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Title: A longitudinal study on the formation of Chinese students' translation competence : with a particular focus on metacognitive reflection and web searching
Author: Chang, L.-Y.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The present study aims to explore the formation of ten Chinese students' translation competence (TC) focusing on web searching skills as instrumental competence and their metacognitive reflection during a one-year postgraduate translation course in the UK. This study adopts a multi-method approach, including thinking-aloud (TA), screen recording and a cue-based retrospective interview. The TA and screen-recording methods were used to record the students' concurrent verbalisations of thoughts and their on-screen behaviours while they were translating three tourism texts from English into Chinese on three separate tasks. Shortly after each task, cue-based retrospective interviews were carried out to prompt the students to reflect on their metacognitive translation behaviours by reviewing their verbalisations and on-screen behaviours. The key findings of the present study are as follows. Firstly, the combination of the students' TA, screen-recording and reflection data shows that their misjudgements of translation problems as perceived during problem solving were a contributing factor of unsuccessful solutions. The students' reflection data also indicates that they were unaware of their misjudgements of actual problems. Secondly, my data suggests that the students gradually moved away from dictionary-based (web) resources and learned to cross-check and adopt more diversified web resources such as online images and online maps to solve their translation problems. Meanwhile, it was also found that the students spent more time looking for background knowledge on the web rather than focusing on finding simplistic target-text (TT) equivalents. Thirdly, based on the students' metacognitive reflection, it was found that their increasing utilisation of web searching was gradually developed. The students' understanding and awareness of the importance of web resources also enhanced their self-concept as translators, which lays the solid foundation for confidence building in becoming a professional translator. Finally, this study demonstrates potential pedagogical value of using translation process research methods as a set of metacognitive reflection tools to hone students' web searching skills. This finding significantly goes beyond cognitive behaviours in aiding TC development of metacognitive behaviours.
Supervisor: Shih, C. Y.-Y. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available