Macquarie University
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Self-directed learning in the translation classroom: an investigation to the relationship between self-directed learning and translator competence

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posted on 2022-03-28, 09:16 authored by Nutthaporn Owatnupat
In recent years, there has been increasing pressure to change the approaches to the way translation is taught so that student translators can develop a wide range ofskills that will enable them to work efficiently and professionally upon graduation. In this dissertation, self-directed learning is introduced as a generic competence to support the acquisition of translator competence. Students are expected to acquire both translator competence and useful general competencies applicable to the translation services and any jobs that they may pursue upon graduation. The theoretical framework for the translation pedagogy underpinning this research study incorporated elements from experiential learning (Dewey, 1938/1963), social constructivism to translator education (Kiraly, 2000), and self-directed learning approach (Grow, 1991). In terms of the teaching procedures and activities, a project based learning experience where students worked on an authentic project for a client was implemented. This pedagogy aimed to establish a dynamic teaching and learning process to encourage students to work collaboratively and to engage in translation practices similar to those experienced by professional translators. A mixed-methods approach was selected for this study to enable data triangulation in order to strengthen the validity and reliability of the results. The main finding in this study indicated that the SDL intervention was an effective teaching/ learning approach to increase self-directedness and translator competence in students. SDL personality traits had a positive correlation to translator competence as they empowered the students to carry out the translation project competently, professionally, and independently as individual learners and as members of a team. Grow's Staged Self-Directed Learning model (1991) appeared to be suitable and applicable with the translation process used in carrying out the authentic translation project. This intervention was particularly appropriate for translation students undertaking translation courses as part of their second/foreign language degree programmes and students with a low level of self-direction.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction and context -- Chapter 2. Translation and translator competence -- Chapter 3. inter-disciplinary approaches to translator education -- Chapter 4. Research methodology -- Chapter 5. Implementation of SDL intervention -- Chapter 6. Effects of the intervantion on self-direction -- Chapter 7. Effects of the intervantion on translator competence -- Chapter 8. The relationship between SDL and translator competence -- Chapter 9. Discussion and conclusion.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 369-384

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Jill Murray

Additional Supervisor 1

Helen Slatyer


Copyright Nutthaporn Owatnupat 2016. Copyright disclaimer:




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