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Collaborative learning in the translation classroom: preliminary survey results

Elsa Huertas Barros, Universidad de Granada, Spain


Interpersonal competence is the translator’s ability to work with other professionals involved in the translation process (terminologists, translators, proofreaders) and other actors (clients, authors), and includes such qualities as ability to work in a team, negotiation skills and leadership skills (Kelly 2002: 15). This paper focuses on the acquisition of interpersonal competence through collaborative learning during the first stages1 of translation training in Translation and Interpreting (TI) faculties in Spain. The methodology used for gathering data for this study was based on the form of qualitative research known as focus or discussion groups. This was subsequently complemented by a questionnaire provided to a sample of 191 3rd year students of TI in Spain. The aim was to obtain information regarding their general notions on teamwork during the first training stage of their translation studies. The questionnaire included questions on the definition of teamwork, advantages and disadvantages of this type of teaching methodology, student’s preferences concerning their work styles and their previous experience in this field as well as its importance in professional environments, among others. This paper will show the initial results obtained.


Translation competence, interpersonal competence, collaborative learning, teamwork, translator training.


Translator training studies is a relatively new sub-discipline of Translation Studies that began to develop in the middle of the twentieth century and gained progressive importance in the 1970s. Since the 1990s the most innovative approaches, which focus on students as the main agents of the learning process, have developed in the field of Translation Training (Kiraly 1995; 2000). With the reform of the Spanish higher education system due to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) which has arisen from the Bologna Process (1999), didactic models based on competences have become more and more important in higher education. This new system promotes a new perspective in Higher Education that integrates students as its main component and relates education to the labour market. Following this approach, the didactic perspective based on general and specific competences that represent the professional profile required by the market might be the most appropriate. Taking into account this new perspective of the higher education system, especially in the field of Translation, interpersonal competence assumes a vital role.

Background notions
2.1 Definition of the term translation competence

Despite the fact that there is certain consonance in some of the main components of translation competence, there are a variety of conceptual and terminological approaches. Some of the main translation competence models are the following, each of them presenting different criteria and specific competences: Wilss (1976), Delisle (1980; 1992), Roberts (1984), Nord (1991; 1992), Gile (1995), Kiraly (1995), Hurtado Albir (1996, 2007), Hatim and Mason (1997), Campbell (1998), Neubert (2000), PACTE (2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2005) and Kelly (2002; 2005). In our paper we will follow the translation competence model proposed by Kelly (2002; 2005), since it underlines some professional aspects that do not appear in other models. We refer to interpersonal competence that allows the translator to interact with other professionals and agents present in the translation process. Kelly (2002: 14) defines translation competence as the “macrocompetence that comprises the different capacities, skills, knowledge and even attitudes that professional translators possess and which are involved in translation as an expert activity.”2 According to Kelly’s model (2005: 32-33), translation competence can be broken down into seven areas of competence: communicative and textual competence in at least two languages and cultures, cultural and intercultural competence, subject area competence, professional and instrumental competence, attitudinal or psycho-physiological competence, interpersonal competence and strategic competence. These areas of competence are all necessary for both the acquisition of translation competence and for the student to be able to work as a professional translator (Kelly 2005: 162).

2.1.1 Definition of the concept interpersonal competence

Even though our study relates to translation competence, we will concentrate on interpersonal competence and will provide some definitions of this area of translator competence. As our preliminary survey results show, teamwork has become more and more important for present-day translators, which justifies the need to implement this methodological solution in education as well as studying its use in translator training. According to Kelly’s translation competence model (2002; 2005), interpersonal competence consists of:

(...) the ability to work with other professionals involved in translation process (translators, revisers, documentary researchers, terminologists, project managers, layout specialists), and other actors (clients, initiators, authors, users, subject area experts), as well as team work, negotiation skills and leadership skills (Kelly 2005: 33).

