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Thursday, 23 May 2013

Highlights on pedagogical concerns in translation programs at universities in the Gulf Region.

In this communication, I would like to share with you some reflections on a series of recent interviews I had with potential employees (universities) in three universities in the Gulf zone. I was pleased to hear the panelists asking very intriguing questions that gave me an idea of the increasing interests in the region for translator training. Even, in one of those universities, the HoD asked very interesting questions about my PhD research endeavour since it was related to teaching (with technology), which I appreciated a lot.

The common  questions I received by the three universities were:

- What is the difference between teaching EFL/ESL and teaching Translation?
- How do you design and develop a course in Translation for future translators?
-How do you teach theory of translation? How to do facilitate this course : lecturing or else?
- How do you integrate technology in teaching a translation course?
- How do you evaluate your students' learning and performance (translation students) ?
- How to do you organise your training/teaching for consecutive interpreting?

As you can see, these are very specific and intriguing questions. With all honesty, I was pleased that these questions were asked . At least, as a researcher, I know where the tendencies are heading in translation programs in the region (My research paper). For the readers of thsi blogue, I would like to keep you abreast of the current orientations in the Arab world (Specifically the Gulf region).

One more conclusion I would like to add is that the stakeholders' perception about translator training in the region (apart from few ...very few ( a couple) universities) still misinterprets the complexity of the discipline and the profession.Training a future qualified and professional translator (interpreter, reviser) would lead to transformations not only at the individual level (like in the case of the language students), but also ( and mostly) at the social and economic levels. Therefore, to have an adequate program of translation that could deliver that type of outputs needs competent HUMAN RESOURCES(Faculty) and OPTIMISED/WELL DESIGNED AND DEVELOPED Curricula and pedagogies in place.

Last, we need to be aware that students (the clients) are not daft. They are digital natives and they consult social media, online forums to see what is happening in their dicipline and future profession. I am sure that they will pin point to the absence of FRESH and MARKET oriented contenst as well as qualified human resources who could respond to their aspirations. Students' demographics, in addition to TRANSLATOR WORKING PATTERNS, have changed..........So, beware !!. New contentcs and pedagogies need to be catered for to satisfy these needs as well to those of the professional and local context.


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