IO2 Short summary: Transferable Training Scheme for Trainers and Trainees

The competence model, constructed in the framework of IO1 for specialised translators and designed in terms of learning outcomes, was regarded as the basis for the training scheme, which is expected to serve as a transferable model for other institutions with similar study programmes. We drew up the scheme with heavy reliance on the knowledge triangle involving the needs of trainees, the expertise of trainers and the most relevant changes of the translation market. We attempted to compile a scheme that is hoped to offer a sufficient number of building blocks for curriculum-designers to plan their own scheme customized to their local needs.

The individual requirements of the above three stakeholders had already been taken into account when designing the competence framework. In IO1, the latest research findings of EUATC, EMT, and CIUTI were examined[1], and during the first part of IO2 two different SWOT-analyses[2] were conducted in order to represent both the European perspective and the national one.

The first SWOT analysis (Annex 1: SWOT – European Perspective) was carried out by UniVie via desktop research and it examines best practices in translator training programmes in order to identify how the curricula correspond with the demand of the labour market.  The other SWOT, (Annex 2: SWOT – Hungarian Perspective) based on a survey and a set of interviews conducted by BME, involved 12 Hungarian translator training institutions and did not only generate valuable material for eTransFair, but also for all 12 universities involved (see summary in [in print] Hilóczki, Á. (ed.) Fókuszban a fordítás értékelése. [Translation Assessment in Focus]. Conference Proceedings of BME-TFK’s Autumn Conference held on 28-29 September 2017 in Budapest.)[3]

The eTransFair training scheme has been compiled in line with the requirements set out in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and also with the National Qualification Framework (NQF) elaborated for each EU member country[4].

Annex 3 (Transferable Training Scheme: Competences and Subjects Matrix) and Annex 4 (Transferable Training Scheme: Competences, Subjects and Specific Skills Matrix) of IO2 have been designed to reflect the major findings of IO1 and therefore attempted to feature elements (modules) that are hoped to enhance trainees’ employability on the market. The major focal points highlighted in the scheme will be reflected by the content of the seven e-modules[5] to be worked out in IO3, which will be made available to the institutions wishing to be involved in the piloting of eTransFair’s new scheme.

Both Annex 3 (Transferable Training Scheme: Competences and Subjects Matrix) and Annex 4 (Transferable Training Scheme: Competences, Subjects and Specific Skills Matrix) display the modules identified prior to BME’s accreditation procedure in 2016[W1]  as, due to the lengthy administrative procedures that the relevant Hungarian regulations require, one preliminary version of the scheme had to be submitted at an early phase of the project. The training scheme accredited in Hungary in this initial phase therefore does not contain all the modules that were eventually identified in IO1 and which eTransfair recommends as the relevant building blocks of an ideal training scheme potentially transferable to other countries as well. Once the e-modules of IO3 are ready, however, they will be incorporated into the current scheme, and a new accreditation procedure for a full e-learning course will be launched with the new projects results built in. Since all the outcomes of eTransFair have been designed to be monitored to make sure that new developments and market tendencies are reflected in our products, the training scheme is expected to undergo further fine-tuning and modification not only during the term of the project (2016-2019) but also after the project cycle has been terminated.

Annex 3 (Transferable Training Scheme: Competences and Subjects Matrix) sets out from eTransFair’s main result, the competence profile devised for specialised translators. This table shows the competences broken down into knowledge, skills and attitude and matched with a more fine-tuned alignment to the potential subjects also listed in Annex 4. Column 2 of this table gives a more detailed guidance as to which e-module is recommended for the development of each sub-competence. In red, we have added the newly indentified (extra) subjects for which a separate e-module will be elaborated in IO3, and each of which is likely to feature in an amended accreditation (for BME’s full-time e-learning course)[6] as an independent subject. Note: transferability basically refers to a high degree of flexibility and means that any institution wishing to adopt this scheme may decide to offer this module as a separate one, but may as well choose to incorporate this module into any professional/market-related subject such as Specialized Translation and Terminology, or any other subject. The term transferability (referring to “applicability in other contexts”) presupposes a relative freedom that institutions can have in adopting the modules in a customized fashion to suit their (local/regional) needs and to match their own curricula in the most optimal way possible.

Annex 4 (Transferable Training Scheme: Competences, Subjects and Specific Skills Matrix) indicates a list of the competence areas identified in IO1 as an ideal profile for specialised translators (eTransFair Competence Card of IO1) and the subjects that could be potentially matched with those competences. Column 1 shows the individual competences, column 2 a tentative title for the subjects in the framework of which a given competence can be developed, column 3 shows the number of European credit units (indicated according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)). Column 4 demonstrates the ideal timing of the subjects relative to the study period (in which semester it is most optimal to introduce) while column 5 displays the number of lessons assigned per week for each semester. Column 6 gives a detailed description as to what specific skills need to be developed to achieve the desired learning outcomes; and the last column of the table, column 7, includes a recommendation whether a particular course should be mandatory, or optional.

