Integrating audio description in undergraduate foreign-language and translation/interpreting classes
Conference name
Congreso Internacional sobre Trasvases Culturales. Traducción y Representación de la Identidad en los Textos Multilingües
This paper aims to show how today's Audio Description (AD) to make films accessible to blind and visually impaired people can be used to enrich foreign-language as well as translation and interpreting classes and enhance students' skill sets, while also imparting knowledge required in professional AD practice to equip them for jobs in this increasingly sought-after domain. It is based on a number of workshops at a German College of Translation & Interpreting Studies, which we introduced as AD has now become an integral part of audiovisual translation theory. We will start by introducing stimulating media-based AD exercises meant to increase students' awareness of succinctness, enrich their vocabulary, and enhance their use of non-finite lexical structures. The subsequent examples will allow us to demonstrate, e.g., how theoretical aspects of translation studies, such as as cultural mediation, can be extended to AD, and how live description can improve simultaneous interpretation practice. This reflect the progression from simpler to more complex tasks in our 3-year undergraduate programme as well as the current addition of cinematic and narrative AD to erstwhile strictly denotative AD to allow for an immersive media experience.

While validation of our impressions of the workshops by a comprehensive study is still pending, we expect our favourable assessment of AD-related experiential learning to be largely corroborated. In foreign-language classrooms we encountered heightened motivation, a focused goal-oriented approach, and self-directed group learning, which we hypothesise will enhance listening, writing, and speaking skills. In translation and interpreting contexts we expect positive results as far as the students' linguistic and extra-linguistic competencies are concerned, their instrumental and problem-solving skills, as well as strategy- and transfer-based decision-making powers.
Submitted by Irene Tor on Sun, 06/10/2019 - 22:37