Lat week at the Department of translation of Université Laval (Quebec)....
Finally, my co-director invited me last Thursday to attend her class (Revision & proofreading) with her MA students. This time there was no lectures, but 5 student-led extracurricular research activities about the practise of revision and proofreading in the job market. Students carried out either telephone or on site interviews with translators/revisers working in various translation agencies/companies in Quebec/Canada. Very innovative move on the part of faculty.
To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 hrs I spent in the classroom interacting with the students and exchanging knowledge / information that is crucial to students development and building of 'self concept' as per Kiraly( 1995, 2000). There were about 11 students, all mature , some of them married with kids..so they were taking their studies (translation and revision ) seriously.
As a researcher, practitioner as well as an educator in the field, I realised how important can an extracular (especially if it is really related to the professional world of translation) be for an aspiring translation trainee...On a pedagogical level, it empowers students potential and maintains students' confidence to persevere in their learning pathways, finalise their course and achieve significant learning and performance outcomes.....and when they are in the market, they will be embasssadors of a discipline that suffers from an IDENTITY CRISIS and that it needs new leaders and voices to regain its resepct and status.
In the Arab world, we need these type of practises. I know that contexts (social, political and economical) are not the same, but I am quite sure that there will be a way to do it with either BA or MA students in translation . Certainly , we need to review our ways of training future translators and learn from other practises- and see how they can be doable in our context of teaching ( socio-economic, institutional ). The focus will be always on identifying&understanding students characteristics and how they learn !. If we find this formula , we may ensure that they will achieve durable and significant learning onnot only during their study time but BEYOND!.