Online Hypertext Translation Is Not Always Desirable: An Example for Lower Level EFL Students
Thursday, June 22 5:30 PM-6:30 PM Location: Edison D
Presider: Joyce Johnston, George Mason University, United States
Abstract: Filling out school application forms is a time-consuming mundane task that first-year Japanese EFL students wishing to study abroad must do. Online forms with helpful hypertext translations in Japanese streamlined the process saving valuable class time for the mainly lower-intermediate English level students. Thus, switching to online forms seemed an obvious improvement. However, after only two semesters the easy online interface was dropped to return to paper-based applications. Based on observations and semi-structured interviews, it appeared that simply filling out applications in English promoted teamwork and increased social bonds, and was a task that increased student's confidence in the target language (usually four or more students attend the same study-abroad school). What was a task to be completed as quickly as possible unexpectedly became a useful lesson that was fine tuned over subsequent years.