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Some Challenges in Using Computer-Aided Translation Tools to Facilitate Second Language Fluency in Education

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: At every level of education, from early years to postgraduate, students can arrive in the UK (or US) classroom with little or no English language ability. It is impossible for teachers to have knowledge of every first language that students bring into the classroom and thus they may rely on a computer-aided translation tool so that their students can have access to the English needed in all subjects across the curriculum. At the same time, students need to move from basic English skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing towards the subtleties of academic English which they must achieve in order to reach the UK government’s required standards in English at every level of assessment. Using her extensive knowledge of the challenges that students learning English as an Additional Language (EAL) and their teachers face in the classroom situation and the English needed in assessments, the author examines possible benefits of computer-aided translation tools such as Google Translate and Talking Pen and outlines some of the problems and drawbacks with such tools that create barriers to acquiring full academic fluency, thus posing challenges to future translation tool developers.

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