Asociación Argentina de Traductores

AATT - Asociación Argentina de Traductores Técnico-Científicos

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Translation at Primary School

By Freshmen of Traductorado Técnico-Científico

English teachers at Primary School should aim at enabling the children to produce and understand English at elementary level. This is done by familiarising them with basic vocabulary and structure.

Students at Primary School are in contact with English all the time, for example, through the clothes they wear, through TV programmes, through names of shops and the like. Children even ask you the meaning of some words or phrases on their T-shirts or how they can tell their own names in English.

Some students have knowledge of English, but others do not. So there are generally students that know more English than others. There are also cases where no students know anything. In the former, the English teacher should ask the more advanced students to help with the others or he/she can separate the class in two groups. The teacher should use games, songs, cards, photographs, texts and workbooks for Primary School. In fact, CD-ROMs and videos are great, but at state schools they are difficult to use because those do not have that kind of material.

Translation at Primary School is necessary but not always, since the vocabulary that the teacher uses is in general easy. May be sometimes, when it is about a word you cannot draw, show or explain in English. Teachers should make an effort to talk in English always, because they must familiarise the students with the language.

Some advisable translation activities are songs and poems for students to reproduce in Spanish. Teachers should tell students that translation is not about word for word. For example, when they teach them: How old are you? The teacher must demonstrate that we use: ¿Cuántos años tenés? and not: ¿Cuán viejo eres?. Teachers can evaluate translation skills when students are able to express the idea in their own language.

English teachers should make possible that the students take interest in the language. In fact, most of the students are interested in learning English, but teachers must insist that English is very necessary for daily life and, of course, for their future because this important language is used commercially and internationally.

Our conclusions are that English is so important that it should be taught form Kindergarten to make learning easier.the honour of speaking on behalf of my classmates and friends, and myself. This is one of the most special and happiest days of our lives because we have achieved the goal that we had many years ago: becoming a translator. This implied increasing our knowledge of the Spanish language, extending our knowledge of the English language and acquiring the necessary theoretical frame to develop and improve translation techniques.