Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Language Department, Humanity Faculty,Islamic Azad University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.

2 English Department of Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

To educate knowledgeable students in translation studies, it is essential to examine the real-world expectations of the students and investigate the teaching methods at universities. The main aim of this study was to examine MA students’ expectations of Translation Theories as one of main courses in translation studies MA program in Iranian universities. To do so, MA classes of this very course were selected from different universities in Isfahan and were observed for one semester as the sample of the study. The participants were 107 MA translation students from three different universities in Isfahan, Iran. In order to collect the data, a student course evaluation questionnaire was used and the Chi-square test was run to analyze the data. The results revealed that the students were not satisfied with the course offered. They believed that theories of translation were not applicable because they did not learn how to use theories and how the theories could help them translate a text. In addition, the teaching methods were not satisfactory and did not encourage them for their future expectations. In order to reach its objectives, Translation Theories at the MA program needs revision and there must be satisfactory coordination between students’ expectations, course materials, and teaching methods. The findings of the study can help the curriculum designers to pay more attention to the learners’ needs and help them design an applicable and comprehensive course.

Keywords

1. Introduction

One of the most important factors in growth or backwardness in a society is the efficacy of the educational system which educates effective and creative people; translation education is no exception (Vessman & Hanushek, 2007). In order to have an effective standard system in teaching translation, integration in the educational system is necessary. To train creative and skillful translators, a powerful and efficient educational system is required. Thus, a modern and practical pedagogical principle is necessary. As Klaudy (2006) mentioned the importance of theories in translation studies, students also find out the significant role of theories and models of translation as the most prominent subject in translation studies in MA courses. Moreover, many scholars emphasize the importance of theories in other courses (Reeves, Albert, Kuper, & Hodges, 2008).  Theories can be helpful when the students cannot find any solutions while they are translating and they are useful when cultural exchange is essential. Moreover, they can raise creative questions and at the same time, they can help translators find the best answers. Theories indicate that the Translation Studies as a significant program is complex and it is worth studying specifically at universities (Pym, 2014).

Students should learn theories of translation in an abstract way and for their practice; a systematic theoretical foundation can be helpful (Robinson, 2003). Students need to be aware of translation theories in order to start translating professionally.  To realize how to translate a script, theories could be helpful and make the students realize the best way of translating. Depending upon the type of text, students can use theories in each proper situation while they are translating. As a prominent course, the study of Theories of Translation during the first semester is essential. Understanding students’ expectations and needs would help the researchers to comprehend the students’ difficulties and make them able to improve and examine the practicality of the course. According to the current study, students face a lack of knowledge in using the theories and they even do not know how it can be practical. 

                                                                                                 

2. Literature Review

Despite its relative novelty, Translation Studies is a prominent and independent discipline and its prototypological framework covered all types of translation (Snell-Hornby, 1988). Many theorists believe that translation has been taught informally through trial and error or many other unmethodical designs; in other words, teaching translation at university is a new phenomenon (Gabr, 2001). Training translators in institutions and the state of institutionalization back to 1669 in France when Colbert ordered that French students have to be educated to interpret Turkish, Arabic, and Persian, which led to the establishment of the Constantinople School (Delisle & Woodsworth, 1995). In 1835, a large translation school was founded in Egypt that nowadays is known as al-Alsun. Moreover, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, an institution for training translators was established in China. In Europe, the Humboldt University in Berlin set up a translator training program for diplomats from 1884 to 1944.

In Spain, for translating official documents, translators have to pass corresponding state exams and swear, then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs controls and organizes them. . Institutions of the twentieth-century still care for training professional and legal translators because it is essential. In another example for training translator abroad, students were trained by Copenhagen Business School since 1921, and the Paris Institute for Comparative Law has trained many students since 1931 (Caminade & Pym, 1998). Carrove (1999) believed that translation courses are designed based on a “hit or miss” method and they caused an extensive problem in translation pedagogy. In the 1980s and 1990s, a series of improvement was done in order to eliminate the barriers. The general university system had a significant change that is more than institutions that trained translators in an academic manner that is included in a progress of third-cycle (doctoral) programs leading from purely vocational studies; sometimes with a focus on contrastive empirical research. The programs offered at universities include the second cycle and shorter studies that are designed to add particular and specific competencies to the general skills of students. Therefore, it was necessary for a translator training program to consider a new academic discipline which now is called Translation Studies (Caminade & Pym, 1998).  

            Pym (2014) claims that the general masters’ approach has been proposed as a model for the European Masters in Translation. In addition, he mentions that “A marginal trend has been to offer Masters Programs in ‘translation studies’ where the term tends to be used in two associated senses: (a) as studies that can make the student a better translator and (b) as academic research on translation like translation science or translatology” (p.480). In spite of many positive views of theorists about Translation Studies as a dependent discipline, there are some theorists such as Chesterman and Wagner (2004) who believe that university training, in general, does not serve the needs of the market. The reason is not only because the teachers are often not professional translators but also because the programs themselves do not cater to the internal requirements of the educational institutions. Many professional translators argue that the formal training programs are not efficient and they are misleading, too theoretical, out of touch with market developments and demands, and finally, the labor market saturated. Nonetheless, Pym argues that some steps can be considered here in order to solve the problem. These steps can be taken to bring training closer to market demands. Institutions can invite professional translators into the classrooms, assess students by asking their opinion about a special translation, use real-world translation tasks with clear instructions from a client, and generally model competencies and skillsets in a way that can match market requests. In this situation, employers might ideally search for a database of graduates for the kind of translator they are looking for.

