Pedagogical Translation activities and exercises have to be Essay

Pedagogical Translation activities and exercises have to be assigned and nurtured carefully right from Class 1 to Class 12. This activity requires mastery over two languages from the beginning of one’s academic life. Translation skills are needed for academic excellence. To master these skills students need to comprehend the language structure in L1 and L2. Hence, this paper elaborates on the use of translation activities in each unit of L1 and L2 right from class 1 to class 12. The sample of this research consists of 30 students from the Vivekanandha Govt.

Boys Higher Secondary School, Villianur, Puducherry. The research method used is experimental method with pretest and posttest design. The results of the data analysis show that the translation activities by the teacher can improve the students’ ability to render the text from L1 to L2 and vice versa. This paper also throws lights on new perspectives on how the so called translation can be used for the learning of core language skills such as reading, grammar and vocabularies.

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At the same time, it also throws lights on the areas of assessment, which we consider an additional innovative aspect of this venture. The students’ views and comments implied the willingness to improve their vocabulary in L2.

Key Words: Language 1, Language 2, Pedagogical Translation, academic life.


We often refer a physical tool as an instrument. In a wider perspective, a concept can become an instrument. Similarly, a methodology or an ideology can become an instrument. Sometimes, we refer a person who acted as an instrument for a particular cause. Hence, we also refer the translation activity as an effective instrument in language learning. The traditional teaching-learning tools such as translation, dictation, reading aloud, and drills have become significantly a missing part in today’s ELT classrooms.

Traditionally, English was taught by the grammar translation method. In the late 1950s, structurally graded syllabi were introduced as a major innovation into the state systems for teaching English (Prabhu 1987: 10). What we summarily reject, as consigned to the past, has definitely values in it. “Old is gold”, is not an ornamental statement. As new methodologies started coming in, translation then dropped down. Once, it was the basis of language teaching for a very long period.

Translation was considered a key element of the Grammar Translation Method, which was derived from the classical method of teaching Latin and Greek. This paper stresses the need of translation as one of the language activities in today’s ELT class rooms. It can also be used for assessment purpose. As Duff (1989) says, teachers and students now use translation to learn, rather than learning translation. Modern translation activities usually move from L1 to L2, (although the opposite direction can also be seen in lessons with more specific aims), have clear communicative aims and real cognitive depth, show high motivation levels and can produce impressive communicative results.

As Cook (2007) pointed out, “translation in language learning” is an overlooked field in second language acquisition (SLA) for several reasons. Firstly, it has been difficult to shake off the old connection of translation to authoritarian teaching method. Translation in SLA has been seen as rather negative following criticism of grammar-translation methods. Secondly, translation is considered often as the goal for, or the end product of, teaching but rarely seen as a means of or catalyst for language learning.


1) To make children aware of translation activities from L1 to L2 and vice versa.

2) To make children and teachers understand Grammar Translation Method.

3) To make children improve their writing skills through translation activities.

4) To make children master L1 and L2 simultaneously.


Learning by doing and learning by understanding are the prime cause of language learning. The present study allowed the control group to write the pretest and posttest. The purpose of this design was to examine the presence or absence of cause-and-effect of teaching method before and after application of translation activities.

At the first meeting, the teacher provided Pretest consisting of a paragraph of 10 sentences. This pretest work took 30 minutes to complete for an individual. After that, the teacher gave a second assignment of text with general topics about everyday activities. Students were asked to present as many sentences as possible and identify the grammar in the sentences.

At the end of the meeting, students were given the task of translating the text at home. At the second meeting, the corrected pretest sheet was distributed to the students. The teacher discussed with the students and cleared their doubts regarding translation from L1 to L2 and vice versa. Finally, the teacher provided the students with correct version of translated script.

At the third meeting, the teacher administered the same paragraph activity for translation as a posttest activity. This time, as the students were aware of translation activity, they completed the activity within 15 minutes and scored very well with the correct vocabulary and grammar. Their scores were recorded by the teacher.

Students were given exposure to translation activities for 8 weeks. Two hours per week were allotted for translation activities in which the students were required to translate Tamil sentences into English and English sentences into Tamil. They were also assigned to practice related activities as home works.

We have been using different types of translation knowingly or unknowingly in our day today classroom transaction. Here, mother tongue acts as a vehicle to understand a foreign tongue. Children also follow their own understanding of English with their mother tongue. We have been using word to word translation in understanding English words. Word to word translation means finding equal and meaningful words from the source language to target language. Other translations such as detailed translation, complete translation, brief translation, adoption and abridgement are also to be mastered in due course.

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