The training scheme has been designed for a study period of 3 semesters, where trainees need to collect a total of 90 credits (ECTS). As for the required entrance conditions, there will be no recommendations made by virtue of the fact that the entrance language proficiency requirements and other prerequisites differ considerably across the board – as reflected by both SWOT analyses - and therefore regional and local factors and conditions may result in different criteria for the candidates. 

The first accreditation of BME’s Training Scheme – a pilot scheme

BME’s MGT (blended) course[7] accredited on the basis of the preliminary findings of eTransfair follows the recommended timeframe (3 semesters) and prescribes the collection of 90 credits in total.

Entrance requirements: applicants need to hold a bachelor or masters degree in any field of study and they need to pass a written and an oral test to be enrolled for the course. BME does not specify the need for the applicant to hold a language proficiency certificate, the examination board will decide whether the applicant’s proficiency is at least B2+ level or above. (In general, translator and interpreter training institutions do not offer language courses but BME differs in this respect and therefore this course contains a relatively high number of language development classes in all three semesters where there is a special focus on the improvement of domain-specific vocabulary.

BME’s students are now given an opportunity to test themselves in a real-life setting in the framework of the mentoring scheme. The details of the past two years’ mentoring schemes, (each with a different programme and focus) are available in Annex 5 (Enhancing Employability 1: a Model Mentoring Scheme) and Annex 6 (Enhancing Employability 2: Trainees Meet Professionals) – the latter offers a description of other activities pursued by BME TFK to involve market players in our training scheme.

Annex 7 (Soft Skills) of IO2 offers a revised list of soft skills (generic skills) compiled by the project partners during the “train the trainer” event in Madrid.

Comments – further elements of transferability:

  • As it has been highlighted elsewhere in the document, BME is not a member of the EMT network, and therefore does not take language proficiency for granted. To make sure student reach the required language proficiency level (minimum C1), we offer a fair number of language development courses (including both L1 and L2) with focus on all four skills.
  • Under the heading “thematic background studies”, we offer, amongst others, terminology work in the field of law, economics, technology, social sciences and the European Union, but this module can be filled by other domain-specific content according to the institution’s needs.
  • Research does not feature heavily in the competence card developed in the framework of IO1, although some universities (especially those of the EMT-network) put a large emphasis on this module (see IO2’s Annex 1) while others, UniVie and BME focus on market-specific competences and on developing a sound knowledge and development of specialised vocabulary 

Further outcomes of IO2:

  • One additional project result could be a study-abroad exchange programme (those with Hungarian “C”[8] from UniVie could spend a semester at BME, while the latter’s (full-time GMEU, see. Note 6) students with German “B”[9] could go there for one semester.

Annexes to IO2:

Annex 1: SWOT – European Perspective

Annex 2: SWOT – National (Hungarian) Perspective

Annex 3: Transferable Training Scheme: Competences and Subjects Matrix

Annex 4: Transferable Training Scheme: Competences, Subjects and Specific Skills Matrix

Annex 5: Enhancing Employability 1: Model Mentoring Scheme

Annex 6: Enhancing Employability 2: Trainees Meet Professionals

Annex 7: Soft Skills

[1] eTransFair’s Competence Card for Specialised Translators does not seek to replace the EMT Competence Model, it wishes to further specify the competences necessary for a specific group of professionals: specialised translators.

[2] In the application, only one SWOT was planned, so this can be considered an extra outcome of the project with a high degree of added value.

[3] This is one of the first results for IO4, Pool of Assessment Techniques (PAT).

[4] The terms competence, skill, knowledge, attitude and learning outcomes are used in IO1 in accordance with the European Qualifications Framework.

[5] The seven e-modules of IO3 have been identified as follows: Terminology, Revision and Review, Localisation, Technological competence, Quality management, Entrepreneurial skills, Project management - and they hope to provide up-to-date theoretical and practical learning material for trainers and trainees alike.

[6] The scheme has been accredited for a blended course for part-time students of translation referred to as MGT. BME also has a new full-time course accredited (GMEU course - abbreviating Gazdasági, Műszaki és Európai Uniós szakfordító [specialisation in economic, technical and European Union domains], which already features some of the elements identified in IO1, and it offers separate subjects for localisation, project management, project work (to focus on collaborative assignments to simulate a translation office environment) and a 3-month internship period which is hoped to combine all elements and improve all competences.

[7] The subjects of the MGT (blended) course are listed in column 4 of Annex 3 and column 2 of Annex 4.

[8] C language: a third working language

[9] B language: a second working language