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The Role of Pedagogical Translation in Second Language Acquisition

From Theory to Practice

Vanessa Leonardi

Translation can help improve foreign language teaching and learning – this study shows how. In an increasingly globalised world and in an increasingly multilingual Europe, translation plays an important role. Significant signs of a new revival of translation in language teaching have become visible, as shown by recent literature on applied linguistics. This book contributes to this movement, embracing both a theoretical and an empirical purpose by integrating viewpoints from Applied Linguistics, Translation Studies and Second Language Acquisition.
In an attempt to show how the use of translation in foreign language classes can help enhance and further improve reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, this work calls for a re-evaluation and a rehabilitation of the translation activities in the foreign language classes.

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2. Second Language Acquisition (SLA) 35

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35 2 Second Language Acquisition (SLA) 2.1 Introduction to SLA Learning is not about concrete knowledge but it involves the way people learn, bearing in mind all their strengths and weaknesses, the strategies and techniques adopted and it applies to both teachers and students. Learning something and teaching how to learn something are undoubtedly bound to both the physical and psychological background. Failure in learning is not only the learners’ fault, but it can also possibly be a result of ‘bad’ teaching techniques. This is why the teaching profession should not be regarded as static but rather as a continuous work in progress in search of motivation, improvement, reflection and, above all, means to update practices. Teachers should always look for new and challenging ways to improve and facilitate learning in a changing world. Furthermore, with increasing globalisation, there seems to be the need to look for new and challenging ways to teach languages and translation can be, ipso facto, a very good example of how to improve teaching quality. Foreign language teaching is sometimes re- ferred to as second language acquisition. Although there is a difference between these two terms, the present work employs both terms inter- changeably. SLA is a term used to refer to the process of learning a second language (L2) after a first language is already established. It is inter- esting to note that by ‘second’ also a third or a fourth language is meant. Literature on SLA makes the following dis-tinctions when referring to...

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