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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Asking translation in exams    

Asking translation in exams


Asking translation in exams
Do you ask your students to translate sentences in exams? (about recently studied grammar subjects)
Teacher usually avoid as it is usually regarded too traditional but I think it is very useful. What do you say? Good evening

26 Mar 2011      


As you said it could be useful but I don t ask it to my pupils. they don t need to trabslate them. Because, I think they shouldn t concentrate on translation. All the students ( who are now not ) are complaining about long-boring translations. But everybody could find it useful. In my opinion, it is not necessary. they should concentrate on thinking in English. 

26 Mar 2011     


I don t ask my students to translate because there are many differences between my student s mother tongue and English and sometimes translating can even damage the grammatical topic which I wanted them to learn. 

26 Mar 2011     


I always ask my students to translate some sentences because when I was studying English, translating helped me a lot to realise the differences between the two languages and thanks to that I learnt so much that I can t help doing the same with my students. At the beginning they always translate from their mother tongue into English and little by little they start to see English as a different language that cannot be translated literaly. I like this method to learn English and so do my students. They get a higher level of knowledge, I am sure.

26 Mar 2011     


To think in English you need vocabulary that you understand.
With weaker classes I do give translation exercises on tests and quizzes to check their understanding of the vocabulary I have taught.  We always go over the words in class and practice them before they are tested so if they study they will know the translations.
I also use dictations where I say the word in English and they have to write it correctly in English and translate it into Hebrew. 
Wordsearches are also helpful with weaker classes because I always make them translate the words they are looking for.  That way they learn how to spell new words as well as their meanings.

26 Mar 2011     


I sometimes use translation in exams, especially if I have paid particular attention to some grammar or vocabulary points. Our language is a lot different from English, so when I want them to understand and remember that some structures have to be what they have to be, translation comes very useful. I can take word order as an example. In Macedonian it is irrelevant and affirmative sentences can come without a subject. In English both are important so once they are told, they have to practise in order to remember.
And I agree with Yolanda. It helps our knowledge. 
While I was studying, translation used to be the highest scoring exam question. As for now, I believe a good balance between the new and the old school gives the best results :)

26 Mar 2011     

manonski (f)

I don t translate and I don t ask my students to do it either. I use other tools (gestures, pictionary, gestures, synonyms, cognates...) instead of doing translation.

26 Mar 2011     


Communicative approach doesn t imply translation. But I think it would make me too rigid as a teacher if I only stuck to one approach. So I do find it useful to make what we call "backwards translation" that is from native language into English and I d rather focus on similarities than on differences.Smile
What Manon mentioned is a great way to introduce new vocabulary.

26 Mar 2011     

Russian Federation

Translations from Russian into English helps to see the difference between two languages,
mind the strict order of the parts of the sentense (which is not necessary in our language) and requires the knowledge of the vocabulary, I sometimes add some sentenses to translate to the Oxford tests we write after the completion of the unit. I teach Headway.
I can see the sts like this kind of work, they feel like translators...
Why not? I can t see any contras.

27 Mar 2011     


I began to use translation  again, as a way to  recycle vocabulary and grammar. Always from the first language to the second.

27 Mar 2011     



Well, I think that what makes translation effective is the way in which you implement it. It can be either confusing or useful depending on the situation and the topic you are teaching. Sometimes, when there are notable differences between the TL and students L1, translation may not help at all. However, in other occasions, it may come in very handy. I usually use translation when I teach conditionals!

Guadalupe M.

27 Mar 2011     

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