Translation/Interpreting Teaching and the Bologna Process: Pathways between Unity and Diversity

Sixth International Symposium on Teaching Translation and Interpreting, Germersheim, 27–29 November 2015

Sixteen years after the Bologna Declaration, this symposium will discuss the question of how the Bologna Process has affected the development of T&I teaching. The measures taken to establish a European Higher Education Area typically have an assimilatory function, but at the same time the Declaration explicitly recognizes the importance of diversity. The three themes under which the symposium is organized will serve as a basis for exploring the relationship between unity and diversity in T&I teaching with regard to both structures and contents.

Cultural Specificity of T&I Teaching?

The Bologna Process has harmonized the structure of degree programmes in the European Higher Education Area, as witness, for example, the introduction of two-tiered (Bachelor and Master) programmes and of the ECTS credit-point system. Moreover, the Tuning Educational Structures in Europe project laid the groundwork for a coordination of contents for instance in the area of generic and subject-specific competences, and the EMT and OPTIMALE arose from a perceived need to synchronize T&I teaching. The panel "Cultural Specificity of T&I Teaching?" will address the issue of in how far T&I teaching remains culturally specific despite these developments. Possible contributions range from T&I teaching associated with particular theoretical traditions, via culturally specific views on the roles of teachers and students, to content requirements imposed by institutions at national level. In addition to papers devoted to stocktaking, we explicitly invite critical discussions of the tension between cultural specificity and internationalization.

Diversity despite Unity: New Forms of Teaching and Assessment for the New Degree Structures?

The introduction of Bachelor and Master programmes throughout the European Higher Education Area can be regarded as an opportunity to reflect on, and revise, traditional forms of teaching and assessment, or to create fresh approaches. The Bologna goals, which involve a heightened demand for new coherent concepts of case-based, facilitated, and self-directed learning, have led to a variety of new class formats being designed, and integrated into thematically coherent modules. Moreover, as part of a reform of Bachelor and Master programmes in Germany, it has been decided to reduce the number of contact hours and, concomitantly, to increase the proportion of time devoted to self-study. This is made possible for instance by blended-learning and project-based classes.

We invite papers addressing the following questions: What implications does the demand for increasingly case-based, self-directed, and method-oriented ways of learning have for teaching? How can progress in learning be assessed in individual classes and in whole modules? Would it make sense to go beyond both traditional and more recently established approaches to teaching and assessment, and develop entirely novel ones?

Materiality of Media in T&I Teaching

Translation and interpreting, and therefore T&I teaching, are increasingly being influenced by technologies and media. Technological means of generating texts and carrying out research can be assumed to have a specific impact on translation and interpreting, and to open up new possibilities for textuality and text-production processes in general. The panel "Materiality of Media in T&I Teaching" will deal with one aspect of mediality in T&I processes, namely the question of whether or how it integrates people from diverse cultural backgrounds, who moreover operate in quite different situations, into near-identical set-ups and/or into global forms of interaction. This uniform character of mediality may be cross-culturally significant in that it gives rise to global forms of text production and editing, as well as to an increasingly fast and direct interactivity. We invite contributions from all areas of T&I teaching on human-to-human, human-to-machine, and machine-to-machine interaction situations.