Integrating Mentees in Mentoring Activities

Integrating Mentees in Mentoring Activities

El-Hussein A. Y. Aly (Helwan University, Egypt)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4050-2.ch010

Abstract

This chapter investigates the effect of integrating mentees in mentors' activities. After introducing a new curriculum followed by induction and mentoring program, few instructors were not able to cope with the change. They were invited to join a study on the effect of mentoring. Out of a list of 13 instructors, 8 were selected and assigned randomly to control and experimental groups. The experimental group were asked to join their mentors and participate in some mentoring activities. That experience allowed them to reflect upon their performance and improve their classroom practices. Post-test classroom observations indicated a statistically significant change in the experimental group's classroom practices. To confirm the results, semi-structured interviews were conducted with the four teachers of the experimental group. Both qualitative and quantitative data analyses confirm the hypothesis, and attract more attention to the intricate relationship between mentors and mentees.
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Introduction

In 2014, the translation section of the School of Continuing Education of the American University in Cairo re-designed its translation diploma. The new curriculum has been competence-based and workplace-oriented. It identifies, classifies and hierarchizes the skills which are required to start and maintain a career in translation. Following market-oriented models of translation competence, PACTE (2003, 2005) and EMT (2009), the new curriculum features a classification of translation skills under three categories: General Competence, Translation Production Competence, and Translation Provision Competence. General competence includes linguistic and intercultural competence, ability to use hard and soft copy resources, general background knowledge, and specialist knowledge of the subject matter of the source text. Translation production competence includes ability to perform language transfer, ability to deal with different texts, knowledge and awareness of the various translation issues and theories, and ability to produce a target text that serves a particular purpose. Translation provision competence includes ability to maintain both quality and productivity, ability to establish and maintain professional relations with people of diverse backgrounds, ability to work collaboratively, awareness of quality control mechanisms in the market, and ability to conform to translators’ ethical obligations etc. (Aly, 2015).

It has been decided that many of these skills should be taught in an environment which resembles the market. For example, collaborative work should be taught through group work assignments. Accordingly, the new curriculum has required a methodology based upon flipped classrooms, pair and group work, task-based learning, and continuous individualized feedback. It has been stressed that rather than asking students to translate in the class, students should work at home and come to the class to carry out a translation task. Examples of translation tasks include comparing, as a group member, between two translations and produce a translation critique, revising a translation produced by a peer, inserting a picture in a translated text and re-translating accordingly etc. Students have been asked to read theories, check references, and translate at home. In class, they carry out pair and group tasks and receive feedback which helps them improve. The roles of class, instructor and students have changed significantly. The class is no longer a place where knowledgeable teachers pass their knowledge to students; it becomes a place where students meet to learn together, from and with an instructor. The teacher observes, engages and evaluates students rather than lectures. The students are active learners who test and apply their knowledge rather than passive learners who just listen without interaction.

The introduction of the new curriculum was not unchallenging for a number of reasons. First of all, the old curriculum was completely different from the new one as it employed a linguistic approach to translation and used mainly a one-way teaching method. It was not only the methodology which was new, but also how translation should be approached and assessed. Secondly, the old curriculum was over ten years old and most of the instructors used to teach the same courses and use the same approach, and so any change would most likely take them out of their comfort zone. Similarly, the students liked the translation lectures and found them less stressful than interaction. It was believed much of the value of the course constituted the knowledge and generic practical tips passed to students by teachers.

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