ホーム  >  Tips/コラム:プロ通訳者・翻訳者コラム  >  ジェフリー・A・クロフト先生のコラム 第11回:『On the authentic, reflective, and recursive learning, teaching, and practice of translation』




ジェフリー・A・クロフト先生のコラム [1998年-現在] フリーランス・社内翻訳者
[2001年-2002年] フリーランス通訳者
日英・英日同時または逐次通訳(主な顧客:富士通, ソニー, TBS等)
[学歴] 学士号:カリフォルニア大学、バークレー校 修士号:モントレー国際大学

第11回:『On the authentic, reflective, and recursive learning, teaching, and practice of translation』

A reflection and expansion featuring the most salient passages―and those with which I identified most closely in my own research and experience―on learning, teaching, and practicing translation in: A Social Constructivist Approach to Translator Education: Empowerment from Theory to Practice

Social constructivism:
Diametrically opposed to objectivist epistemology are the constructivist views of meaning, which, in their most radical forms, claim that while there is indeed a real world, each individual mind is a self-creating and self-regulating system that perpetually reconstructs itself by producing and modifying its own meanings, or models of that real world. (p. 16)

In critiquing the predominant pedagogical paradigm of his age, John Dewey (1938:19) said:

That which is taught is thought of as essentially static. It is taught as a finished product, with little regard either to the ways in which it was originally built up or to changes that will surely occur in the future. …it is used as educational food in a society where change is the rule, not the exception.

I wish to challenge the common sense view that knowledge is static, and to propose an alternative one that sees the task of the translation student and the teacher in a radically different light. Rather than entailing a set of finite skills and knowledge to be ingested passively, memorized and regurgitated, I propose that translator education be seen as a dynamic, interactive process based on learner empowerment; on the emancipation of students from the domination of the teacher and from the institution as the designated distributors and arbiters of truth; on a change in focus from the tyranny of teaching to learning as a collaborative, acculturative, and quintessentially social activity. In my view, it is the task of the institution and of every instructor to facilitate the transfer of responsibility for learning to the learners, individually and collectively. Instead of filling them with knowledge, teachers should serve as guides, consultants and assistants who can help set the stage for learning events in which students will evolve into professional translators by experiencing real or at least simulated translation activities in all their complexity. If they can learn to walk, talk, act and think like translators―then they will be translators. (p. 17)
To remain viable, the method must be seen as a process more than as a product―a never-ending collaborative process of experience, interpretation, and re-evaluation. The key, perhaps, to avoiding epistemological dogmatism is to focus more on empowerment, the goal of the method, than on the theories upon which the method is based.
By attempting to control the learning process through teacher-centered instruction we stifle our students’ creativity their sense of responsibility toward their own learning and their future profession, and the development of that professional and expert self-concept that they must acquire in order to function adequately within the community of professional translators. The teacher-centered classroom needs to be re-centered, not so much on the learner as on the process of learning itself. Effective teaching and constructive learning result in empowerment. (pp. 18-19)
Wertsch, supporting the viewpoint of Bakhtin, accepts the transmission of meaning as one function of making meaning through communicative interaction. The second, “dialogic” function of language, as Wertsch describes it, emphasizes the active participation of interlocutors in the communication process. Through this function, the two voices come together in a communicative situation, negotiating and creating new meaning through dialogue. These two functions of communication can also be seen in the educational process. (p. 26)
Over the past ten years, the significant attention that researchers interested in translator training have given to translator training have given to translation “strategies” attests to the coming of age of the instructional domain, as attempts are made to identify and categorize translation strategies for pedagogical purposes (House 1988, Kussmaul 1995, Kupsch-Losereit 1996, Nord 1996, Chesterman 1997). It is certainly a worthwhile undertaking to investigate cognitive strategies (in our field most often described as plans for solving translation problems) since such investigations can provide us with valuable insights, for example, into the tendential differences in the ways that novices and professionals deal with translation problems. Such knowledge can help raise students’ awareness of how to go about solving translation problems effectively. (p. 27)
Often, a problematic situation presents itself as a unique case. … Because the unique case falls outside categories of existing theory and technique, the practitioner cannot treat it as an instrumental problem to be solved by applying one of the rules in her store of professional knowledge. The case is not “in the book.” If she is to deal with it competently, she must do so by a kind of improvisation, inventing and testing in the situation strategies of her own devising. (p. 28)
Bereiter and Scardamalia (1993), two other prominent scholars in the area of expertise studies, speak of the key importance of non-strategic types of knowledge used in expert behavior, and which they classify accordingly as: informal, impressionistic, and self-regulatory knowledge. Informal knowledge refers to what we know from our experiences with the physical world; impressionistic knowledge is related to our intuitions, which are distilled from experience and that can generally not be explained rationally or systematically; and self-regulatory knowledge is the knowledge of how to manage oneself so as to get a job done. What is particularly notable about these types of knowledge is that they are based on experience. They can only be acquired through action and not through passive absorption. … The student cannot be taught what he needs to know, but he can be coached: he has to see on his own behalf…nobody else can see for him, and he can’t see just by being “told”…. (p. 30)
The knowledge building environment is marked by authentic reflective action, distributed knowledge and authority, ever-increasing levels of autonomy on the part of learners, and an absence of a single designated authority to judge right and wrong. In such a community, it is by jointly undertaking authentic work, and by collaboratively planning, executing and revising that work, that knowledge is created within the group and internalized by the individual group members. (p. 33)
Learning on the street is inherently an authentic, personal experience for each learner; it is intricately interwoven with the learner’s current needs, desires, emotions and stages of psychological as well as linguistic development. The overt teaching of formal rules has as little place in this natural scenario as drills, overt correction or testing for the memorization of linguistic structures do. The second language is structured by the individual on the basis of intuition and feel; the language becomes part of the learner as the learner becomes part of the language community. (p. 166)
There is nothing at all magical or mysterious about the much-touted faith in ‘native tongue’ language competence. Being a native speaker means nothing more than having constructed one’s own language system through a process of authentic acculturation. It means having an extensive, dynamic set of viable intuitions about the accuracy and appropriateness of everyday language use that has been negotiated directly through the acculturation process. (p. 167)
Far from being more efficient, disembodied learning shuts down the physical, emotional and social channels for multi-faceted acquisition that human beings naturally bring to learning situations.
Five basic principles that reflect the personal, multi-channel nature of adult learning:

  1. Adults learn best when they are involved in developing learning objectives for themselves which are congruent with their current and idealized self-concept.
  2. The learner reacts to all experience as he perceives it, not as the teacher presents it.
  3. Adults are more concerned with whether they are changing in the direction of their own idealized self-concept than whether they are meeting standards and objectives set for them by others.
  4. Adults do not learn when over-stimulated or when experiencing extreme stress or anxiety.
  5. Those adults who can process information through multiple channels and have learnt ‘how to learn’ are the most productive learners. (p. 168)

Copyright(C) ISS, INC. All Rights Reserved.