European Journal of Language Policy

Bologna: Speaking the common language of competences – a symbiosis between the competences of summary writing and the competences of translation

European Journal of Language Policy (2010), 2, (1), 73–89.

Abstract

The quest for mutual understanding between the European academic and professional communities has been underlined in the Bologna Declaration, culminating in the recognition that the language which most clearly describes what a student has learned and is capable of doing is the language of competences. Within the European Higher Education Area, the Tuning Project, responding to the exigencies of Bologna, identified the capacity to analyse and synthesise as the competence most consistently valued both by academics and professionals, along with the competences of problem-solving, decision-taking and information management. This study analyses the characteristics of summary writing as an exercise in the advanced English class within the Translation and Interpreting Degree and its proximity to the academic and professional skills required specifically in translation. Despite the fact that the literature suggests this symbiosis between the two activities, there is little, if any, empirical evidence to support the claim. A group of 114 students from all four years of the Translation and Interpreting Degree at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid took part in this study over a five-year period, from 2003–2008. Results indicate that there is an association between a student's aptitude in summary writing and his or her aptitude in translation, possibly assisting in the future planning and curricular development of the degree.

La Déclaration de Bologne a signalé la nécessité pour les enseignants et les professionnels européens de trouver un langage commun pour comprendre les acquis de l'étudiant et les habilités ou aptitudes de l'étudiant. Il a fallu attendre les résultats du projet Tuning pour savoir que ce langage qui permettra aussi bien aux enseignants qu'aux professionnels de se comprendre est ce langage de compétences. Parmi les compétences soumises à l'étude du projet Tuning, la compétence de l'analyse et de la synthèse est celle qui est la plus valorisée en tant que compétence pour la résolution des problèmes, la prise de décisions et la gestion de l'information. Cette étude analyse les caractéristiques de la synthèse comme exercice pratiqué pour l'enseignement de l'anglais avancé dans le cadre de la licence en Traduction et Interprétation. Cette étude analyse aussi l'efficacité de la synthèse pour l'exercice de la traduction pédagogique et professionnelle. La recherche a suggéré qu'il existait une similitude entre ces deux activités (la synthèse et la traduction), mais aucune évaluation concrète ne l'avait prouvée. C'est pourquoi, pendant cinq années de 2003 à 2008 à l'Université Pontificale Comillas à Madrid, cette étude expérimentale a été réalisée avec la participation de 114 étudiants. Les résultats indiquent qu'il existe une similitude entre la compétence pour la synthèse et la compétence pour la traduction. Il conviendrait donc d'en tenir compte pour l'élaboration du curriculum de la licence de Traduction.

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Jeffrey, Susan