At many universities in the U.S., a two-year MA in Translation and a Ph.D. in Translation Studies are offered. The main focus of these degree programs is on the skills which are necessary for research, translation for specific purposes, computer-assisted translation, software which their focus is on localization and projects which can help students in the language industries. In these programs, instructional designers try to provide a comprehensive foundation for skill development in humanistic translation and translation studies.

Calzada Pérez (2005) completed a study in which the focus was on how the seven proponents of different translation theories are taught in classrooms and why theories are important in teaching professional translators. She elaborated on fundamental concerns for the training of future translators for their professional work. She pointed out that translation trainees should be exposed to a variety of approaches that are connected to various theoretical schools; in this way, students are taught to be flexible in their approach to texts and they learn how to use theory in practical application. She concludes that in order to have empowered students in translation, the instructors should prepare them with various approaches and views to make them more flexible in decision-making processes in a real-life professional career. In sum, she claims that the best way that instructors can prepare students is to introduce a large number of theories and the instructors’ views on translation, so it is more tangible to students to use them.

In 2007, Dragun published a paper in the field of training translators. It estimates practice, and then it discusses translation professionals and academics need to cooperate both assessing evolving industry requirements and in designing training programs that are academically strict and professionally relevant. The study has been in progress since 2004 for three years. The study examines the Leeds University model of industry involvement in course design and the requirements. Moreover, it introduces data in the form of a qualitative analysis of a survey of translation service providers and recent graduates of European universities’ postgraduate translation programs. The result of the study shows the kinds of features which might feasibly be introduced in academies in the context of evolving and in unforeseeable industry practice to make graduates properly skilled and employed in the future.

Liu (2013) completed a research study in translation training and investigated the teaching programs, curricula, and practices. The main focus of this study is based on training programs and statistical analysis of Canadian universities. The main issues involve the practices and sources of innovation, research problems, and methodology. Zou (2014) investigated postgraduate translation programs in China and the UK to probe whether China’s translation programs were run in a different manner from those in the UK and to clarify the nature and scope of any qualitative distinctions. The main focus of the study was to examine students’ performance in a translation task and to investigate the outcome of using translation theories, course curriculum, and pedagogical issues. Based on the findings of this study, he proposes that instructional designers and curriculum planners have to pay more attention to improve course design and program design in Translation Studies.

Azimi (2006) examined the MA English translation curriculum through the Delphi method. The main aim of the study was to propose some outlines to reform the MA English translation curriculum in Iranian universities. The study answered those questions of how the curriculum can be improved. The outcome of research shows that universities in Iran require considerable changes and reformation. Khazaeefar and Khoshsaligheh (2014) reviewed the finding of the European Masters in translation projects. Moreover, the main competencies in educating translators by EMT experts were compared with those of the English translator training program in Iran. In addition, by interview professional English Persian translators who were trained in translation programs in Iranian universities; the qualitative data were collected to light up the missing elements in the current curriculum. Firoozkoohi, Beikian, and Golavar (2012) accomplished a research study about two various areas of translation teaching methodology and different types of translation tests and the connection between these two factors in teaching translation courses at universities. The focus of the study is to conduct a survey between translation students in order to discover the translation criteria used by their translation instructors in BA courses. Moreover, the awareness of such criteria for students was examined. The results of the study clarify that translation instructors were not unanimous in assessing students’ translations. In addition, in most cases, the awareness of students about such criteria was negative. They mention that setting up unanimous criteria for assessing students’ translations and informing students of such criteria will have an extraordinary outcome on the quality of translation courses. Salimi Beni (2013) assessed a case of the M. A. course Translation Workshop in Translation Studies. The conclusion presents the lack of clear objectives and proper material. Moreover, there is a deficiency in teaching methods were used in the course. The finding of the study revealed that syllabus design requires to be redesigned with specific aims and the material should be appropriate. Considering the research studies which tried to demonstrate the translation problems, there is an absence of observing the students’ needs and requirements in this field of study. To fill the gap, it was necessary to observe real classes during a semester and specify the students’ wants.

While Translation Studies as a relatively novel field of study attract its followers, there is a doubt in the result when students even do not know how it can help them to translate texts professionally. Hence, the current study tries to answer the following questions to pull curriculum designers attention toward students’ needs:

  1. What are the MA students’ expectations of the Translation Theories course?
  2. Are the MA students satisfied with the Theory of Translation course?

 

3. Methodology

3.1. Design and context of the Study

The lack of studies on students’ needs in Iran in translation theories made the researcher conduct a study about it. The study investigated the students’ expectations in the Translation Theories course and the integration of theoretical concepts with real-world applications based on students’ opinions. Moreover, it investigated the level of students’ satisfaction during the stated course. Due to the fact that the current study was based on actual students’ needs and their opinion about Translation Theories, it could be helpful for instructional designers at the Iranian university context to understand the actual needs of students and design a practical course in Translation Theories. Among various types of models in research studies, the one which was proper for the current research study was the descriptive one. The research was conducted at three prominent universities’ English Departments in Isfahan where Translation Studies is offered as an independent discipline at the MA level. The universities were the University of Isfahan, Sheikhbahaee University, and Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch and the study was completed during 2016.

