Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: Machine translation literacy and language teaching 
Authors: Delorme Benites, Alice
Cotelli Kureth, Sara
Lehr, Caroline
Steele, Elizabeth
et. al: No
Conference details: EUROCALL 2021 : CALL & Professionalisation, Paris (online), 25-27 August 2021
Issue Date: 27-Aug-2021
Language: English
Subjects: Machine translation literacy; Language learning
Subject (DDC): 410.285: Computational linguistics
418.02: Translating and interpreting
Abstract: Switzerland has four national languages and English is frequently used as a lingua franca. It is therefore paramount to foster inclusion and national unity while maintaining language diversity. In the context of Swiss universities in particular, the language question is of daily concern, as researchers participate in cross-regional and pan-European networks. Recent advances in machine translation have led to frequent and generalized use, which could help foster language diversity. However, users are rarely aware of the pitfalls of such technologies and therefore tend to blindly trust them, sometimes leading to misunderstandings with far-reaching consequences. Students in language classes are no exception: While they already know and employ free neural machine translation solutions (e.g. DeepL, Google Translate), they lack both information about how these technologies work and clarity about how reliable their output is. This leads to uncritical use. Conversely, although these tools are familiar to teachers, they rarely use them in language teaching, as they are sometimes reluctant to adopt new technologies which they regard as disruptive or even as a threat to language teaching. Also, many teachers feel powerless when facing what they see as a major problem, especially when evaluating student texts. However, translation technology can also be considered as a tool for CALL (Yamada 2020). The project we present started in January 2021 and sets out to develop machine translation literacy (Bowker & Buitrago 2019) among Swiss university language teachers and students, beginning by better understanding the reality of language teaching and learning in higher education in the era of machine translation. For the first time, Swiss university students and staff will be surveyed about their use of machine translation. More specifically, we seek to understand in what context, for what purposes, with what degree of successive revision and with what ethical considerations machine translation is used. The proposed communication will present the results of this survey conducted in four Swiss universities with over 3500 participants and the initial conclusions that can be drawn from it regarding the possibility of harnessing machine translation literacy for foreign language learning and teaching. The panorama of practices obtained through the survey will enable us to determine concrete pedagogical objectives and develop targeted interventions on machine translation literacy both for teachers and students. These interventions will contribute to professionalizing pedagogical practices around machine translation, strengthen the linguistic independence of future Swiss professionals and encourage awareness of the intellectual and ethical implications of plagiarism through translation. At a societal level, they should also foster linguistic diversity by helping to develop greater confidence among Swiss citizens to read and produce texts in a national language other than their first language.
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/23051
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Applied Linguistics
Organisational Unit: Institute of Translation and Interpreting (IUED)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Digital Literacy im Hochschulkontext
Appears in collections:Publikationen Angewandte Linguistik

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