In line with this proposal, we would like to mention the Tuning project(Tuning Educational Structures in Europe), a convergence plan regarding the syllabus content of various disciplines developed between 2000 and 2004 as a result of the reforms attendant to the Bologna Process. González and Wagenaar (2003: 82, 84) provide a more detailed classification in which interpersonal competence incorporates critical and self-critical abilities, teamwork, interpersonal skills, the ability to work in inter-disciplinary teams and the ability to communicate with experts in other fields. According to this approach, interpersonal competence also includes the appreciation of diversity and multiculturality, the ability to work in an international context as well as the ethical commitment. These competences tend to facilitate the process of social interaction and cooperation. Based on this classification, Hurtado Albir (2007: 168) defines interpersonal competence as “the skills that allow one to interact well with other people, whether individuals or groups.”

2.2 Definition of the concept of collaborative learning

The first author to propose a social-constructivist methodology for collaboration was Kiraly (2000), who was already suggesting certain collaborative methodologies in his prior work (1995). As Kiraly (2000: 36) claims:

True collaborative learning does not mean simply dividing up the work on a task, a mere division of labour. It is instead the joint accomplishment of a task with the dual learning goals of meaning-making on the part of each individual group member.

From this perspective, collaborative learning entails not only the division of work in a specific task, but it requires its joint completion so that the team members can construct meanings together and can develop cultural and professional knowledge. Kiraly also proposes an evolution from teaching oriented towards the teacher as the main source of knowledge to teaching based not on the students themselves, but on teaching itself. In this social-constructivist approach for translator training, the student is the main agent of the learning process and the teacher guides them through this stage. Kiraly also highlights the importance of collaborative learning based on the interaction and dialog of students with their teacher and their peers:

I propose that translator education be seen as a dynamic, interactive process based on learner empowerment. (…) Instead of filling learners with knowledge, teachers should serve as guides, consultants and assistants who can help set the stage for learning events in which students will evolve into professional translator by experiencing real or at least simulated translation activities in all their complexity (Ibid: 17-18).

The key principles of the social-constructivist educational approach include an active involvement in authentic professional practices, a collaborative teaching environment that promotes interaction among students as well as an active participation in the learning and teaching process (Kiraly et al. 2003: 51). Other authors, such as Johnson and Johnson (1994: 14) define collaborative learning as the “instructional use of small teams so that students work together to maximise their own and each other’s learning.”3 As the main characteristics of teamwork these authors highlight: student motivation to carry out a joint effort and to achieve the planned objectives, the responsibility assumed by every member and teamwork to attain joint outcomes. In order to fulfil this, students must establish aims addressed to the team tasks and not to the individuals who make up the team. It is also essential that students generate social interaction among the team members and mutual dependence to achieve specific aims (Johnson and Johnson 1994: 17-18). Taking into account the different approaches to teamwork mentioned above and its main characteristics, it is obvious that teamwork may have much to contribute to translation teaching methodology. This is why it seems necessary to introduce collaborative work and collective accountability in translator training. We can conclude that the ability to work in a team is not exclusively developed by organising students in teams, since they will only acquire interpersonal competence through practice and reflection. Therefore, in order to achieve good teamwork performance, all the team members must participate and be involved actively and responsibly in every task they must fulfil, having at their disposal their teacher’s supervision.

2.2.1. Requirements for the optimum performance of teamwork

Since professional translation is getting to be more of a social activity, we believe that encouraging teamwork in the classroom is a good way to prepare students for it. In order for teams to work cooperatively, Johnson and Johnson (1994: 21-23) highlight the following essential requirements: positive interdependence, joint responsibility, stimulating interaction, interpersonal and team abilities and team assessment. Firstly, students must commit with other team members, since each individual’s work benefits or is detrimental to the other team members and to their work. In the same way, student motivation to work together should be developed with the aim of maximising learning for each team member. In this sense, it is particularly important to underline the fact that teamwork success usually empowers and motivates students. Moreover, each team member will have to assume certain responsibilities according to their position in the team and will be accountable to the rest of the members. In order to achieve the planned general aim, every team member must fulfil the specific task assigned to them, otherwise the team performance will be affected. Regarding stimulating interaction, each team member must benefit from the involvement and participation of all the others: all the members work together with the aim of attaining joint results, they support each other, collaborate, share and interact with each other. Along these lines, interpersonal and teamwork abilities comprise interpersonal relations among team members to coordinate their work and achieve the planned objectives. Finally, team assessment entails an evaluation of their work efficiency and the completion of their objectives. This assessment takes place when the team members analyse whether they are fulfilling their aims and whether their team relationship is effective. In addition, the teacher must decide upon the assessment method for the team taking into account the criteria he or she considers adequate.