 

3.2. Participants

The target population of the study was the MA students of Translation Studies accepted in the academic year of 2016. From the accessible population through convenient sampling, the total number of volunteer sampling was 107 students from three mentioned universities who filled out the questionnaire. The participants of the study were both male and female translation students studying at the University of Isfahan, Sheikhbahaee University, and Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch. As it can be seen in Table 1, the total number of female students in this field in each university is higher than male students. Table 1 summarizes the characteristics of the participants at the universities.

 

Table1.

Demographic background of the Participants

No. of students

Age

gender

Mother Tongue

Semester

107

22-50

Female: 87

  Male: 20  

Persian

1

 

3.3. Instruments

In view of the fact that the study investigates the students’ expectations and their viewpoint about the course as well as the satisfaction of them, the main research instrument was the student course evaluation questionnaire (Appendix A). Besides, an observation sheet was employed as well (Appendix B). The learners’ questionnaire was a 5-degree Likert scale questionnaire (strongly agree, agree, uncertain, disagree and strongly disagree) and it included sections related to students’ assessments, the instructor, learning resources, quality of delivery, learning environment, teaching method, assessment, students contribution, and a part that students could write their opinions about the whole course.

Moreover, they could mention their level of satisfaction and indicate if they are satisfied with the teaching method or not. In addition, they could hint at their problems. The questionnaire included 38 items which clarified the participants’ opinions in detail and 2 open-ended questions which included their comments about the instructor and the course. In addition, in the final part, it contains 2 overall evaluation sections in which they could explain the best features of the course and how the course could have been improved. The main reason for choosing this questionnaire was the accordance with Iranian universities teaching methods with the context of the questionnaire and it has proper content. After the researcher localized the, two experts experienced in this filed examined the face validity, constructive validity and content validity of the questionnaire and the questionnaire was confirmed. To discuss the questionnaire's reliability, a close investigation of it is necessary. The questionnaire was designed based on two questionnaires adopted from Middle East universities and it includes 38 statements based on the Likert scale. In spite of 125 distributed questionnaires, the total number of participants from three considered universities who were involved in the study was less than the mentioned amount. However, to guarantee the reliability of the questionnaire, the Cronbach’s alpha method was used and the content validity was investigated through expert opinion.

 

3.4. Data Collection and Analysis Procedures

This research study was a descriptive project and the data were collected using the questionnaires. At the end of the semester, those students who were in their first semester and took Translation Theories were asked to fill out the questionnaire. In addition, they were asked to write their opinions about the course and propose ideas which can improve the course. The questionnaires were distributed among 107 of the students in the mentioned universities. Furthermore, they could mention their suggestions about how to improve the course. For those questions which were based on the scale, a Chi-square test was applied using the SPSS to analyze the data. In addition, their frequency and percentage were also calculated.

 

 

4. Results

After investigating the replies to questions that asked the students’ opinion about the applicability of Translation Theories and whether the course integrates theoretical course concepts with real-world applications or not, the results demonstrated 6.5% of strongly disagreement, 66.4% of disagreement, 14% of uncertainty, 9.3% of agreement and 3.7% of strongly agreement. The percentages of the results are illustrated in Figure 1.

      

 

Figure1. Students’ opinions about the applicability of Translation Theories.

 

In overall evaluation, after examining the responses for the question which asked about the course and if it was well structured to achieve the learning outcomes or not, 25.2% of students strongly disagreed, 55.1% of students disagreed and believe that the course was not well structured to achieve the learning outcomes, 15% were unsure, 3.7% agreed and 0.9% marked the strongly agree option. By considering the responses, it can be concluded that students believe in spite of the significant role of Translation Theories, they could not use the theories and the course was not satisfactory and applicable. The percentage of students’ satisfactory level is illustrated in Figure 2.

 

 

Figure 2. The degree of students’ satisfactory level.

 

 

 

Table 2.

Frequencies and Percentages of the Statements Items of the Structured Observation Sheet

Statements

Excellent

(6)

Outstanding

(5)

Good

(4)

Fair

(3)

poor

(2)

Not Applicable

(1)

 

f

%

f

%

f

%

f

%

f

%

f

%

1

 

 

1

33.3

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

2

66.7

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

1

33.3

2

66.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

1

33.3

2

66.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

1

33.3

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

6

 

 

1

33.3

2

66.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

8

 

 

2

66.7

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

9

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

10

1

33.3

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

1

33.3

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

66.7

 

 

1

33.3

14

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

15

1

33.3

 

 

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

16

 

 

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

17

1

33.3

2

66.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

2

66.7

 

 

 

 

19

1

33.3

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

20

 

 

2

66.7

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

 

 

1

33.3

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

22

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

1

33.3

1

33.3

23

 

 

 

 

2

66.7

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

 

 

2

66.7

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

25

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

66.7

 

 

26

 

 

2

66.7

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

27

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

28

1

33.3

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

29

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

1

33.3

1

33.3

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

2

66.7

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

31

 

 

1

33.3

2

66.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

32

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

66.7

33

1

33.3

 

 

 

 

1

33.3

 

 

1

33.3

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

100.0

 

 

In the comments section, about 43% of students mentioned their opinions about the course which may help the curriculum designers to improve the course. For a better understanding, here is the result of structured observation sheet items and tables. To observe each class of considered universities, a structured observation sheet was required. The observation sheet which was used in the study includes different sections in order to collect evenhanded information about teaching methods that are used in Iranian universities. After assurance of reliability and confirmation, the researcher used it during observation sessions at universities. Eventually, the result of the observation sheets was analyzed by the Chi-Square method. Moreover, the frequency and percentages of the responses were analyzed. Table 2 demonstrates the result of frequency and percentages.

