinking and activate their conversation using the technology which will indeed help them use the metalanguage and practice good writing. I realized that the BLENDED MODE could be a better way to facilitate a student-centured approach for a theoretical subject matter like TS. In 2011, I started working with my students, but I could not finish the whole programme with them that year (we discussed 4 approaches out of the 7) and then I immigrated to canada for family purposes.

So, Translation Studies could be taught :

- In parralel with integrating technological support tools (on skype or using chat box or other web 2.0 or 3.0 learning objects)
- As a programme-based subject ( bridging it to other courses in the programme)
- With the aim of developing critical thinking and metalanguage for Translation Studies


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Conference given by:

 Tony Bates on Online Learning and Teaching as a 21st century  educational requirement

Tony bates speaks for a few seconds in French in PART1....and then speaks in English in all 3 PARTS.

Here is link to the conference. It is a VIDEO file.

The confrence was given at the university I study in.

NB: It is this is the type of subject area that I am trying to adpat to translation programmes in my doctoral research activity.

Friday, 9 November 2012

My Journey from  The Human to  The Social Sciences...From linguistics through to translation to educational sciences...and now educational technology... and ending in translation pedagogy.

The last couple of years had taught me many new aspects related to how you can embark on a change in career, and how to embrace, accept and benefit from it...Even strengthen your previous background and make comparaisiona and contrasts between fields, approaches, epistimologies....ect.

The educational sciences had taught me grounded knowledge. I was going to finish my PhD in Translator Training back home in Morocco, but then I came to Canada and started from scratch and opted to enroll at the Faculty of Education instead of the faculty of Linguistics and Translation. It seems to work better, it allowed me to think differentelly about my domain (Translation/interpreting ). There is knowledge , methdologies and insights in educational sciences that could well inform translaor education/training, as well as a methodology that we can use in the field of language mediation.

Things became more challenging for me (yet interesting) when I decided to specialise in online leanrning ( including Distance education) related to translator / interpreter training. It is a different world. I learnt few new things...yet related in some aspects to face to face classroom contexts. I still learn, and will keep learning. I hope in a couple of years to be able to benefit the translation community with innovative , yet demanded,  training alternatives, methods and approaches.

My experience as freelancer, in-house translator as well as teacher and researcher taught me how to work in various contexts ( virtual, face to face), use various types of tools and strategies to communicate ... I can confess that technology should not only be ' a tool' for translators to learn how to translate , but also a means for faculty to teach in another way...still , teaching with technology in a face to face  classroom is diffrent in manyways form teaching in an online technology -enhanced virtual environment : change in roles, necessity to learn new competencies and skills to use the technology, adopting student centured pedagogies instead of teacher centured ones..ect.

In a connective, networked and digital era we need, I guess, to rethink our pedagogies and approaches ...we need research based knowledge, rather than just grounded and practice-based insights.These should overwhelm our way of doing things....We need  research proved experiences, despite the fact that this researach may be transient and temporary...still, it will be scientific Knowledge based on learning and design theories coupled with litterature on computer-human interaction .  All this will be fitted in translator training in the hope to get an innovative and working approach and methodology.

I will keep posting in this blog all my experience as a student researcher in a new territory....Keep checking!


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Online teaching & learning of it possible?

I still believe that translation practicums would better be faciltated using the information and techonology tools in addition a suitable pedagogical approach. Nowadays, we cannot imagine a translator or language service provider without being versed in how to use the internet and word processing, as well as other translation related databases and tools to process translation assignments of various sizes. Therefore , shouldn't we be thinking of designing progarmmes and learning environments to enable that type of virtual training...after all virtual translation or tarnslation practice in the clouds and within networks is a must for a 21st century language service provider.

Therefore, a set of competencies that have never been raised or tackled by translation curriculum designeers need to be put on the table and reconsidered to be embedded in translator tarining programmes. Linguistic and general knwoledge is not enough to build the translator of tomorrow, and the employers keep asking for other more important competencies that universities do not offer since they ' do not form part of the diciplinary courses'. How about social competencies ? using technology to translate or to train translators in parctical workshops using active pedagogies instead of lectures well as  teach the content of translation using multimedia tools ...such as recorded lectures mixed with other technology enhanced methods to engage students and lifted them from the boredom of the 'lecture mode'?

The online environment will be a suitable space for the tarinee translator, since he or she will be working for the rest of his or her life in technology based environments and networking with clients and colleagues through navigating from one space in teh could into another . ...this is how the future workspace or workstation or how the working patterns will be for the future it is better to organize the knowledge base, resources, teaching methods and approaches and evaluation ( or quality) criteria to build a curricula or progarmme of study that can be either given fully online or in a blended mode ( mixing the face to face and the online mode)?

A very big portion of my PhD research is about this issue...I will send ymore and more briefings and reflections in this blog and share it with you. Your comments are welcome. 

The below article (attached) is written in Arabic. It tells us how source texts can be translated or interpreted (in a conference) regardless of the source text's phraseology or intentions. The iranian interpreter had to make major changes in President Murssi's speech (the egyptian president) to serve national (local) interests and protect its allies (Syria and resistence in Bahrain) by all means ...the 'equiavalence' phenomenon fails in this context.

This is an important topic in Translation Stdudies ( see under censorship, translation and ideology. Hence, the parctical aspect of Translation Studies .

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Applied Translation studies ( Tranlator training and classroom research)

El karnichi, F. (2012). Issues in sdvsnced translator training at Moroccan universities. Turjuman,21(1), 52-65. Tangiers, Morocco.


Turjuman, Avril 2012, Vol 21 N° 1  p 54 - 67
Issues in advanced translator training programmes at Moroccan universities


Due to the lack of extensive literature on translator education and training at the university level in Morocco, there will be a brief highlight in this article on the situation of the teaching of translation in advanced courses of translation at the Moroccan universities. Reference shall be made to the available local scarce published literature in the country on translation teaching and support it with other publications and experiences in other parts of the world treating the same issue. This will give us a basic picture of the existing situation in the academic corridors in the country. We hope to benefit and cross- check the status of our syllabus, teaching methods and models vis-à-vis the fast growing innovations, findings and approaches in the discipline. The main focus of this article is to highlight one of the challenging issues with the new translator pedagogy: theory and practice within a university level translator training programme.