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ERIC Number: EJ887105
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0005-3503
Translation: Towards a Critical-Functional Approach
Sadeghi, Sima; Ketabi, Saeed
Babel, v44 n3 p4-13 May 2010
The controversy over the place of translation in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is a thriving field of inquiry. Many older language teaching methodologies such as the Direct Method, the Audio-lingual Method, and Natural and Communicative Approaches, tended to either neglect the role of translation, or prohibit it entirely as a hindrance to second/foreign language learning. Over the flux of the last decennia, English Language Teaching (ELT) seems to have matured enough to have moved from the "either or" debate to an acceptance of a "both and" approach which includes translation. This has led to a reassessment of the role of translation as an invaluable and legitimate pedagogical tool if used judiciously and at appropriate times. However, the use of translation should not be associated with the old-fashioned Grammar-Translation Method. Taking into account the undeniable role of English as a global lingua franca and the issue of linguistic imperialism, we propose a Critical-Functional Approach to translation which harnesses students' general literacy: learners and teacher become aware of inherent language complexity as well as hidden aspects of text. This model draws on postmodernist, poststructuralist, feminist, and critical approaches to literacy and advocates replacing traditional translation, based on mere copy and imitation of an original text, with a more provocative model that engages learners not only in examining the structure, style, and vocabulary, but in interrogating text language, discourse, and subjectivity. By questioning the separation between author, reader, and translator, Critical-Functional Translation places an emphasis on recognising and resisting ideological contradiction, cultural difference, and social conflict. This approach has obvious applications to other second/foreign language teaching and learning contexts. (Contains 1 table.)
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail:; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A