The total number of observation sheet which was filled out was 3. The statements were based on the Likert scale and it includes 34 items. To understand the table better, the letter O stands for observation and the numbers represent the number of items in the observation sheet. According to the table, the frequency in the outstanding item and the excellent item is much higher than other items. It can be concluded that the teaching methods and objectives of the study are proper and achievable.

Table 3 demonstrates the results of the Chi-Square test, presenting more details about the Chi-Square test, degree of freedom, and significance level of the observation sheet.

As the findings show in the Table 3, in many items, there is no differences between the expected and observed items. Moreover, because the significance level is more than 0.5 in all items, the relation between variables is not meaningful and it is random.

To organize the data of the study, it was tried to demonstrate the results of the structured questionnaire items. Table 4 reveals the frequency and percentages of participants’ answers to each question in the questionnaire which was based on the Likert scale. To understand the table better, it would be useful to mention that beside each number of the questionnaire, there is a letter that shows the section of the questionnaire. For example, the letter I represents the questions that are related to the instructor section in the questionnaire and the letter L stands for the section in the questionnaire that belongs to the learner’s part. 

 

 

Table 3.

Result of the Chi-Square Test Statistics

Item

O1

O2

O3

O4

O5

O6

O7

Chi-Square

.000a

.333b

.333b

.333b

.000a

.333b

.000a

df

2

1

1

1

2

1

2

sig

1.000

.564

.564

.564

1.000

.564

1.000

Item

O8

O9

O10

O11

O12

O13

O14

Chi-Square

.333b

.000a

.000a

.333b

.000a

.333b

.000a

df

1

2

2

1

2

1

2

sig

.564

1.000

1.000

.564

1.000

.564

1.000

Item

O15

O16

O17

O18

O19

O20

 O21

Chi-Square

.000a

.000a

.333b

.333b

.000a

.333b

.000a

df

2

2

1

1

2

1

2

sig

1.000

1.000

.564

.564

1.000

.564

1.000

Item

O22

O23

O24

O25

O26

O27

  O28

Chi-Square

.000a

.333b

.333b

.333b

.333b

.000a

 .000a

df

2

 1

1

  1

1

2

2

sig

1.000

.564

.564

.564

.564

1.000

  1.000

Item

O29

O30

O31

  O32

  O33

OV34

 

Chi-Square

.000a

.333b

.333b

.333b

.000a

*

 

df

2

1

1

   1

 2

 

 

sig

1.000

.564

.564

.564

  1.000

 

 

a. 3 cells (100.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected cell frequency is 1.0.

b. 2 cells (100.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected cell frequency is 1.5.

* This variable is constant. The Chi-Square Test cannot be performed.

 

  

Table 4. 

Frequencies and Percentages of the Statements Items of the Structured Questionnaire

Statements

Strongly agree

(5)

agree

(4)

Uncertain

(3)

Disagree

(2)

Strongly Disagree

(1)

 

