Research team

Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies (TricS)

Expertise

Expertise in Translation Studies, in particular: translation revision, translation tools, live subtitling, French as a second language (writing), translation process research

When accessibility meets multimedia learning: Effect of intralingual live subtitling on perception, performance and cognitive load in an EMI university lecture. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

One of the main challenges in higher education in the 21st century is providing educational access to an increasingly multilingual and multicultural student population. Many universities are therefore considering using English as language of instruction (EMI), but students' limited proficiency in English can be a serious drawback. Live subtitling might help to overcome this language barrier, by removing physical (auditory) and linguistic barriers at the same time. The aim of this research project is therefore to investigate (1) how university students in Flanders perceive EMI lectures with intralingual live subtitles, i.e. lectures for which the words of the lecturer are subtitled in real time in the same language (English), (2) whether these subtitles influence their performance, and (3) what impact these subtitles have on their cognitive load. We will compare two different production methods of subtitling: (1) respeaking and (2) trained automatic speech recognition. We will also compare two different projection methods: (1) subtitles in a block of 2 lines underneath the PowerPoint of the lecturer, and (2) scrolling subtitles on a separate screen. We will investigate the impact of subtitling on perception, performance and cognitive load among two student groups: (1) students who study English as a major, and (2) students who do not study English. Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected during real lectures using online questionnaires and eye tracking glasses.

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Research team(s)

Subtitles for access to education: Exploring the impact of intralingual and interlingual subtitling of L2 English university lectures on cognitive load and comprehension. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

This research project focuses on the subtitling of lectures taught in L2 English, more specifically on how subtitling influences student comprehension of lectures and on what mental effort that subtitling requires from students. This topic is inspired by one of the greatest challenges in higher education in the 21st century: providing educational access to an increasingly multilingual and multicultural student population. To face this challenge, many European universities are considering the possibility of using English as the language of instruction. Yet, a serious drawback to the use of English is many students' limited proficiency in English as a foreign language (L2 English). Subtitling might help to overcome the language barriers posed by L2 English, since it has shown to facilitate comprehension and knowledge acquisition. However, there are currently several knowledge gaps regarding the effects of subtitles on the processing and comprehension of lectures taught in L2 English. We will address the four most relevant knowledge gaps here. First, the potential benefits of subtitles have been studied mainly in the context of foreign language training, with very little research into benefits of using subtitling in other learning contexts. Second, very few studies on the processing of subtitles have measured to what extent subtitles are actually read, which is vital to understanding how subtitled lectures are processed. Third, it is crucial to know - for learning purposes - to what extent subtitles influence the mental effort (i.e., cognitive load) it takes to process subtitling. However, very few studies have measured the cognitive load that subtitling imposes on learners. Fourth, the effects of subtitled English lectures have been examined in students with a high command of English and who have had English as their main language of instruction in primary and secondary education. However, the effects on other types of students remain unknown. In this research project, we aim to address these four knowledge gaps in a controlled setting by conducting an experimental study among Flemish undergraduate students with different levels of proficiency in English. All students will watch three lectures taught in English: one lecture without subtitling, one lecture with English subtitles (intralingual subtitling) and one lecture with Dutch subtitles (interlingual subtitling). Students' eye-movements will be registered using eyetracking. As part of the experiment, the students will fill out post hoc comprehension tests and questionnaires about the cognitive load they experienced. We will conduct statistical analyses to explore if student comprehension and cognitive load of English lectures are influenced by subtitling (present vs. not present), subtitle language (English vs. Dutch) and the students' level of English proficiency (intermediate vs. advanced).

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Live subtitling for access to education: a pilot study of university students' reception of intralingual live subtitles. 01/07/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

In the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, accessibility to education is mentioned as one of the areas where access has to be ensured. At the University of Antwerp, accessibility services are offered to individual students with a functional impairment; however, the offer does not include the use of new technologies yet, which hold a real potential for breaking down linguistic, physical as well as cultural barriers for a large and diverse student body. One such innovative technology is live subtitling, which can make lectures in large lecture rooms more accessible to all students who attend the class: not only deaf and hard of hearing students, but also students whose mother tongue is not the language of the lecture. The aim of this study is therefore to initiate research into the reception of intralingual live subtitles in an educational setting in Flanders, and in particular, to focus on the reception of intralingual live subtitles by first-year students attending a theoretical lecture in Dutch in a large lecture room. As far as the methodology is concerned, we will opt for a mixed-methods approach: an experiment and focus group discussions. The experiment will consist of two lectures in Translation Studies in Dutch, with and without intralingual live subtitles, attended by 150-200 1st-year students in Applied Linguistics. Student reception of the subtitles (perception and performance) will be investigated through an online questionnaire. Two focus group discussions will allow for the collection of additional qualitative data over perception.

