Using Corpora with Taiwanese College Students in a Student-centred, Corpus-assisted Translation Curriculum

  • Shih-Ping Cheng

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Previous studies show that corpora are helpful to translation teaching and learning in numerous ways; however, the students’ use of and attitudes towards corpus-assisted translation are seldom discussed. This research addresses the following two issues regarding the implementation of a student-centred corpus-assisted translation approach with twenty-nine Taiwanese university students undertaking English-majors. Firstly, how do students use corpora to leam translation, and what are students' perceived benefits and difficulties in this process? Secondly, is the approach helpful to the students’ learning attitudes towards translation? A case study of the approach was conducted to investigate how the designed curriculum was taught and how students responded to it. The selected corpora for the approach are Sinorama bilingual corpus and British National Corpus (BNC), and the corresponding corpus tools are Total Recall and Tango. Questionnaires, student group interviews, students’ online feedback, pre-test and post-test, and query log analysis were adopted as instruments to verify the results. The results show that the intermediate leveled students preferred Total Recall to Tango because they are dependent on the Chinese translation in the bilingual corpus to help them comprehend the query results. Evidence shows that the lower level students still had major problems with grammar, and all three levels of students had some problems in synthesizing the query results. The findings show that students benefit from corpus-assisted translation in the areas of accuracy rate, correct word choice (vocabulary use/collocation), grammar, and spelling when they are doing a translation cloze test. In the students’ views, the corpus tools, apart from providing them with better assistance than dictionaries, help them solve translation problems independently and construct their knowledge in translation. Furthermore, the results also indicate that the majority of the students are positive towards corpus-assisted translation and their learning attitudes in areas such as interest, motivation, learner autonomy, and confidence are enhanced. The findings provide evidence that the student-centred corpus-assisted translation approach has, to different extents, helped the students acquire the abilities to solve translation problems independently by consulting the corpus tools, and thus become autonomous learners.
    Date of AwardJul 2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Queen's University Belfast
    SupervisorJoy Alexander (Supervisor) & Aisling O'Boyle (Supervisor)

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