f

%

f

%

f

%

f

%

f

%

I 1

55

51.4

30

28.0

15

14.0

5

4.7

2

1.9

I 2

37

34.6

50

46.7

10

9.3

9

8.4

1

0.9

I 3

33

30.8

25

23.4

28

26.2

13

12.1

8

7.5

I 4

29

27.1

34

31.8

27

25.2

10

9.3

7

6.5

I 5

51

47.7

37

34.6

14

13.1

4

3.7

1

0.9

I 6

30

28.0

39

36.4

26

24.3

9

8.4

3

2.8

I 7

35

32.7

27

25.2

24

22.4

11

10.3

10

9.3

I 8

21

19.6

43

40.2

30

28.0

6

5.6

7

6.5

I 9

66

61.7

28

26.2

7

6.5

4

3.7

2

1.9

I 10

67

62.6

27

25.2

7

6.5

4

3.7

2

1.9

I 11

26

24.3

37

34.6

24

22.4

13

12.1

7

6.5

I 12

14

13.1

41

38.3

46

43.0

4

3.7

2

1.9

I 13

45

42.1

46

43.0

11

10.3

3

2.8

2

1.9

I 14

26

24.3

43

40.2

31

29.0

6

5.6

1

0.9

I 15

21

19.6

56

52.3

24

22.4

4

3.7

2

1.9

L 16

28

26.2

52

48.6

22

20.6

5

4.7

0

0.0

L 17

24

22.4

54

50.5

24

22.4

3

2.8

2

1.9

Q 18

20

18.7

43

40.2

25

23.4

16

15.0

3

2.8

Q 19

6

5.6

50

46.7

33

30.8

16

15.0

2

1.9

Q 20

21

19.6

44

41.1

32

29.9

9

8.4

1

0.9

A 21

15

14.0

50

46.7

31

29.0

8

7.5

3

2.8

L 22

11

10.3

21

19.6

32

29.9

37

34.6

6

5.6

L 23

14

13.1

49

45.8

36

33.6

5

4.7

3

2.8

L 24

13

12.1

46

43.0

27

25.2

15

14.0

6

5.6

C 25

31

29.0

46

43.0

23

21.5

5

4.7

2

1.9

C 26

24

22.4

48

44.9

24

22.4

7

6.5

4

3.7

C 27

4

3.7

10

9.3

15

14.0

71

66.4

7

6.5

C 28

31

29.0

42

39.3

24

22.4

9

8.4

1

0.9

C 29

35

32.7

47

43.9

16

15.0

8

7.5

1

0.9

C 30

24

22.4

43

40.2

22

20.6

16

15.0

2

1.9

C 31

15

14.0

59

55.1

20

18.7

7

6.5

6

5.6

C 32

10

9.3

39

36.4

40

37.4

14

13.1

4

3.7

C 33

17

15.9

46

43.0

39

36.4

3

2.8

2

1.9

C 34

21

19.6

56

52.3

18

16.8

8

7.5

4

3.7

S 35

12

11.2

49

45.8

33

30.8

8

7.5

5

4.7

S 36

16

15.0

47

43.9

25

23.4

15

14.0

4

3.7

S 37

11

10.3

44

41.1

34

31.8

12

11.2

6

5.6

S 38

38

35.5

19

17.8

22

20.6

20

18.7

8

7.5

                       

 

According to the findings, the students who participated in the study have an agreement in more than half of the items and there is a general consensus between them in spite of unanimous answers. Although in item 32 there is a considerable close degree in result between participants who were unsure and who agreed about the statements in these items.   

Table 5 in this section will demonstrate the results of the Chi-square in order to have a better understanding. The following table reveals the upshots of the degree of frequencies, significance level, and the Chi-square.

 

Table 5. 

Results of the Chi Square Test Statistics

Item

I 1

I 2

I 3

I 4

I 5

I 6

I 7

Chi-Square

88.280b

82.299b

20.617b

27.346b

88.467b

41.925b

21.551b

df

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

sig

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

Item

I 8

I 9

I 10

I 11

I 12

I 13

I 14

Chi-Square

46.037b

136.411b

140.056b

25.664b

80.523b

92.766b

57.626b

df

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

sig

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

Item

I 15

L 16

L 17

Q 18

Q 19

Q 20

A 21

Chi-Square

88.000b

42.421c

83.701b

39.682b

74.542b

55.757b

68.654b

df

4

3

4

4

4

4

4

sig

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

Item

L 22

L 23

L 24

C 25

C 26

C 27

C 28

Chi-Square

32.766b

76.505b

46.037b

62.860b

57.533b

146.785b

51.084b

df

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

sig

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

Item

C 29

C 30

C 31

C 32

C 33

C 34

S 35

Chi-Square

68.467b

41.084b

88.841b

53.421b

77.065b

79.028b

66.972b

df

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

sig

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

.000

Item

S 36

S 37

S 38

Gender

Age

 

 

Chi-Square

48.654b

51.551b

21.645b

55.411a

5.841a

 

 

df

4

4

4

1

1

 

 

sig

.000

.000

.000

.000

.016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a. 0 cells (0.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected cell frequency is 53.5.

b. 0 cells (0.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected cell frequency is 21.4.

c. 0 cells (0.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected cell frequency is 26.8.

 

Accordingly, there are differences between the expected and observed scores which reveal that the deviations are the result of chance or they are the result of other factors. When the significance is less than 0.05, it can be concluded that there are some factors at work rather than chance and they cause the differences between observed scores to differ from the expected ones. Moreover, there is a meaningful relation between variables. The table illustrates that the significance level is less than 0.05 in each item. Therefore, all of the scores are statistically significant. The main reason that the researcher explained questions number 22 and 27 in detail; was because of the importance of the questions which were related to the research questions. In fact, by investigating these questions, the answers to the research questions will be revealed.                                                        

In Figure 3, the percentages of participants’ responses to question number 22 and number 27 have been demonstrated.

 

 

Figure 3. percentages of the participant’s answers to question number 22 in the questionnaire.

 

Question 22 which students answered in the questionnaire asked if the learning and teaching methods in Translation Studies encouraged students. As mentioned earlier there are four domains in which students could select one of them. As seen in the figure, fewer than 20 percent strongly agreed or agree and more than 60 percent disagreed which means that teaching methods used in this course did not encourage students.

 

Figure 4. Percentages of the participant’s answers to question number 27 in the questioner.

 

Figure 4 is related to question number 27 in the questionnaire. The question asked students to states their satisfaction by choosing one of the choices and state if the course integrates theoretical course concepts with real-world applications. As illustrated by the figure, more than 60 percent of students disagreed and less than 20 percent agreed about the applicability of theories they learned in the course. Consequently, it can be understood that the theories of translation which involve in the course are not applicable.

Here, the results of the structured observation sheet domains have been investigated. The observation sheet which has been a combination of two others contains four sections which include concepts about teaching method and strategy, objective of the study, and instructor’s attitudes that formed first part of the observation sheet and overall assessment, strengths and suggestions for improvement, and observer comments formed the second, third, and fourth sections of that. Therefore, the observation sheet includes four domains.  Table 6 demonstrates the distributions of the statements that are related to their domains.

 

Table 6.

distributions of the Items in Terms of Their Respective Domains

Domain

Items

Observation

1 to 33

Overall Assessment

34

Strengths and suggestions for improvement

35

Observer Comments

36

Items 34, 35, 36 were not such statements based on the Likert Scale and it should be completed in detail by the researcher if there were any comments about the course. The hypothesis behind designing the observation sheet was discovering if the teaching methods are different in considered universities in Iran. As the significance level illustrated the amount of more than 0.5, it can be concluded that there is not a considerable difference between teaching methods and objectives of the course at three mentioned universities.