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Research team(s)

Stylistic appropriateness in English as a foreign language: The acquisition of grammatical formality by translation trainees. 01/07/2018 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

An important component of communicative competence is sociolinguistic competence, which is the ability to use language appropriately in communication. Despite an increasing body of research into sociolinguistic features of foreign language (L2) learning, a feature that has received relatively little and/or one-sided treatment to date is the acquisition of sensitivity to (in)formal language use in L2 learners. This project addresses that gap by investigating sensitivity to grammatical formality in L2 learners of English. By using both quantitative and qualitative data, we will map – cross-sectionally and longitudinally – the acquisition of sensitivity to grammatical formality.Quantitative data from an online revision task and qualitative data from semi-structured interviews will be integrated to acquire a more nuanced understanding of how sensitivity to grammatical formality is acquired in L2 learners of English. The results will contribute to a better understanding of how sociolinguistic competence develops in L2 learners and to facilitating sociolinguistically responsive foreign language instruction.

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Interlingual Live Subtitling for Access (ILSA). 01/09/2017 - 31/08/2020

Abstract

Internet, audiovisual media and digital technology are transforming our world. However, their potential will not be realised until they become fully accessible and enable the participation of all citizens in everyday life. Audiovisual translation and media accessibility have become drivers of social inclusion and integration and have lately received full recognition in the literature (Remael, Orero and Carroll 2012) and in EU-funded projects (DTV4ALL, ADLAB, HBB4ALL). In the area of subtitling for the deaf, a key priority for the users has always been to access live content such as news and public events (AOHL 2013). The preferred technique for this is respeaking, where subtitlers listen to the original soundtrack of a programme or public event and simultaneously repeat or rephrase what they hear to a speech recognition software that turns these words into intralingual subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers and for all people who support their viewing with subtitles. When respeaking was first introduced in Europe in 2001, subtitling companies needed professionals who could produce intralingual live subtitles but did not know how to go about it, since there was no academic training or research in this area. As a result, respeaking practices differ greatly across countries and quality has suffered (Romero-Fresco, 2011). Since then, the work carried out, amongst others, by the partners in this application as part of EU-funded projects such as DTV4ALL and SAVAS, has helped to advance research and training in this area, and the industry is now employing respeakers trained at our institutions. However, a new challenge has now emerged, as migration streams and the increased multilingual and multicultural composition of societies worldwide have led to a growing demand for accessibility to live audiovisual content and events conducted in a foreign language. Broadcasters such as the BBC and VRT and political institutions such as the UK and the Spanish Parliament have highlighted the need to find professionals who can produce interlingual live subtitles (ILS) through respeaking, a new discipline that will require translating, subtitling and simultaneous interpreting skills. Although the partners in this project are the only scholars in the world who have so far produced research on this new discipline (Szarkowska et. al 2016, Romero-Fresco and Pochhacker 2017, Remael and Robert, fc.), there is still no training available. The main objective of ILSA is to design (IO3), develop (IO4 and IO5), test (IO6) and validate (IO7) the first training course for ILS and to provide a protocol for the implementation of this discipline in three real-life scenarios, namely TV, the classroom and the Parliament (IO7). The curriculum and training materials will be flexible so that they can be integrated in different learning environments for the users and initial target group of the course: translation and interpreting graduate and postgraduate students, and professionals already working as respeakers, interpreters or more generally in translation and accessibility.

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Text production: the translator's writing competence unveiled 01/07/2015 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

Translation and writing are increasingly converging in the professional and educational fields, but it is unclear which competencies translators and writers actually share. This project examines how translation competence and writing competence are related, what writing competence of translators entails and how it is different from the writing competence of writers. The results can inspire a larger study on text-productive competence.

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Towards a model of translation revision competence 01/07/2014 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

Translation revision competence has scarcely been addressed as a research topic in translation studies and there is no well-developed model of translation revision competence. The aim of this project is to construct a translation revision competence model and to initiate its validation through an experimental pilot study. The results would subsequently be used as a starting point for a larger study (e.g., a PhD project) on revision competence.

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