Sample Essay

Robinson et al. (2008) discussed online translator training in terms of its relationship to social constructivist theory.  The emphasis on social interaction and information sharing between individuals that then produces greater understanding and the development of meaning is akin to an interactive online learning environment that places the learner at the center of the conversation and encourages self-direction and self-reflection impacted and tempered through exchanges with others (see also Tirkonne-Condit, 2005).

This description also applies to the process of translating – meaning is derived through the exchanges between the parties and the translator both mediates and participates in the interaction, changing it, and changing with it as a given translation experience is realized.  Robinson et al. stated that the perfect instructional context for translators is not hierarchical in nature, but balanced and interactional.  The term “facilitator,” rather than “teacher,” was favored by Robinson et al. (2008), and indeed many of the researchers contributing articles on translator training, as more in keeping with this perspective.  They outlined a translation and interpretation course offered at the University of Granada in Spain that utilized e-learning platforms supporting collaborative work and engaging scaffolded learning.  Learners are also required to perform self- and peer-assessments through the online assignments across a range of decoding and encoding exercises, and then through to complex and complete translations of online text.  Robinson et al. (2008) were enthusiastic about the use of online delivery of translator training with a social-constructivist orientation for avoiding some of the isolation pitfalls of virtual learning by providing a structure that requires students to engage in genuine interactions through scaffolded learning.

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