Pedagogic Approaches to Teaching Specialized Translation Through Unveiling Students’ Weaknesses in Arabic-English-Arabic Technical Translations
The Case of Master 1 Mechanical Engineering Students at Laarbi Tbessi University/Tebessa

Batna-2 University


The present research paper is an empirical investigation that aims at elucidating some pedagogic approaches to teaching specialized translation through unveiling Master 1 students’ weaknesses in Arabic-English-Arabic technical translations. Being ourselves a part-time teacher of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) at the department of Mechanical Engineering, and after going through the description and objectives of the module in the Master CANEVA, we noticed that Master 1 students spent the three-year Licence with no exposure to the English language, yet being taught English for one-year Master supposes the immediate mastery and fluency when interacting with foreigners a propos their specialties. Ergo, we find ourselves in a dilemma of what to teach, how to teach, and what for since our background is not that of a translator who has been trained to function in certain fields and to master the technical terms related to them, but it is rather related to language sciences. We first initiated a series of needs’ analysis that allowed us to ascertain the fact that these students are willing to learn the English language, yet they, with few exceptions, lack its very basis. Therefore, this paper aims at sensitizing teacher training in technical fields, at determining logical objectives, and at designing a rational syllabus, teaching methods, and evaluation modes that are meant to be compatible with the students’ needs. For the sake of achieving this particular aim, we adhered to content analysis, as a qualitative data analysis technique, of students’ written translations and oral presentations which are analysed in terms of several components of both tasks. Indeed, an amalgam of weaknesses are derived upon which a syllabus designed for Master 1 Mechanical Engineering is proposed.

KEYWORDS: Pedagogic approaches, Rational syllabus, Teacher training, Technical translation.