Critical Analysis of Translation Tests in 18 Specialized Translation Courses for Undergraduate Students

European Journal of Education and Pedagogy, Vol. 2, Issue 3, 2021

7 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2021

Date Written: June 10, 2021

Abstract

The present study aimed to describe and evaluate the current assessment practices prevalent in the different translation courses offered at the College of Languages and Translation (COLT). A sample of specialized translation final exams in 18 translation subject areas was collected. Each final exam was analyzed in terms of the following: (1) # of English and Arabic source texts included on each final exam for each course (2) readability and difficulty level of texts included in the translation exams, (3) # of exams with a terminology subtest, (4) English and Arabic text length in words, (5) reliability, validity and discriminating power of final exams. Data analysis showed that 50% of the exams included one English text, 32% included 2 texts and 18% included 3 texts. Arabic texts were included in 73% of the exams. However, 59% of the exams included one Arabic text, 9% included two texts and 5% included 3 texts. In Addition to English and Arabic texts, 56% of the exams included a vocabulary subtest. 41% do not have any Arabic texts. The English text length ranged between 66-430 words with a median length of 181 words. The Arabic text length ranged between 26-180 with a median length of 97. The typical Flesch Reading Ease of English texts was 40 and the typical Flesch-Kincaid Grade level score was 11. There were no significant differences among the different college levels nor different subject areas in text length or text difficulty level. Translation exams currently used at COLT lack validity, reliability, and discriminating power. Some reasons for lack of reliability and validity are given. Students’ views on translation exams are also reported. A model for more valid, reliable, and discriminating translation exams is given with students views of it as well.

Keywords: translation assessment, translation test content analysis, translation test discrimination test power, translation test reliability and validity

JEL Classification: https://www.ej-edu.org/index.php/ejedu

Suggested Citation

Al-Jarf, Reima, Critical Analysis of Translation Tests in 18 Specialized Translation Courses for Undergraduate Students (June 10, 2021). European Journal of Education and Pedagogy, Vol. 2, Issue 3, 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3864952

Reima Al-Jarf (Contact Author)

King Saud University ( email )

P.O. Box 2460
Riyadh, 11451
Saudi Arabia

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