2.2.2. Advantages and disadvantages of collaborative learning

Considering the different approaches regarding collaborative learning, its implementation generates some advantages and disadvantages. As the main benefits of teamwork, Johnson and Johnson (1994: 14-15) highlight the following: student motivation to carry out a joint effort and to meet the planned objectives, the responsibility assumed by all the team members, a greater productivity, the generation of positive relations among the team members (commitment, solidarity, respect, teamwork spirit, etc.) as well as developing the awareness of being a translator and the integration with other members. Along with these advantages, Kiraly et al. (2003: 52, 54-55) add the socialisation process experienced by the team members that allows them to construct their own knowledge through interactions with their classmates, teachers and experts in the field. These authors also underline other benefits including the creation of a class community that promotes collaboration and interaction to construct meaningful learning, the acquisition of experience to solve translation problems similar to the ones they will find as professional translators, the decrease of a potential feeling of competitiveness among students to achieve the best results and authentication in translator training. Kelly (2005: 102) claims that teamwork promotes the acquisition of interpersonal skills as well as entailing a personal and social experience for students. Our later discussion on the preliminary results obtained in our study, reveals that according to most students (96.9%) teamwork entails numerous advantages, compared to 3.1% who claim the opposite. Our later analysis shows that the main advantages mentioned by students are in consonance with the ones presented in this section.

Despite these benefits, collaborative learning can involve some disadvantages including the lack of participation of some team members and the dominant attitude of some members, especially self-confident students (Johnson and Johnson, 1994: 14). Kiraly et al. (2003: 51, 54, 57) also highlight a tendency in which weak students usually benefit from the most advanced ones, whilst the opposite rarely occurs. Furthermore sometimes students find it difficult to trust the other team members, since some of them prefer to work individually and are not motivated to work as a team. These authors also add that awkward situations or misunderstandings may occur with some team members, which may result in only some students carrying out the task assigned to the whole team. Klimkowski (2006: 101) claims that inappropriate teamwork performance may cause difficulties in coordinating the project and attaining the planned goals. As we discuss in our preliminary results, these observations are very similar to the ones obtained in the questionnaire that we distributed among 191 students, all of whom considered teamwork to involve some drawbacks.

3. Students’ conceptions on teamwork during the first training stage of translator training

The main goal of our research consists in analyzing the acquisition of interpersonal competence though collaborative learning during the first training stage in Translation Studies in Spain. In order to collect the data for our study we used the focus group, a “carefully planned series of discussions designed to obtain perceptions on a defined area of interest in a permissive, non-threatening environment” (Krueger and Casey, 2000: 5). Therefore, this form of qualitative research provided us with rich and complex information to address in depth the object of study from the perspective of the involved agents (Suárez Ortega, 2005: 25). We also used this technique to complement the survey in order to anticipate and define the contents of, and potential responses to, the questionnaire4 we subsequently provided to 191 3rd year students of Spanish TI faculties5 (Huertas Barros, forthcoming). Of the total, 27 students were taking modules belonging to the 3rd and the 4th year of TI. During the exploratory phase of our study, we first approached the object of research through the work of Gibbs (1994a; 1994b) regarding teamwork, which served us as a base to define the general and specific objectives of our study. Then we initiated the preparation phase for the focus groups that we held afterwards, in which we elaborated a structured script with the questions posed in these meetings. These works constituted a keystone for structuring, designing and elaborating the script, which was composed of 40 questions. We included sections about students’ notions on teamwork, the creation, organisation, implementation and follow-up of teams, teamwork assessment and the feedback students receive (Huertas Barros, forthcoming). Due to the length of the study, in this paper we will only focus on the first results obtained regarding the general notions on teamwork in the translation classroom.

In the first instance, we conducted two one-hour focus groups with 3rd year Translation students6 from the UGR, who had previously attended the modules “Introduction to Translation” and “General Translation” (Spanish into English and English into Spanish). The first foreign language for the majority was English, though for others it was French or German. We also held two focus groups with the teachers7 responsible for teaching those modules. This allowed us to compare different opinions about collaborative learning from two different perspectives of the learning and teaching process: the teachers and the students. We recorded the 4 focus groups, which allowed us to produce transcriptions of the discussions which they gave rise to and to reduce the data in codified categories depending on the subject raised in each question. Once we analysed this information, we interpreted it and wrote a report with the results obtained in each of the thematic blocks we discussed. Subsequently, and with the aim of using a second qualitative research method which offered us the possibility of increasing considerably our sample and allowed us to contrast the first results obtained, we designed a questionnaire composed of 38 questions (37 multiple choice questions and 1 open-ended). The questionnaire included an introductory page with a definition of some concepts that the student might not have been familiar with, such as translation competence, interpersonal competence and transversal competence. After a successful trial pilot completed by 29 students from UPO, we included some minor modifications in the questionnaire, mainly adding alternative answer options and rewriting a couple of questions to remove ambiguities. Our questionnaire was finally comprised of 37 questions. Once we refined its content, we distributed it to another 162 3rd year students of the abovementioned TI faculties.

3.1 Preliminary survey results

Question 1: Define the concept of teamwork in the translation classroom.

In the focus groups held with students, teamwork was defined as “students’ collaborative work to achieve a goal (a translation or a task), always respecting the opinions of all the team members.” This option was chosen by 72.8% of students. In the focus groups attended by teachers, this concept was defined as “coordinated group work in which students organise self-directed work following some guidelines.” A total of 20.4% of the sample selected this option. Along with these two answers, we provided two more potential responses in the questionnaire: “non-coordinated work among several students,” chosen by only 5.8% of the sample, as well as the option “other (specify),” which was selected by 0.5% students. This percentage of participants did not specify an alternative definition. Taking into account these data, it is remarkable that 93.2% of the sample perceive teamwork as an empowering teaching and learning method in the translation classroom in comparison to only 5.8% of students, who conceive teamwork as negative. This question was not answered by 0.5% of students.
Question 2: Do you prefer to work individually or in a team? Explain why.

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Figure 1. Student’s preferences concerning their work styles.

Regarding their work preferences, 45.5% of the 191 students preferred to combine individual work with teamwork. In the 44.5% of the cases students opted for working individually, whereas 6.3% would rather work in a team. Whilst 3.2% of the sample did not have a preference about the teaching methods used in the translation classroom, 0.5% did not answer the question. The main reasons why students preferred to work individually included organising their time as they wish (67.5%8), to be able to take and implement their own decisions (36.1%), to avoid conflicts and arguments with other team members (19.9%) and to accomplish more translation practice (12.6%). They also felt more motivated to work on their own (6.8%). The option “other reasons” was chosen by 6.3% of students who specified that they save more time when they work individually and that this teaching method is easier for them. Students who preferred to work in a team highlighted the fact that they obtain better marks by working together with other classmates (32.5%), they need the help provided by other students (19.4%) and it is very important for their future career (15.7%). They also see teamwork as a very efficient learning method (11%). Only just 1.6% of students picked the option “other reasons,” specifying that more ideas are generated when they work as a team, which allows them to contrast different opinions. At this point, we would like to underline that even though 93.2% of the participants conceive of collaborative work as a positive teaching and learning method (see question 2), only 6.3% of them prefer to work exclusively in a team.

Question 3: Have you ever worked in a team during your degree and/or outside the faculty? If so, explain when and in which subject(s).

 Baros image 4
Figure 2. Teamwork experiences.

Regarding teamwork experiences previous to the 3rd year of their degree either at the faculty or outside, 100% of students claimed to have worked in a team previously. Specifically, 67% of the 191 students had worked in a team during the 1st year of their degree, 75.4% of them had done so during the 2nd year and 64.9% during the 3rd year. They had worked in teams in modules such as: “Introduction to Translation,” “General Translation B-A” (English>Spanish, French>Spanish, German>Spanish or Arab>Spanish), “General Translation A-B” (Spanish>English, Spanish>French, Spanish>German or Spanish>Arab), “Linguistic Applied to Translation”, “Spanish Language” and “Documentation Applied to Translation.” Only 15.2% of students had worked in a team during the 4th year of their degree. Just 13.1% had occasionally worked in a team at school, however they admitted this practice did not result in the development of interpersonal competence neither in a habit to work as part of a team. Our results confirm that much of collaborative learning is carried out during the first training stage of translator training (the first two years of a 4-year degree course). This justifies our decision to study a sample composed of third year students of TI, since we believe this stage entails students (first) contact with collaborative learning.

Question 4: Have you ever received any training on teamwork at your faculty? If so, explain which type of training you have received.

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Figure 3. Training on teamwork.

Most students (85.9%) stated they had never received any training on teamwork at their faculty. Only 14.1% declared they had been trained in teamwork, which consisted of some recommendations and suggestions by their teachers during the academic year (12.6%) or a specific lesson on how to work in a team (1%). In the 13.6% of the cases students asserted they had received other type of training, but they did not specify any. We believe that to be able to work collaboratively, students need some training on how to work as a team as well as some support and follow-up by their teachers.

Question 5: Do you think teamwork offers any advantages? If so explain them.

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Figure 4. Advantages of teamwork.

Most students (96.9%) stated that teamwork entails numerous advantages, compared to 3.1% who claimed the opposite. Among the main advantages students highlighted the following: generation of new and diverse ideas (68.1%), interaction with other individuals (63.4%), preparation for their future careers (44.5%) and the acquisition of new abilities to carry out tasks (44%). Students also emphasised the resolution of problems and conflicts (40.8%), the acquisition of skills to justify translation decisions (38.2%), the development of organisation and coordination skills (35.6%), as well as the acquisition of a sense of mutual responsibility (33%) and tolerance (30.9%). Other reasons mentioned, to a lesser extent, included amenity (29.3%), the promotion of mutual trust (24.1%), the acquisition of a transversal competence (18.3%) and a greater efficiency (16.8%). Only 1% of students selected the option “other reasons,” specifying that teamwork allowed them to meet and socialise with other students. We would like to highlight that despite a vast majority of students (96.9%) is aware of the benefits arisen from this teaching and learning method, a significant amount of the sample (44.5%) chooses to work individually (see question 2).

Question 6: Do you think teamwork entails any disadvantages? If so, explain them.

                       Baros image 10
Figure 5. Disadvantages of teamwork.

All students (100%) considered teamwork to involve some drawbacks such as the difficulty of meeting at the same time (90.6%), some students contributing more than others (79.1%), disagreements in agreeing on a final translation (51.8%), failure on the part of some students to carry out their assigned tasks (45.5%) and failure on the part of some students to work as a team (45.0%). Other disadvantages included: the need for coordination among students (38.7%), the fact that teamwork requires more time than individual work (31.9%) and the fact that sometimes students carry out the whole translation in independent parts (27.7%). To a lesser extent students mentioned that interpersonal relationships are complex (16.9%), some team members do not trust their peers (16.8%), a long time goes by until students work in teams again (8.4%) and teamwork results in a lack of individual practice (4.7%). Only 0.5% of students chose the option “other reasons,” stating that in a few cases the students who show more personality are likely to be the more persuasive. These results might justify the fact that 44.5% of the sample prefers to complete a task or project individually in comparison to a minority (6.3%) who opts to work exclusively in a team. On the other hand, if we take into account the fact that most participants believe teamwork entails both advantages and disadvantages, it is understandable that 45.5% prefers a combination of these two teaching methods since, in their opinion, both of them play a decisive role in their training as translators (see question 2).

Question 7: Do you feel motivated to work as a team? Explain why.

Description: Figure_6.tif
Figure 6. Teamwork motivation.

Regarding teamwork motivation, 46.1% of students stated they feel “slightly motivated” to work as a team, whereas 36.6% said they feel “quite motivated.” In 15.2% of the cases students do not feel motivated “at all” to work as a team, whereas 2.1% stated they feel “very motivated.” Students who find teamwork motivating attribute it to the acquisition of mutual responsibility (46.6%), the possibility of meeting other students (33.0%), the security teamwork provides them with (25.1%) and the entertainment it entails (20.9%). The option “other reasons” was chosen by 6.3% of students, who specified that they learn more and get better results when they work as part of a team. Students who do not feel motivated to work as a team see teamwork as an obligation imposed by their teachers (11.5%). Other reasons why students do not feel motivated to work in a team include the difficulties in achieving optimum teamwork performance (4.2%) and their lack of interest (2.1%). Only 0.5% of students related their lack of motivation to “other reasons,” without providing an alternative response. At this point, we can establish a relationship between most of the motivation factors and the advantages arisen from collaborative learning mentioned by students (see question 5). Therefore, we can conclude that the benefits entailed by teamwork have an influence on students’ motivation to work with other classmates.

Question 8: Do you think teamwork is important for your future career? If so explain why.

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Figure 7. Importance of teamwork in students’ future careers.

In 90.1% of the cases students considered teamwork to be essential for their future careers, compared to 9.9% who did not consider it important. In the first case, students feel teamwork is essential for the labour market mainly because it is applicable to any career (74.9%), it reflects real professional situations (38.7%) and employers consider interpersonal skills to be important (17.8%). Only 1% of students selected the option “other reasons,” specifying that teamwork provides new skills that students can implement in their future careers. Students who do not see teamwork as relevant for their future careers argue that translators usually work individually (7.3%). Just 2.1% of students opted for the option “other reasons,” claiming that teamwork is not an essential skill for translation careers and that teamwork in an academic environment is totally different to teamwork in a work environment. According to this information, we can establish that the relevance of teamwork in students’ future careers is one of the reasons why 45.5% of the sample prefers to combine both individual and teamwork during their translator training studies (see question 2).

4. Conclusions

Taking into account the theoretical framework described in this paper we can conclude that, after the reforms arising from the EHEA, interpersonal competence constitutes one of the major general competences in higher education, especially in Translation. Recent research9 shows that Translation is increasingly becoming a team activity, therefore introducing team work in translator training will allow students to develop a demanded generic competence and to experience professional situations. Considering both the theoretical frame described and the results obtained in our preliminary survey, we can state that collaborative learning, and interpersonal competence itself, do not develop exclusively by working together in a team, but they require students be aware of the reasons why they are working together and the results they intend to achieve in the team. Our study shows that a high percentage of students (45.5%) are aware of the importance of interpersonal competence in their translation training. This awareness may be reflected in the fact that they declare preference to combine individual work with teamwork. It might seem surprising that even though 100% of students claim to have worked in a team previously, 85.9% of them have never received any training on teamwork. However, we need to bear in mind that (a) our paper deals with education in a university context and (b) the fact that vocational transferable skills like teamwork training are considerably new arrivals in the university curriculum. Our study reveals that to be able to work collaboratively, students need some training on how to work as a team as well as some support and follow-up by their teachers. In general, there are no sessions about how to work in a team and how to tackle the problems caused by this learning method, therefore we believe that such training should take place. Whereas most students (96.9%) perceive the numerous advantages of teamwork, 100% also underline some of its disadvantages. Our research also shows the relevance of interpersonal competence as a transferable skill, useful in activities other than translation. Taking into consideration the preliminary results obtained in our survey we can state that collaborative learning is considerably beneficial for students.


Sample of the relevant section of the questionnaire (in Spanish)


  • ¿Qué es para ti el ‘trabajo en grupo’ en el aula de traducción? (rodea una sola respuesta).
    • Trabajo colaborativo entre un grupo de alumnos para conseguir una finalidad (una traducción o tarea), siempre respetando las opiniones de los demás compañeros.
    • Trabajo coordinado en equipo en el que los estudiantes se organizan el trabajo de forma autónoma siguiendo unas pautas.
    • Trabajo descoordinado entre varios estudiantes.
    • Otro (especificar):
  • ¿Prefieres trabajar individualmente o en grupo? (rodea una sola respuesta).

a) Individualmente           b) En grupo            c) Ambos              

2A. Si has respondido ‘a’ o ‘c’,  indica por qué prefieres trabajar individualmente (rodea una o varias respuestas).

  • Para poder organizar el tiempo como desee     d) Para evitar discusiones con otros compañeros
  • Mi motivación es mayor                                  e) Para tomar y aplicar mis propias decisiones
  • Para adquirir más práctica                               f) Otra (especificar):

2B. Si has respondido ‘b’ o ‘c’ en la pregunta 5, indica por qué prefieres trabajar en grupo (rodea una o varias respuestas).

  • La ayuda de otros compañeros es necesaria              d) Es importante de cara al futuro laboral
  • Resulta más eficaz                                                   e) Otra (especificar):
  • Los resultados suelen ser buenos si los miembros se compaginan bien    
  • ¿Has trabajado en grupo hasta el momento durante la licenciatura y/o fuera de la facultad? (rodea una sola respuesta).

a) Sí            b) No

3A. En caso afirmativo, indica cuándo y especifica la(s) asignatura(s) (rodea una o varias respuestas).

  • En 1º (asignatura(s)):                           c) En 3º (asignatura(s)):

                                                                             d) En 4º (asignatura(s)):

  • En 2º (asignatura(s)):                           e) Fuera de la facultad (especificar):
  • ¿Has recibido alguna formación en la facultad sobre el trabajo en grupo? (rodea una sola respuesta).

a) Sí            b) No

4A. En caso afirmativo, indica de qué tipo (rodea una o varias respuestas).

  • Clase introductoria específica sobre cómo trabajar en grupo           c) Otra (especificar):
  • Recomendaciones y/o sugerencias a lo largo del curso                 
  • ¿Crees que el trabajo en grupo ofrece ventajas? (rodea una sola respuesta).

a) Sí            b) No

5A. En caso afirmativo, indica cuáles (rodea una o varias respuestas).

  • Aprendes nuevas formas de trabajar               h) Generación y diversidad de ideas
  • Preparación para el futuro laboral          i) Aprendes a argumentar decisiones
  • Interacción con otras personas              j) Aprendes a organizarte y coordinarte
  • Resulta más eficiente                                     k) Es una competencia transversal*
  • Fomenta la tolerancia                                     l) Se asume una responsabilidad compartida
  • Fomenta la confianza en los compañeros          m) Resolución de problemas y conflictos
  • Resulta más ameno                              n) Otras (especificar)
  • ¿Crees que el trabajo en grupo conlleva algunos inconvenientes? (rodea una sola respuesta)

a) Sí            b) No

6A. En caso afirmativo, indica cuáles (rodea una o varias respuestas).

