Publication details [#11985]

Stibbard, Richard. 1998. The principled use of oral translation in foreign language teaching. In Malmkjær, Kirsten, ed. Translation and language teaching / Language teaching and translation. Manchester: St. Jerome. pp. 69–76.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
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Target language


In the current article the author seeks to continue the debate started by editors such as Keith and Mason and Krawutschka on the role of translation in the foreign language classroom. He argues that the first language can be a valuable resource and that there is evidence to show that its use in EFL settings is not detrimental to foreign language development. At the same time the author sounds a caution that such translation must be grounded in a sound understanding of the principles which should underlie all translation activity. If there is no such understanding of the many factors which influence the translation process, then translation cannot be a useful pedagogical tool. The author refers in particular to the case of Hong Kong where the fluid mix of Cantonese and English in daily conversation makes translation a particularly natural activity. As Cantonese, the language of some 98% of the population, is primarily a spoken dialect which differs greatly from Putongha (Mandarin Chinese) as well as from Modern Standard (written) Chinese, the author limits his discussion to the use of translation of conversational speech between Cantonese and English.
Source : Based on abstract in book