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Dr Lyn Marven, Senior Lecturer in German, has recently led a workshop on teaching translation for German teachers at Runshaw College, Leyland. Translation has recently been brought back into the MFL syllabus at GCSE, AS and A2 level, and the workshop looked at techniques for integrating translation into language teaching, covering a range of different text types. Dr Marven is a translator of contemporary German literature as well as one of the Modern Languages & Cultures staff involved in teaching specialist translation modules to students, and brought insights from both of these perspectives to the workshop.

Participants at the Translation for Teachers of German workshop

Participants at the Translation for Teachers of German workshop

The session started by thinking about what translation is – both from a professional point of view as well as for the purposes of language teaching – then looked at the requirements for assessment at the different key stages at school before comparing how translation is taught and assessed at university. Participants then got into groups to look at sample texts ranging from a short story through a recipe to a humorous newspaper article, to see how these could be adapted for use in the classroom. Issues such as the use of online translation tools and the integration of grammar and dictionary skills proved fruitful points for discussion.

This workshop made a potentially challenging subject really engaging and fun!

The workshop was organised through the North West German Network, and coordinated by Sally Conroy (Cardinal Newman College) and David Jakubovic (Runshaw College). Modern Languages and Cultures hope to roll out further workshops on teaching translation in the Merseyside region and for French and Spanish as well as German: if you are interested in hosting or attending a workshop, please contact Dr Şizen Yiacoup, the outreach officer for the School of Histories, Languages & Cultures.