Applying task-based learning to translator education

Assisting the development of novice translators' problem-solving expertise

Izumi Inoue, Christopher N. Candlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper reports and discusses the outcomes of an innovative pilot training program using Task-Based Learning (TBL) in the context of translator education. The objectives were twofold: to investigate the extent to which the use of TBL helped novice participants develop their problem-solving skills, and to examine learner perceptions of the usefulness of TBL. The training program incorporates key characteristics of TBL, including tasks consisting of pedagogically sequenced stages, guided by the overall objective of achieving learner autonomy. In this study, six postgraduate students majoring in translation and interpreting in Australian universities participated in the program. The process and product of five tasks were evaluated by two professional translators using a set of rubrics. A series of interviews was conducted to identify learner perceptions of the usefulness of TBL. Overall, learners showed progress in recognizing differences between novices and professionals and in solving key problems. In terms of the second research objective, the learners perceived TBL to be a useful learning methodology, facilitating awareness of novice-professional differences, appreciation of the critical consequences derived from risks and problems, and development of interpersonal skills, including the discovery of new approaches to resolving translation challenges through peer interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-86
Number of pages29
JournalTranslation and Interpreting Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Problem-solving
  • Task-based learning
  • Translator competence
  • Translator education

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