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Translation, Technology and Autonomy in Language Teaching and Learning

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Edited By Pilar Alderete-Diez, Laura Incalcaterra McLoughlin and Labhoise Ni Dhonnchadha

This volume brings together contributions from academics, language teachers and practitioners from across Europe and beyond to discuss questions of autonomy and technology in the area of language learning and translation. The book focuses on English, French, Italian, Irish and Spanish language acquisition, but many of the essays also develop an interlinguistic perspective from a plurilingual point of view.
The book opens with key contributions from a number of leading scholars: Dr Daniel Cassany on critical literacies, Professor Henrik Gottlieb on translation into ‘minor’ languages, and Professor David Little on autonomy in language learning. These are followed by explorations of translation, technology, intercultural issues, autonomous learning and the European Language Portfolio. The volume represents an important contribution to the development of new plurilingual approaches to language teaching and learning.

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Nollaig Mac Congáil Brollach/Preface

Extract

At an early stage of the world’s history, communication was at a relatively low level which probably ref lected the narrow parameters of life as it was then experienced and practised. With the passage of time, basic survival and economic necessity forced communities to fan out in all directions over hills, across plains and over oceans. This led, in turn, to a concomitant diversification of verbal communication by homo loquens; hence the evo- lution of languages. Over centuries thousands of languages have evolved and some have become extinct. Some have become dominant world lan- guages, whereas others have been relegated to very lowly and localised status. Factors inf luencing the dissemination of languages include econom- ics, military expansion, diplomacy, emigration, religion, literacy, politics, technology and, of increasing importance currently, entertainment in all its manifestations. Knowledge of another language other than one’s own was initially at a basic level to communicate or elicit the rudimentary information required. Thus, the monoglot Gaelic-speaker from Ireland communicated his needs in English-speaking lands by pointing to items required and said ‘Give it!’ This level of knowledge of a foreign language was adequate for his needs. The linguistic needs of others, however, were and are on a dif ferent level. The dissemination of religions and expansion of empires, for instance, necessitated a higher level of linguistic competence and versatility. The invention of the printing press, the establishment of schools and universi- ties and the spread of literacy and development of technologies of mass communication has...

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