In order to evaluate the context of Translation Theories which is taught at Iranian Universities as one of the main and significant lessons, a questionnaire was localized and the results of the structured questionnaire domains have been considered. Discovering the level of satisfaction of teaching methods and the whole course was the inspiration to form the hypothesis to design such a questionnaire. Table 7 illustrates the item distributions.

 

Table 7.

Distributions of the Items in Terms of Their Respective Domains

Domain

Items

Instructor evaluation

1 to 15

Learning resources

16,17

Quality of delivery

18,19, 20

Assessment

21

Learning environment and teaching methods

22, 23, 24

Course

25 to 35

Student contribution

36, 37, 38

Comments about instructor and course

39

Overall evaluation

40

 

The items 39 and 40 which include two sub-parts should have been completed by the participants if there were more comments about the course or in order to offer their suggestions about improving it. As the significance level was less than 0.5 it can be concluded that there was a meaningful relation between variables and the hypothesis which was satisfactory of participants.

 

 

5. Discussion

The current study tried to pay attention to students’ expectations and perceptions in Translation Studies as a prominent field of study in Iran. The findings of this study are in line with Salimi Beni (2013) and Azimi (2006) which showed that Translation Studies cannot be efficient and is not able to train capable and professional translator and interpreter. There is a need to revise the program and design a practical syllabus and lesson plan in order to make them professional.

It can be a good help to spotlight some of the most important principles. Among many other guidelines, it is not irrelevant to highlight Gagné’s (1965) Nine Events of Instruction which is one of the most useful principles in which translation instructors have to pay attention to train skillful translators. These principals can be a good help for instructors to make a framework that can transfer related knowledge to the translator. It should be mentioned that these nine events focus on the learners’ performance more than other features. Another significant principle which instructors must keep in mind is Merrill’s (2002) First Principle of Instruction and Component Display Theory. The First Principle of Instruction leads the instructors by proposing five principles in the learning process. It is not irrelevant to draws the translation instructors’ attention to these five prominent principles. The principles say by observing a demonstration, applying the new knowledge, participating in task-centered instructional strategy, activating relevant prior knowledge or experience, and eventually, by integrating the students’ new knowledge into their everyday world, learners are able to promote their skill and learning process.

Last but not least, Merrill’s (2002) Component Display Theory can shed some light on teaching translation theories. The component classifies learning based on content and performance which includes facts, concepts, procedures, and principles for the content and remembering, using and generalities for the performance. In addition, it explains the minimum components in designing a perfect lesson are as follow: (a) Objective (Remember-Use), (b) Generality (attributes relationships), (c) instance-examples (attributes present, representations (d) generality practice-state definition, (e) instance practice-classify (attributes present), (f)feedback-correct generalities/instances, and (g) elaborations-helps, prerequisite, context.

Considering these significant principles and components in Translation Studies and consequently in teaching translation theories can assist the instructors and instructional designers to make a framework and design a practical syllabi and lesson plan to train specialists and amend the translators’ performance. The findings of the study presented that students believe they cannot use the theories they learned when they translate. They believe that they did not learn how they can match the theories with real-world applications. So, it can be understood that the considered universities do not apply a method in teaching which links the theories with real-world concepts and applications. Theories of Translation as a main lesson in Translation Studies should be applicable. The followings are students’ suggestions which can be a hint for those curriculum designers who try to make a sufficient program. The participants proposed that there should be enough practice beside learning theories and the instructors themselves should have enough knowledge about theories they are going to teach and put it into action.

Moreover, they declare that the instructors should encourage students to have critical thinking about the theories and matters and make a challenging environment to make students think about theories and in which way they can use them. They believe that tangible, proper, and relevant examples could help students to comprehend the theories better. In addition, they declare that the class should not be a monologue and the instructors should speak in the target language, not their native one. The participants mentioned that the material and sources were not relevant enough. They proposed an extra course for theories of translation in more than one term since it is a significant course and in the second term, the instructors teach more theories practically.

They approved that the Translation Studies course should have its own instructors who studied Translation Studies as their main field of study and must be knowledgeable enough and they must be able to transfer the knowledge to students. In addition, they believe that the instructor should encourage the students to participate in class and the assessments should challenge students’ skills as a translator and teach them how to use the theories masterfully. The class atmosphere should be inspiring and stimulating.

 

6. Conclusion

The findings of the study revealed that the students who were selected from three different universities in Isfahan were not satisfied with Theories of Translation course and they believed it could not help them to improve their skill in translating text and the course was just a waste of time. Translators should have been qualified enough to translate various texts for people whose careers are important. Thus the instructional designers must change the methods which are being used in Iranian universities to improve the translators’ knowledge and performance. The current methods cannot help the translators to increase their knowledge and consequently a society with an inexpert translator cannot grow in producing knowledge and as a result, the society cannot develop. In the field of education, many specialists who made a great effort in the field proposed useful and practical methods which also can be a help in Translation Studies discipline.

As a result, the existent gap in this field can be filled if the instructors teach technics of translation, theories, and practice together instead of just paying attention to theories of translation in the course and put them in action at least by offering an example for each theory. Translators already should know how to localize the theories in their translations before start translating text in the workshop course which is held next term.

It is a need to combine practice and theories of translation to train the best translators who are able to translate and interpret in every situation without any difficulties in understanding texts and conversation instead of teaching theories that are not practical in the real-world context. As a suggestion, it can be a help if the instructors teach theories through the real-world context and environment. To do so, the instructors can ask students to translate real texts and put them in a career situation to force them to improve their skills. Hence students can feel their weaknesses and strengths. Even it can help employers to find capable translators and interpreters easily. In addition, there is a fact about the course which worth putting a spotlight on, the total number of Translation Studies students who are accepted each year in Isfahan universities is higher than the standards which can reduce the efficiency of teaching.

