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Literary Translation in Education - EDU00092M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Clementine Beauvais
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
    • See module specification for other years: 2019-20

Module summary

This module will appeal to students interested in the roles of language, literature, literacy and intercultural competence in education. It is more widely relevant to anyone looking for fresh and creative approaches to education, or anyone with special interest in collaborative classroom practice.

Students opting for this module do NOT have to be bilingual, nor do they have to be able to read in another language than English.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

The module explores the uses of literary translation in education beyond the purposes of second-language acquisition. The translation of literary texts indeed requires juggling many different and often conflicting demands, calling for skills spanning intercultural competence, linguistic fluency, metalinguistic awareness, and, of course, a literary and aesthetic sensitivity.

The first part of the module introduces students to literary translation as a practice, and to the most important ways of theorising it. They work on their own literary translations, and learn to think of the practice critically. In the second part, students are invited to develop a workable literary translation workshop for classroom use, for various age ranges and with various purposes.

The module, firmly informed by contemporary research in the field, takes a resolutely practice-based, workshop-based, collaborative approach to literary translation, in accordance with cutting-edge scholarship in translation studies.  

Module learning outcomes

Indications in brackets refer to which PLOs of the MA Education the MLOs below are particularly attentive to.

Subject content

Students will be able to:

  • Translate a literary text into English and reflect critically upon their linguistic and aesthetic choices, with close reference to theoretical work on literary translation.
  • Plan and deliver a literary translation workshop, according to specific educational purposes. (PLOs 2, 3 and 4)
  • Understand and be familiar with sophisticated current scholarship on literary translation, especially as pertains to its educational uses. (PLO 1)

Academic and graduate skills

Students will develop their ability to :

  • Engage critically with creative practices and reflect on their own creative outputs as well as those of other people.
  • Organise and conduct a research-informed, practice-based session with purposes of their own choosing. (PLOs 2, 3 and 4)
  • Read complex texts of theory with an analytical mind, and an eye towards the potential practical applications. (PLO 1 and 6)
  • Speak in public and lead a seminar in a spirit of collaboration and exploration. (PLO 3)


Module content

Module outline session by session

Each session from 1-6 is divided into a discussion-based seminar, leaning on the theoretical reading, and a practice-based workshop where students are able to mobilise the skills and knowledge gained through the reading and discussion..


  1. Why do literary translation in education?

In this introductory session we explore what it means to translate a literary text, looking at fundamental aspects of translation theory. What is in excess, of semantics or literal meaning when we are dealing with a literary text? Consequently, what kinds of skills are mobilised by literary translation? Why might those skills be interesting and useful in educational contexts?


  1. Literary translation for intercultural competence

In this session we look at ways in which the practice of literary translation intersects with intercultural competence and cultural literacy. We think of literary translation in particular as a way to harness and value home and community languages in schools, and how children and young people can be positioned as expert speakers of their home languages and transmitters of their home cultures.


  1. Literary translation for aesthetic and literary education

In this session we turn to literary education and think of the ways in which literary translation can help cultivate an emergent sense of the literary in young learners, an understanding of genre and narrative structure, and a specific sensitivity to the aesthetics and poetics of text.


  1. Literary translation, visual literacy and orality

This session turns to the practice and theory of literary translation in multimodal contexts. We think of intersemiotic literary translation, with visual elements (e.g. picturebooks and comics), tales and folklore, and oral storytelling allowing for playful multilingualism. We focus, in the second half of the session, on kamishibai, for doing literary translation with pre-literate children.


  1. Planning and designing a literary translation workshop

In this session we pull together some of the skills and knowledge involved in the first part of the course, to think about what it might mean to plan a literary translation workshop for a specific educational purpose and with a specific audience in mind. We base our reflection on the skopos theory of translation and theorisations of creative education and collaborative learning.


  1. Delivering a literary translation workshop

In this session we look at the ways in which the literary translation workshop can be delivered, with reflection stemming from postmodern theorisations of literary translation as an unsystematic, playful, profoundly phenomenological endeavour.


