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E-mail: mmartins puc-rio. This article argues for an approach to the assessment of students' translation assignments that is informed by the theory of multiple intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner in and expanded in his later work. This approach is based on two main strategies: i diversity of forms of assessment, offering learners the opportunity to have their performance assessed in ways which are compatible with their more developed intelligences, and ii interaction and negotiation between not only teacher and learners, but also among peers, to allow for the interchange that different proposed meanings and solutions require.

Keywords: Translator training. Theory of multiple intelligences; Howard Gardner. Howard Gardner. The purpose of this article is to argue for an approach to the assessment of students' translation assignments based on the theory of multiple intelligences.

The method we propose is built on variety as well as interaction and negotiation, so as to draw upon learners' predominant type s of intelligence. Also, from a wider perspective, this approach challenges long-established notions of intelligence and translational competence. One of the outcomes of the disciplinary status that Translation Studies has acquired in the last three decades or so is an increased interest in the formal training of translators.

Much attention and research effort is now being channeled to curriculum and syllabus design, although the pedagogical approach that has prevailed in translator training courses around the world is still mostly characterized by the central position occupied by the teacher who takes on the roles of client, target public, and critic ; lack of familiarization with the wide range of learning styles and methods that are associated with human intellectual potentials; and, finally, the minor role played by evaluation in teachers' pedagogical concerns.

The most traditional translator training method involves the discussion of translations previously made by the students and presented and compared in class. The discussions are led and managed by the teacher, who labels as "correct" "right", "good" or "incorrect" "wrong", "bad", "faulty" the various solutions proposed.

This pedagogy is now being revised, as it will be discussed later, but is still quite popular. A few years ago, Don Kiraly , p. He believes that such a setting is hardly the ideal one "for the development of a professional self-concept, the conceptualization of oneself as a professional translator" , p. It is also his contention that this traditional "instructional performance", which he views as a "still ubiquitous technique", derives from what has been called by Bereiter and Scardamalia , p.

Such classroom interaction naturally implies continual assessment, although of a more informal nature than that which results from formal situations as tests and exams. Since solutions to translation problems are rarely a case of "right" versus "wrong", as Christiane Nord , p.

However, new winds have begun to blow, and the last decades have brought new epistemological and psychological perspectives which are having a great impact on all levels of education. As far as pedagogy is concerned, and translator training in particular, some theorists have been arguing that the traditional roles of teacher and learner must be redefined. Rosemary Arrojo , , drawing on post-structuralist epistemology, and Don Kiraly , informed by socioconstructivist thinking, are among the contemporary Translation Studies scholars to promote the reorganization of the conventional teacher-centered classroom into "a forum for authentic and interactive learning", promoting the learning of translation skills through collaboration in an authentic setting Kiraly , p.

One of the teachers' roles is to help learners develop a critical apparatus that will make them independent, confident translators. To reach this goal, it is imperative to create situations liable to shift to learners part of the responsibilities that teachers tend to take on. Within this perspective, teachers share with learners the various stages that make up the routine of a translator training course: text selection genres, subjects, authors ; the definition of both the source-text production context and the translated-text reading context purposes of both texts, target audience, medium ; the justification of choices made arguing for the adequacy of different readings, phrases, and lexical items ; and the evaluation of translated texts criticism, grades.

In this way, teachers who favor this pedagogy believe they are valuing the plurality of readings and styles, encouraging the awareness of the translators' active role as producers of meaning, as well as their self-confidence.

As regards formal evaluation, one of the most common methods in translator training university programs has been the translation of a short text in class, resorting or not to dictionaries and glossaries, and sometimes still using pen and paper either for security reasons or lack of the necessary technology. The resulting text is then graded by the teacher with little room for negotiation; few or no questions are asked about the individual intellectual processes that may have determined the final products.

As far as accreditation and other national or international exams are concerned, the situation is quite similar. According to information found on the ATA website www. For example, it is not as easy to insert, delete or reshuffle words, phrases, or even paragraphs, so they must think their choices through before writing them.

They are allowed to bring dictionaries of their choice to the exam sitting. On the ATA website it is possible to learn that the primary reason for not using computers for the exam is. With exam sittings held all over the country, and increasingly around the world, it would be a logistical nightmare for the certification program to provide appropriate computers for all exam candidates.

