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Friday, August 14 • 10:25am - 10:50am
Google Translate: Where Is It Taking Us?

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Machine translation is becoming more and more widespread, from simultaneous translation on Skype, to in situ augmented reality apps. Within the context of EAP, Google translate can be used by students to understand complex texts as well as to create comprehensible, if flawed texts. It would not be unreasonable to speculate that this will lead to the redundancy of language professionals as students are able to circumvent the traditional language learning routes by use of free technology. However, this is not necessarily the only potential future. The aim of the presentation is to present to findings of preliminary research into what exactly the present state of Google Translate is able to produce from a grammatical standpoint. It will then discuss the key concept of the paper- that the incursion of the translation engine into the teaching space should not be seen as a threat to the language teaching profession. We will argue that Google Translate is able to deal with the surface level features of language, but is unable to approach issues such as academic literacies, epistemologically appropriacy and alignment to dominant discourse norms. Therefore, the profession will be able to utilize the technology to help students explore these, fundamental aspects of academic writing sooner and deeper. Finally, the paper will suggest further research into the pedagogical use of this technology.

avatar for Mike Groves

Mike Groves

Universty of Bath

Friday August 14, 2015 10:25am - 10:50am EDT
Barker 110 (Thompson) 12 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA