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ERIC Number: EJ1098698
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-1539-0578
(Re)Defining Translation in EFL Classrooms: Comments on Sakurai (2015)
Quiñones-Guerra, Víctor R.
Reading in a Foreign Language, v28 n1 p155-157 Apr 2016
Nobuko Sakurai (2015) presents insightful research results that help educators better understand the impact of translation as it limits reading quantity, reading comprehension, and reading rate in an extensive reading (ER) program. Overall, the results of the study encourage educators to restrict translation as a means of obtaining better results when using ER. Víctor Quiñones-Guerra points out two controversial issues raised in this study that are redefining how students should be taught to read in English: (a) the influence of the ever-growing discourse of grammar-translation as an outdated and ineffective method and (b) the role of the first language (L1) in the English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) classroom. These views are explained by the context of Sakurai's research, where policy is the driving force that is redefining EFL practices in schools throughout Japan, moving toward communicative instruction. To an even greater extent, the study reinforces the notion that the grammar-translation method is ineffective, and consequently, it portrays the debilitating effect of referencing the L1 in the learning process. Quiñones-Guerra argues that what should not be lost is that not all forms of translation imply the practice of the grammar-translation method. Furthermore, use of the L1 can enhance the learning of the target language. Translation or skills-based learning have been found to be as effective as (extensive reading) ER, where both have the potential to produce positive results in the incidental learning of English (Lee, Schallert, & Kim, 2015; Robb & Susser, 1989).
Reading in a Foreign Language. National Foreign Language Resource Center, 1859 East-West Road #106, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A