Teaching english through translation

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Teaching through translation has long been considered a tool to get students learn a target language. For a long time, translation was a significant part of ELT, basically with the Grammar Translation Method. However, sometime later, translation was rejected by most methods sincethe supporters of those regarded translation as a negative influence in the acquisition of a target language. Furthermore, translation was confined to the past along with other tools such as drilling exercises, which were characteristic of the direct method, and dictation.

Newer theories, however, are using those forgotten tools for teaching English as useful aids to learning a language.Approaches have changed, and now translation is seen as a way for students to use translation to learn instead of learning translation. Present translation activities have clear communicative aims and have demonstrated to show high motivation levels, which in fact produce astonishing communicative results.

Finally, it is said that translation is a great source to teach a foreign language, for thereis a wide range of ready-prepared, authentic activities available. Moreover, if used appropriately, translation would be of great help to teachers and students alike.

The objective of the following assignment is to try to analyze the arguments for and against in the use of translation for teaching English. Besides, we will also devote sometime to discuss the fact that translation can be avaluable classroom activity.

Question 1

This TEFL Course is about teaching English for international communication. How do you feel that the use of translation in the teaching of English can help communication?

Nowadays, many linguists, theorists and EFL teachers are convinced of the value of translation as an activity to improve communication in the classroom. This assumption comes from thefollowing statements:
* Different translation activities can practice the four skills. Plus, the learner feels he can acquire communicative competence. Hence, he feels more confident to express his ideas.
* Also, translation is regarded as a very communicative activity, so the challenge for students is to make sure that what they are trying to communicate is relevant. As a result, asteachers, we have to try to exploit all the possibilities for communication while the activity is taking place.
* Teachers can use a translating activity in groups so that they can get students discuss the meaning of language.
* Moreover, translation is a natural and real-life activity which is increasingly necessary in the global environment we are living now.
* Finally, it is true thatwhen students discuss the similarities and differences during translation, they understand the interaction of the two languages and the problems caused by the L1. Furthermore, learners learn to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of the L1 and L2 by comparing idiomatic language such as metaphors.

Question 2

The authors of this subject argue that translation is a valid tool forinstruction. Present arguments for and against the use of translation in your own specific teaching situation or in an imagined teaching situation (before arguing, explain clearly what this situation is).

The first thing we plan to do is to present the arguments for and against the use of translation. Later, we will engage in describing if the use of translation is applicable or not in our teachingsituation or workplace.

We would like to start by pointing out the arguments in favor of using translation as a means of learning a second language. According to some linguists including Howatt and Duff there are various reasons why translation should be considered beneficial to our students.

* In the first place, it shapes the thinking and enhances a better understanding because it enables...
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