  1. Workshops 1 and 2

In the final 3 weeks, students in groups of 5 (max) will plan and deliver to their classmates an hour-long translation workshop, according to a given prompt (age range and purpose). Students will be put into groups at the beginning of the term.


  1. Workshops 3 and 4


  1. Workshops 5 and 6


Task Length % of module mark
3500 word Workshop Plan OR Question Pertaining to Literary Translation in Education
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Each student will submit a 3,500-word critical essay on EITHER:


- A workshop plan with a critical essay on said plan, explaining the aims, methods and delivery and providing a reflective commentary informed by scholarly reading.


- A critical essay, informed by scholarly reading, in answer to question pertaining to literary translation in education, from a list provided at the beginning of the term (e.g. ‘In what ways can literary translation support the teaching of poetry ?’; ‘Critically discuss current practices of translation in the classroom in an educational system of your choice’, etc.).


Task Length % of module mark
3500 word Workshop Plan OR Question Pertaining to Literary Translation in Education
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • Formative assessment, due in Week 5, will consist of a short piece of literary translation + a critical and analytical commentary, using the references and skills developed in the first four weeks. Feedback will be given before Week 7.

Indicative reading

Briggs, K. (2017). This Little Art. London: Fitzcarraldo.

Brookman, H., & Robinson, O. (2016). Creativity, Translation, and Teaching Old English Poetry. Translation and Literature, 25(3), 275-297.

Davis, K. (2001). Deconstruction and Translation. Manchester: St Jerome.

Grossman, E. (2010). Why Translation Matters. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Holmes, S. (2015a). Monsters, Myths and Multilingual Creativity. Working Papers in Urban Language and Literacies, 161, 1-9.

Holmes, S. (2015b). Promoting Multilingual Creativity: Key Principles from Successful Projects. Working Papers in Urban Language and Literacies, 182, 2-17.

Jiménez, R. T., David, S., Fagan, K., Risko, V. J., Pacheco, M., Pray, L., & Gonzales, M. (2015). Using translation to drive conceptual development for students becoming literate in English as an additional language. Research in the Teaching of English, 248-271.

Kultti, A., & Pramling, N. (2018). ‘Behind the Words’: Negotiating Literal/Figurative Sense When Translating the Lyrics to a Children’s Song in Bilingual Preschool. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 62(2), 200-212.

Lathey, G. (2016). Translating Children’s Literature. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Lefevere, A. (1975). Translating Poetry: Seven Strategies and a Blueprint. Assen/ Amsterdam: Van Gorcum.

Munday, J. (2009). Issues in Translation Studies. In J. Munday (Ed.) The Routledge Companion to Translation Studies. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp.1-19.

Park, J. (2015). Learning In/Through Collaborative Poetry Translation: Documenting the Impact of Poetry Inside Out with High School-Aged English Language Learners. Journal of Language & Literacy Education, 11(2), 134-149.

Park, J. Y., Simpson, L., Bicknell, J., & Michaels, S. (2015). ‘When It Rains a Puddle Is Made’: Fostering Academic Literacy in English Learners through Poetry and Translation. English Journal, 104(4), 50-58.

Ricoeur, P. (2004) On Translation. Translated by E. Brennan. London and New York: Routledge.

Schwimmer, M. (2017). Beyond Theory and Practice: Towards an Ethics of Translation. Ethics and Education, 12:1, 51-61.

Scott, C. (2012). Literary Translation and the Rediscovery of Reading. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Spivak, G. C. (1992). The Politics of Translation. In L. Venuti (Ed.) (2000) The Translation Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge, pp.397-416.

Steiner, G. (1975). After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation. London: Oxford University Press.

Venuti, L. (1998). The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference. London: Routledge.

Venuti, L. (Ed.) (2000) The Translation Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge.

Venuti, L. (Ed.). (2016). Teaching translation: Programs, courses, pedagogies. Routledge.

Vermeer, H. J. (1989). Skopos and Commission in Translational Action. In L. Venuti (Ed.) (2000) The Translation Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge, pp.221-232.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.