  • Desemboca en una falta de práctica                h) Requiere una coordinación entre estudiantes
  • La traducción se realiza por partes                  i) A veces no estás de acuerdo con la traducción
  • Unos estudiantes trabajan más que otros             consensuada
  • Algunos estudiantes no realizan su trabajo       j) Pérdida de tiempo
  • Dificultad para reunirse todos al mismo tiempo k)Las relaciones interpersonales* son complicadas
  • En ocasiones no se trabaja como grupo           l) Falta de confianza entre los miembros del grupo
  • Transcurre bastante tiempo hasta que se trabaja nuevamente en grupo   m) Otros (especificar):
  • ¿Te motiva trabajar en grupo? (rodea una sola respuesta).

a) Mucho      b) Bastante            c) Un poco             d) Nada

7A. En caso afirmativo, ‘a’, ‘b’ o ‘c’, indica por qué (rodea una o varias respuestas).

  • Permite conocer a otros compañeros               d) Me proporciona seguridad
  • Se adquiere una responsabilidad compartida    e) Otro (especificar):
  • Me divierto trabajando en grupo  

7B. En caso negativo, ‘d’, indica por qué (rodea una o varias respuestas).

  • No lo considero interesante                   c) Lo hago por obligación
  • En ocasiones no funciona             d) Otro (especificar):
  • ¿Consideras que el trabajo en grupo es importante para tu futuro laboral? (rodea una sola respuesta).

a) Sí            b) No          

8A. En caso afirmativo, indica por qué (rodea una o varias respuestas).

  • Refleja el realismo profesional              c) En cualquier trabajo debes relacionarte con tus compañeros
  • Los empresarios lo valoran          d) Otro (especificar):

8B. En caso negativo, indica por qué.
a) Porque normalmente un traductor/intérprete trabaja individualmente         b) Otro (especificar):

Si en la PREGUNTA 3 has respondido ‘b) No’, puedes entregar el cuestionario. De lo contrario, por favor continúa rellenándolo.

  • Campbell, Stuart (1998). Translation into the Second Language. London and New York: Longman.
  • Declaración conjunta de los ministros europeos de educación reunidos en Bolonia el 19 de junio de 1999. (consulted 03.01.2011).
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Elsa Huerta Barros pictureI graduated in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Granada. I also took a Masters in this subject and I am currently completing a PhD in Translation. I am a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster. My main research interests include Didactics of Translation, collaborative work and translator training. My PhD analyses interpersonal competence through collaborative learning in the translation classroom during the first educational period in Translation Studies.

Elsa Huertas Barros:

Note 1:
The first two years of a 4-year degree course.
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Note 2:
My translation from the original quotation: “Macrocompetencia que constituye el conjunto de capacidades, destrezas, conocimientos e incluso actitudes que reúnen los traductores profesionales y que intervienen en la traducción como actividad experta.”
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Note 3:
My translation from the original quotation: “Empleo didáctico de grupos reducidos en los que los alumnos trabajan juntos para maximizar su propio aprendizaje y el de los demás.”
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Note 4:
Our questionnaire contained six blocks regarding several areas related to teamwork. These blocks included the following sections: a) students’ profile, b) students’ general conceptions on teamwork, c) creation and organization of teams, d) implementation of teams, e) evaluation of teamwork f) feedback provided to the team members. Due to time limitation, our paper will only focus on students’ general conceptions on teamwork during the first training stage of translator training.
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Note 5:
Universidad de Granada (UGR), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Universidad Pablo Olavide (UPO), Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio (UAX) and Universitat Jaume I (UJI).
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Note 6:
Four students attended the first focus group and two students attended the second focus group.
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Note 7:
Six teachers attended the first focus group and four teachers attended the second focus group.
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Note 8:
The sum of the total percentages corresponding to the main questions totals 100%, since these questions only allow one possible response. However, all the percentages arising from the main questions (sub-questions) allow multiple choices and that is why each response becomes an independent item measured from 0 to 100%. For this reason, the sum of most of the responses exceeds 100%. This is applied to all the sub-questions in the preliminary survey.
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Note 9:
Huertas Barros (forthcoming), Hurtado Albir (2007), Klimkowski (2006), Kelly (2005) and Kiraly (2000, 2003) among others.
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