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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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5. Conclusions and Prospects for Future Research and Application 119

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119 5 Conclusions and Prospects for Future Research and Application Teaching foreign languages gives rise to pedagogical problems which need to be addressed and eventually solved to ensure and facilitate acquisition. Throughout the years many different approaches and meth- ods have been suggested in order to improve the quality of foreign language teaching in an attempt to find the ‘winning’ formula for success in learning. The field of Second Language Acquisition is flooded by numerous cases of successes and failures and translation could be in- cluded in both of them. From a failure point of view, translation was badly used in the previously taught Grammar-Translation method and as such, it gained a negative reputation as an unsuccessful teaching tool aimed at showing learners what they did not know rather than stressing the importance of what they knew about foreign languages. Pedagogical translation, however, as perceived and described in this work, is meant to be a case of successful teaching tool aimed at enhancing language skills and, at the same time, motivating students in their learning. Furthermore, translation is viewed as an important teaching aid aimed at promoting the so-called ‘collaborative learning’ based on the assumption that two or more heads are better than one. Pedagogical translation favours teamwork which can prove to be highly beneficial in terms of problem-solving activities. Translation, ipso facto, is by its very nature a problem-solving activity which requires a great deal of analytical skills in addition to linguistic and extra-linguistic skills. According to the ‘collaborative...

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