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Topic:  Research Seminar "Meaning-oriented Assessment of Translations: SFL and its Application to Formative Assessment"
posted itemPosted - 27/01/2010 :  10:31:53


Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics

Research Seminar



Meaning-oriented Assessment of Translations:

SFL and its Application to Formative Assessment


Presented by


Dr. Mira Kim

University of New South Wales, Australia



Date: 3 February 2010 (Wednesday)
Time: 4:30 - 6:00pm
Venue: P4704 (Level 4, Purple Zone), Academic Building, CityU




The field of translation teaching, which this paper is concerned with, is an area that deals with translation as a process as well as product. This paper presents a case study of the pedagogical effectiveness of meaning-based assessment of translation products from English into Korean. Macquarie University offers a suite of postgraduate programs in Translation and Interpreting, including Postgraduate Diploma (1 year full-time) and Master (1.5 years full-time) programs in Translating and Interpreting. These programs are accredited by the National Authority of Accreditation for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI), which accredits professional translators and interpreters in Australia in over 55 languages through testing or completion of approved courses. NAATI accreditation is the minimum industry standard required to practice as a translator or interpreter in Australia. Students enrolled in the Macquarie University programs are accredited as professional translators if they meet the requirements of the second semester translation course entitled TRAN820 ‘Translation Practice’. This paper briefly explains how NAATI accreditation is granted through a higher education institute and critically reviews the current NAATI assessment criteria for translation products. Following the discussion of the NAATI criteria, alternative meaning-based assessment criteria for translation products is presented. The alternative criteria are based on an empirical analysis of translation errors/issue into different modes of meaning, using a framework of systemic functional text analysis (Kim 2007). Finally, this paper discusses how the alternative criteria have been applied as a summative as well as formative assessment tool in the teaching of Korean translation students over recent years at Macquarie University and the pedagogical effectiveness of such an assessment tool. The discussion draws on qualitative data from students’ learning journals and quantitative data from exam results during the teaching and assessment period. Although the case study presented is limited to only one pair of languages, English and Korean, the findings indicate the applicability of the alternative meaning-based assessment criteria for other language pairs. 




Dr. Mira Kim is an academic and a NAATI-accredited professional translator and interpreter. She has worked as a professional for more than 15 years. Since 2000, she has been teaching a number of translation courses, both practical and theoretical, and has undertaken several research projects. Her research interests include translator education, translation quality assessment, text analysis for translation and interpreting, T&I curriculum development, language teaching for advanced learners, sustainability for education and Korean language typology.




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