Thus, the instructors cannot pay enough attention to all students’ problems and are not able to help them efficiently in order to correct their mistakes and improve their skills and knowledge. As a consequence, students cannot participate in each session, revise their mistakes and estimate their weaknesses. In addition, it can disturb the balance of the market in order to employ them.

Like every research, the present study had certain limitations too. To understand students’ expectations and needs, there is not any structured questionnaire as well as a structured observation sheet to find out about instructors' effective teaching methods in the Translation Studies courses. Another limitation was the absence of a distinctive framework in teaching which could be a help to consider a standard teaching method in this field. The last but not the least, the research was executed in Isfahan. To find out the real-world needs of students, researchers can perform such studies in other universities of Iran which present the Translation study course and investigate the satisfaction of the study provided to students. To improve the courses offered in Translations Studies, it is a must to investigate all the gaps and find the best solution to help the students. It is highly recommended to investigate the impacts of the course on students’ outcomes and functions from time to time. Another suggestion that can be a remarkable topic of an investigation is the number of female and male students in Translation Studies. The number of female students was more than male ones which is noticeable and it can be a noteworthy research study to discover what the reason is.

 

 

 

 

Appendix A

 

Student Course Evaluation Questionnaire

 

 

(To be filled by each Student at the time of Course Completion)

Course Title: ____________________________________________

Gender:                            Male                    Female 

Age Group:            less than 22                  22-29               over 29 

Please give us your views so that Course quality can be improved. You areencouraged to be frank and constructive in your comments.

A: Strongly Agree               B: Agree              C: Uncertain              

              5                                      4                              3

D: Disagree                          E: Strongly Disagree

      2                                                   1

Instructor

1. The Instructor is prepared for each class

A

B

C

D

E

2. The Instructor demonstrates knowledge of the subject

A

B

C

D

E

3. The Instructor has completed the whole course

A

B

C

D

E

4. The Instructor provides additional material apart from the textbook

A

B

C

D

E

5. The Instructor switches to your mother tongue during teaching

A

B

C

D

E

6. The Instructor communicates the subject matter effectively

A

B

C

D

E

7. The Instructor shows respect towards students and encourages class participation

A

B

C

D

E

8. The Instructor maintains an environment that is conducive to learning

A

B

C

D

E

9. The Instructor arrives on time

A

B

C

D

E

10. The Instructor leaves on time

A

B

C

D

E

11. The Instructor is fair in examination

A

B

C

D

E

12. The instructor returns the graded scripts etc. in  a reasonable amount of time

A

B

C

D

E

13. The Instructor was available during the specified office hours and for after class consultations

A

B

C

D

E

14. The Instructor was responsive to students needs and problems

A

B

C

D

E

15. the instructor had been regular throughout the course

A

B

C

D

E

Learning Resources

16. Learning materials (Lesson Plans, Course Notes, etc.) were relevant and useful.

A

B

C

D

E

17. Recommended reading Books etc. were relevant and appropriate.

A

B

C

D

E

Quality of Delivery

18. The Course stimulated my interest and thought on the subject area.

A

B

C

D

E

19. The pace of the Course was appropriate.

A

B

C

D

E

20. Ideas and concepts were presented clearly.

A

B

C

D

E

Assessment

21. The method of assessment was reasonable.

A

B

C

D

E

Learning Environment and Teaching Methods

22. The learning and teaching methods encouraged participation.

A

B

C

D

E

23. The overall environment in the class was conducive to learning.

A

B

C

D

E

24. The classrooms were satisfied.

A

B

C

D

E

Course

25. The Subject matter presented in the course has increased your knowledge of the subject.

A

B

C

D

E

26. The syllabus clearly states course objectives requirements, procedures and grading criteria

A

B

C

D

E

27. The course integrates theoretical course concepts with real-world applications

A

B

C

D

E

28. The assignments and exams covered the materials presented in the course

A

B

C

D

E

29. The course material is modern and updated

A

B

C

D

E

30. The Course was well organized (e.g. timely access to materials, notification of changes, etc.

A

B

C

D

E

31. The Course workload was manageable

A

B

C

D

E

32. I was satisfied with the amount of work needed for the course

A

B

C

D

E

33. The material in the practice was useful

A

B

C

D

E

34. I understood the lectures

A

B

C

D

E

35. I think the Course was well structured to achieve the learning outcomes (there was a good balance of lectures, tutorials, practical, etc.)

A

B

C

D

E

Student Contribution

36. I participated actively in the Course

A

B

C

D

E

37. I think I have made progress in this Course

A

B

C

D

E

38. The approximate level of your own attendance during the whole Course

  <20%               21-40%               41-60%          61-80%                 >81%

 

 

Comments:

About instructor: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

About course:

Overall Evaluation:

The best features of the course were:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

The course could have been improved by: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Thanks to You for Your Time

 

 

 

Appendix B

Classroom Observation Form

Name of Instructor_____________________ Course___________________________

Observer_____________________________ Semester _______________________

Directions: Rate the instructor on each item giving the highest scores for unusually effective performances. Place in the space before each statement the number that most nearly reflects your rating.

