According to the theory of constructivism, everybody creates one’s own knowledge on the basis of the personal interpretation of experiences. This creation of knowledge is especially stimulated by the interactive exchange with the environment. The constructivist idea is to avoid “chalk and talk”; instead, the teacher and the students are supposed to form a constructive learning community in which they work together. In this learning method, the teacher takes over the roll of a consultant who facilitates and encourages the students’ learning process by proposing solutions and offering opinions and knowledge. His propositions are discussed and either accepted or rejected by the whole team and not imposed by the teacher, which encourages the students’ independence, sense of responsibility and willingness to participate. Furthermore, the constructivist learning method emphasizes the significance of team work, which helps the students to learn through dialogue and interactive exchange of knowledge.
In the FASK, this learning method is applied, for example, in real-life translation projects. In these classes, the students work on a real-life project under almost professional conditions. Team work is especially appropriate for the realization of the constructivist idea of teaching and constitutes the central element of all the projects.
The following projects are examples of real-life translation projects realized at the FASK during the last few years.
Another example for the application of constructivism at the FASK are the tandem courses. One of these courses took place in 1997 at the Institute of Intercultural Communication/German studies and the Spanish Institute at the FASK.
As the name already says/reveals, tandem courses are courses in which two translation classes consisting of native speakers and non-native speakers merge and form a new course together. The aim of this teaching method is to exchange linguistic and cultural knowledge and to learn to be a team-player.
This is how a teacher at the FASK described these real-life translation projects.