''The Human factor'' in a Translation program
Focus on the developing human capacities and competencies in a translation program
Is enhancing translation linguistic and skills enough for a quality based translation curriculum?
What employers want from a graduate translator?
A recent research study carried out here in Canada (Université de Montreal) by Echeverri (2008), highlighted that translation companies or government organisations employing - under the internship scheme- translation students are very satisfied with the linguistic and other text based skills, but luck critical aptitudes, reflection as well as interpersonal abilities.
So, if we want to take these results and we try to review our programs, what elements should we improve?
From our research findings we noticed that most of the time attention is given to the ' objects' (contents, curriculum, courses) but not the ' human factor' (Faculty, students). For instance, there is ample literature that begs for the need to set a faculty development and training scheme(Echeverri 2008, Kelly 2005, Kearns 2006) since the type of knowledge framework that is needed inside a translation classroom differ in a way form the one delivered or discussed in a language classroom. Also, understanding 'how students of translation learn and what their learning styles are' is very important. We need to find out about students' prior knowledge about translation as a profession, practise or ' art' as some would look at it. The study plan could help us in covering this latter point, provided that it is clear, explicit and accessible by students. Also, it needs to be explained in front of students to engage them and give them a road map for their learning path. University students are adults. Educating adults require certain tact from the part of the educator.
Last you cannot teach well a translation course if you need further training on : Pedagogy, content (Translation specific content) and real world experience knowledge bases.These three poles need to be integrated in order to reflect a translation proper educational or training scenario in a Higher Education context.
So, the 'Human Factor' rather than focusing on the content or subject matter is, to my view, of great importance to enhance quality in translator training programs.
I welcome your thoughts on that.