I. Observation

   Excellent        Outstanding           Good          Fair         Poor         Not Applicable

      6                        5                  4                    3                   2                          1

______1. Objectives for this presentation were made clear to students.

______2. Presentation was well planned and organized.

______3. Presentation style was appropriate and effective.

______4. Relevant examples, metaphors, and analogies were used to establish connections with students' previous experiences and learning.

______5. Class time was well used.

______6. Critical thinking and analysis was modeled and encouraged.

______7. Instructional techniques required a majority of students to be actively involved.

______8. Instructor respect for diverse opinions was communicated.

 _____9. Instructor showed a positive attitude to students and created a friendly atmosphere for learning.

______10. Instructor interest in information was communicated.

______11. Instructor interest in student learning was communicated.

______12. Instructor mastery of subject matter was clear and thorough.

______13. Appropriate and effective use was made of audio-visuals, computer or other instructional technology to support presentation objectives.

______14. Instructor related easily with students.

______15. Integrated information from other areas within and outside of her/his discipline.

______16. Instructor was sensitive to the feelings of students.

______17. Instructor demonstrated enthusiasm for teaching and learning.

______18. Instructor discovered student misunderstandings and misconceptions.

 ______19. Instructor moved around the classroom with ease as interacted with students.

______20. Instructor lesson and activities were well-planned and organized.

______21. Instructor there was a variety of interaction types.

______22. Instructor provided the target language (English) input (How many percent?).

______23. Lesson incorporated a variety of activity types, including translation tasks.

______24. Instructor’s explanations were clear.

______25. Students were given useful opportunities to practice what was learned.

______26. Instructor made appropriate and effective use of additional materials.

______27. All students participated actively in the class.

______28. Instructor encouraged participation from a variety of students.

______29. Students stayed on task.

______30. Instructor provided appropriate feedback to student errors.

______31. Instructor provided appropriate answers to student questions.

______32. Instructor adapted source language (persian) to students’ level/needs (How many percent?).

______33. Instructor monitored students’ progress and involvement.

(e.g., by circling around).

 

 

 

II. Overall Assessment

34. Needs Improvement       Satisfactory        Good       Very Good       Excellent

 

III. Strengths and suggestions for improvement:

35.

 

IV. Observer Comments:

36.

 

Signature of Observer

date

 

Azimi, L. (2006). An assessment of MA English translation curriculum through Delphi method. Master thesis, Bandar Abbas: Islamic Azad University of Bandar Abbas.

Caminade, M., & Pym, A. (1998).  Encyclopedia of translation studies, Ed. Mona Baker, London & New York: Routledge.

Carrové, M. S. (1999). Towards a theory of translation pedagogy. Unpublished doctoral thesis, The University of Lleida.

Chesterman, A., &Wagner, E. (2004). Can theory help translators: A dialogue between the ivory tower and the wordface. Manchester, UK: St Jerome.

Classroom observation form, (2015). Hampton University. Retrieved from http://www. hamptonu.edu/docs/faculty/Classroom_Observation.pdf

Chibucos, T. R., Leite, R.W., & Weis, D. L. (2004). Readings in family theory. SAGE Publications.

Delisle, J., & Woodworth,J.(ed.) (1995). Translator through history. Amesterdam: John Benjamins.

Drugan, J. (2007). Training tomorrow’s translators. Centre for Translation Studies University of Leeds, UK. Retrieved from http://www.ldu.leeds.ac.uk/ news/events/documents/ Drugan.pdf

Firoozkoohi, S., Beikian, A., & Golavar, E. (2012). Translation assessment in educational environments: Teacher’s criteria and students’ awareness. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, 2(5), 4400-4406.

Gabr, M. (2001). Toward a model approach to translation curriculum development. Translation Journal5(2), 1-13.

Gagné, R., & Gropper, G. (1965). Individual differences in learning from visual and verbal presentation. Pittsburgh, PA: American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from http://iceskatingresources.org/chapter_7.pdf

Hanushek, E. A. (2007). The role of education quality in economic growth. Retrieved from

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/260461468324885735/pdf/wps4122.pdf

Khazaeefar, A., & Khoshsaligheh, M. (2011). Insights from EMT for translator training in Iran. An Iranian Journal of TESL, Literature and Translation Studies, 1(1), 135-152.

Klaudy, K. (2006). The role of translation theory in translator training. European Master's in Translation DGT, Brussels, 19(20), 1-19.

Liu, J. (2013). Translators training: Teaching programs, curricula, practices. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 4(1), 127-132.

Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(3), 43-59.

Pérez, M. (2005). Applying translation theory in teaching. New Voices in Translation Studies, 1, 1-11.

Pym, A. (2010). Exploring translation theories. London: Routledge.

Reeves, S., Albert, M., Kuper, A., & Hodges, B. D. (2008). Why use theories in qualitative research?. BMJ337, 631-634.

Robinson, D. (2003). Becoming a translator (2nd ed.). London and New York: Routledge.

Saand, A. (2015). Quality enhancement cell.Retrieve from http://qec.quest.edu.pk/hec proforma.

Salimibeni, S. (2013). Assessment of translation education at Islamic Azad University: A case of MA workshop course in translation studies. Master thesis, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran.

Second Language Classroom Observation(2016). Alberta University. Retrieved  from http://www.educ.ualberta.ca/staff/olenka.bilash/observation.pdf

Zou, M. (2014). Applying Translation Theories and Pedagogy: A multiple case study exploring postgraduate translation programs in China and the UK. Doctoral dissertation, University of Warwick, England.