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Monday, 23 July 2012 12:12

Call for papers: Translation in Language Teaching and Assessment

Proposals are sought for a forthcoming edited collection (by Dina Tsagari and Georgios Floros, University of Cyprus), entitled "Translation in Lnaguage Teaching and Assessment", to be published with Cambridge Scholars Press (under contract). Deadlines for the submission of proposals: 20 September 2012.

For a very long time and across various educational contexts and countries, translation was one of the most important tools for teaching and assessing language competence. Ever since the emergence of the ‘communicative turn’ and the adoption of the communicative approach to language teaching, translation has gradually lost importance both as a teaching and as an assessment tool. This decline was mainly due to a) fallacious perceptions of the notion of translatability on the part of language pedagogy or a conflation of the use of L1 with translation, and the equally fallacious interpretations of the translation task as the common attempt of finding lexical and structural correspondences among L1 and L2 (e.g. grammar translation in Grammar-Translation Method), and b) an inadequate, if not totally missing, attempt on the part of translation studies to examine ways of informing other domains of language-related activity in a manner similar to the way translation studies has consistently been informed by other disciplines. In other words, these circumstances are indexical of a relative lack of epistemological traffic among language learning and translation studies as disciplines in their own right. Nevertheless, the situation seems to start being reversed lately. Developments within translation studies have led to a more confident profile of the discipline and language learning (regarding both teaching and assessment) which seems to be rediscovering translation as a tool for its purposes.
In this optimistic context, the intended volume seeks to a) record the various reasons for the resurgent interest of language learning in translation as well as the various contemporary ways in which translation may be used in language teaching and assessment, b) explore new ways of consolidating the relationship between language learning and translation by offering insights into future possibilities of using translation in language teaching and assessment, and c) examine possibilities and limitations of the interplay between the two disciplines in the light of current developments touching upon the ethical dimensions of such an interaction. The ultimate aim, in a nutshell, is to examine whether the call for reinstating translation as a component of language teaching (Cook, 2010) and assessment has indeed borne fruit and explore the ways in which this is accomplished.

Topics to be covered in this volume will include, but are not limited to:
• The use of translation as a method of teaching in language learning
• The use of translation in language teaching materials
• Research strands in translation studies and their possible impact on language teaching
• Experimental approaches to applying translation in language teaching
• New technologies for using translation in language learning curricula
• The targeted use of translation for very specific aspects/phenomena/areas of language teaching 
• Issues of design, development, preparation, administration, marking and evaluation of translation as a method in language assessment (and testing)
• Issues of reliability and validity of the use of translation in language assessment (e.g. marking schemes, criteria, score interpretation, etc)
• The application of translation in language assessment to new challenges and with diverse populations
• Comparability issues in translation assessment across various contexts and languages
• The targeted use of translation for specific language aspects/areas of language assessment
Teaching and Assessment Ethics
• Choosing appropriate topics, texts and material for language-related and assessment-related translation assignments
• Translation ethics and their possible impact on language teaching and assessment
• Language translation teaching and assessment as opposed to professional translation teaching and assessment
• The use of translation as a method of teaching and assessing dialectal varieties in specific contexts
Contributors to the volume are expected to address the issues from a theoretical as well as from an empirical point of view. The working language of the chapters of the volume will be English. However, any language pair (as L1, L2, FL) can be the focus of research of the contributions.

The structure of the edited volume is expected to be as follows:
1. Introduction to the volume
2. PART I: Contributions from the Language Learning and Assessment Perspective
3. PART II: Contributions from the Translation Studies Perspective

Contributors to the volume will be academics, researchers, professionals (test developers or representatives of a professional organization) in the fields of both translation studies and language teaching and assessment as well as postgraduate students (PhD level) who have completed or are about to complete research in the area of teaching and assessing languages through translation.

The edited volume is primarily intended for:
• Scholars in the field of Translation Studies, Language Teaching and Assessment
• Educational policy makers and administrators
• Language testing organizations and test developers
• Researchers with an interest in translation teaching and assessment
• Postgraduate students
• Language teachers and teacher trainers
• Material writers and publishers
Procedures and schedule
Those interested please submit a preliminary proposal. Proposals will be approximately 1 page (A4 size) or roughly 500 words in length.  These will include the following information:
• Title of article
• Author name(s), affiliation(s), and detailed contact information
• Proposal
Proposals will be evaluated according to:
a. relevance to the topics of the volume
b. language of the proposal (needs to conform to native-speaker standards for academic writing)
c. clear address of the problem/issue/research question/s discussed
d. clear outline of conclusions of the study (in the case of a research-oriented paper)
e. clear and coherent structure of the proposal as a whole
Successful authors will be invited later to submit full papers for peer review following normal procedures based on the formatting guidelines of the publisher.
Overall, the following timeline is anticipated:
Deadline for extensive abstracts: 20 September 2012
Deadline review of abstracts and invitation to write whole paper: 5 October 2012
Full paper submission deadline: 10 December 2012
Comments from special editors: 20 January 2013
Revised draft submission deadline: 15 February 2013
Comments from special editors: 15 March 2013
Final draft submission deadline: 25 April 2013
Submission of manuscript to publishers: 1 June 2013
Anticipated publication date: September 2013
Please send proposals to Dina Tsagari (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and George Floros (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 
Informal inquiries may be sent to the same email addresses.
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