Google Translate (GT) has become an institution in machine translation that has been claimed by its provider to be developing at great pace to achieve ever higher degrees of accuracy. Because GT is freely available on the internet and has its own app on computers, tablets and smartphones, it is accessible anywhere the Internet and Google services are available, and it easily enables users to render stretches of one language into another with outcomes of varying quality and comprehensibility.
Because this technology is so readily available and user-friendly, it can be quite safely assumed that people will use it, also in language learning. As such, GT has become a player in education at all levels. For instance, it would allow a beginning learner of French to translate a reading exercise into their first language to potentially facilitate comprehension.
Given the wide range of potential uses (to positive or adverse effect) GT needs to be considered in the context of education from angles such as its actual current abilities, pedagogical implications, ethics or institutional policies, especially from the perspective of teachers and learners.
In this light, this event is seeking proposals for presentations from secondary, tertiary and continuous education teachers, students, researchers and professional translators alike, revolving around a range of topics, possibly from, but not limited to the following areas:
- The benefits and drawbacks of GT for second language acquisition
- Reliance on GT vs proficiency level
- GT’s role in independent language learning
- GT in the classroom
- GT and assessed coursework assignments
- GT and cheating in assessed work
- GT’s translation quality/reliability
- GT and translator training
- GT and education policy
Presentations could, for instance, be based on:
- issues experienced in the classroom, as perceived by teachers and/or students,
- concerns about the impact of GT on language learning and language use,
- instances where GT helps or hinders language learning, or
- suggestions of how to handle GT in a learning environment that is increasingly linked to technology.
Each contribution will consist of a 20-minute presentation (from individuals or groups) and a 10-minute Q&A session. Further questions and suggestions are more than welcome.
Submission deadline: 12 March 2018
Date of the event: 29 June 2018