Allowing some candidates to use laptops would give them an advantage over candidates who don't. Finally, if any candidates used computers, the issue of exam security would require the certification program to change passages much more often. Because passage selection and preparation is both difficult and time-consuming, it's possible that the quality of the passages would suffer ATA, However, the inadequacy of the procedure is acknowledged by the ATA: "the Certification Committee is looking to the future and investigating ways to overcome these obstacles" ATA, The exam is "a no-comment, no-return exam" ATA, , graded according to a point marking system in which the grader identifies errors by category according to the long-established Framework for Standardized Error Marking.

According to the ATA, the certification examination tests the language skills my italics of a professional translator, which comprises: comprehension of the source-language text, translation techniques and writing in the target language.

It is possible to imply from this claim that, for the Association, translator competence is limited to language skills, a view that a great number of Translation Studies scholars certainly do not endorse. Candidates will be notified only whether they pass or fail; if they pass, they will not see their exam, but if they fail, the Certification Review process allows them to see their exam and the marked errors.

The exam is graded following the criteria of general appropriateness and errors of three types: translation, Portuguese and terminology.

Grades are just "Pass" and "Fail", and to succeed in the exam candidates must be awarded a "Pass" grade in each of the three translated passages.

For grading purposes, there are two categories of errors: serious errors and light errors, according to criteria defined by graders. A candidate will fail the exam if his or her translations contain more than one serious error, or one serious and more than three light errors, or more than six light errors, in one passage. As can be noted, major exams in the field still have the situational and conceptual features of a traditional assessment environment.

However, translator training institutions are becoming increasingly aware that assessment should not be seen as the end of a process, nor should it be reduced to the reporting of simple marks; it is rather a multi-faceted picture of a relationship between the evaluator, the student and the scholastic environment as seen from the teacher's perspective KIRALY, Besides, as Kiraly wonders, can the translation of a single text without advance preparation, without access to the tools and reference works one may have at one's workstation and "without the chance to negotiate with a client really tell us anything credible at all about a translator's competence?

In the last decade, research into evaluation in Translation Studies has increased, as the number of articles in journals, book chapters, and conference papers may well show, but far from the booming scale of research into other aspects of translation or translator training. Here are a few articles on evaluation: "Translation Quality Assessment. In tune with this shift from a teacher-centered to a learner-centered pedagogy, it is to be expected that the evaluation of translations has also started taking into account the learners' purposes and motivations in each translation task.

As in all educational environments, "the periodic as well as terminal end-of-program determination of students' progress toward learning goals is a major concern for translator education institutions" KIRALY, , p. According to Kiraly, in the literature on translation studies most contributions dealing with assessment have focused specifically on the evaluation of information "about whether or not students produce good faithful, accurate, functional, etc.

He uses assessment "to refer to the process of gathering information about the quality of students' emerging competence", whereas evaluation is understood as "the process of attributing meaning to the information gathered" KIRALY, , p. He advises that. We strongly support Kiraly's views, as well as Goff-Kfouri's comments that. They also see the necessity to adapt testing methods to the revised curricula and methodologies.

Peer correction, self- and portfolio evaluation are becoming common in even the most traditional university settings. Maria Julia Sainz , a researcher in Translation Studies with special focus on translation assessment, proposes a student-centered approach to correction of translations.

Learners have to fill in a 4-column correction chart in which they must point out their mistakes individually, provide a possible correction, inform the correction source e. In Kinga Klaudy's view KLAUDY, , this student-centered approach is human-rights based: it makes it clear the evaluation system used in class and provides feedback on errors in a less stressful way than the traditional method of writing the correct translation on the student's sheet.

It is our contention, however, that even this shift towards learner-centered assessment is not enough to do justice to multiple variations in individual learning styles. To do so, it is necessary to understand better such differences, which have not been the focus of research into translation education, but were the object of a groundbreaking study in the area of cognitive psychology that resulted in the theory of multiple intelligences also referred to as M.

It was designed to provide a model of the different intellectual strengths displayed by human beings. Gardner's theory challenges "the classical view of intelligence that most of us have absorbed explicitly from psychology or education texts or implicitly by living in a culture with a strong but possibly circumscribed view of intelligence " GARDNER, , p. The concept of intelligence he posits is wider and more pragmatic than the traditional one; to him, intelligence can be determined by the ability to solve problems and to create products in natural and diverse settings.

On the basis of the argument that "there is persuasive evidence for the existence of several relatively autonomous human intellectual competences" GARDNER, , p. His original listing was later revised to include an additional intelligence, and since then there has been a great deal of discussion as to other possible candidates for inclusion GARDNER, The eight human intellectual competences Gardner has identified so far are:. Other possible intelligences to be included are: spiritual intelligence, existential intelligence, and moral intelligence, but Gardner and his colleagues have not reached a consensus about them yet SMITH, It is important to note that each type of intelligence has its own symbolic or notational system.

Oral and written languages, for example, are the symbolic system of the linguistic competence, a role played by computer languages in the case of logical-mathematical competence ARMSTRONG, , p.

To support his assertions, Gardner claims to have reviewed evidence from a large "group of sources: studies of prodigies, gifted individuals, brain-damaged patients, idiots savants, normal children, normal adults, experts in different lines of work, and individuals from diverse cultures" GARDNER,, p.

A preliminary list of candidate intelligences was bolstered by converging evidence from these different sources. He also defined certain basic "tests" to verify if an ability could really be considered a full-fledged intelligence rather than simply a talent, or a gift, or an ability.

The essence of M. According to Gardner's theory, every person has a number of "domains of potential intellectual competence which they are in the position to develop, if they are normal and if the appropriate stimulating factors are available" GARDNER, , p. As Gardner , p. This means that teachers can now add a new role to their traditional ones: to help activate the less developed types of intelligence in each learner as well as to optimize and draw upon those types that are already active, in order to enhance students' educational opportunities and options.

Rethinking evaluation on the basis of M. The application of M. As far as pedagogy and evaluation are concerned, Gardner holds that learners must be capable of showing competence in a given topic, area, domain or ability in any of the several forms possible. And just as M. In Gardner's view, the approach to evaluation which stems from M. If, for example, the teaching of a given subject draws mostly upon intrapersonal intelligence, the assessment of the learning of this subject could be based on self-evaluation, which requires an awareness of one's own strengths and weaknesses.

By the same token, if the main focus is the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, learning assessment can accordingly involve mime and dramatization. The whole idea is not to base learning and assessment on linguistic and logical-mathematical capabilities only. As already mentioned, students should have the opportunity both to take advantage of their most pre-eminent capabilities and to stimulate their less developed types of intelligence.

As regards translator education, which aims to train professionals to carry out an activity of a predominantly linguistic nature, it is not difficult to envisage some possible applications of M. Thomas Armstrong's book is particularly inspiring to teachers who share Gardner's view of intellectual capacities GARDNER, and are willing to change their pedagogy which, as far as translation education is concerned, is most likely oriented towards linguistic capabilities.

Applying Armstrong's suggestions to translator training, one could think of teaching strategies and activities that encourage co-operative learning, pair work, group work, brainstorming sessions all of them interpersonal capabilities , as well as independent individual study, self-access centers, target-setting sessions, journal-keeping all intrapersonal competences.

In order to assess translation competence focusing on musical intelligence, teachers could offer learners the choice of translating a recorded passage, rather than a printed one, or ask them to associate a given text to a song to illustrate its rhythm, syntactic patterns, and even its "mood". A teacher could also assign the translation of a poem and then ask students to individually read aloud the translated version as the teacher simultaneously reads the original aloud, the two voices and versions together, hopefully in unison.

Features such as rhythm, musicality, verse length, meter, rhyme if applicable , and stress pattern in the target language could then be assessed drawing on an additional capability, besides the ever-present linguistic intelligence. The approach outlined here is based on two main strategies: i diversity of forms of assessment, offering learners the opportunity to have their performance assessed in ways which are compatible with their more developed intelligences, and ii interaction and negotiation between not only teacher and learners, but also among peers when peer evaluation is required , to allow for the interchange that different proposed meanings and solutions require.

As Armstrong , p. According to Gardner, teachers should observe their students as they make use of the symbolic systems of each competence.

To observe learners solving problems, making decisions or creating products in natural settings not only provides a clear picture of their different competences but can also help develop assessment tools that take such competences into account.



E-mail: mmartins puc-rio. This article argues for an approach to the assessment of students' translation assignments that is informed by the theory of multiple intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner in and expanded in his later work. This approach is based on two main strategies: i diversity of forms of assessment, offering learners the opportunity to have their performance assessed in ways which are compatible with their more developed intelligences, and ii interaction and negotiation between not only teacher and learners, but also among peers, to allow for the interchange that different proposed meanings and solutions require. Keywords: Translator training.


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