Translating Google Translate: Instructional Strategies for Machine Translation in the Language Classroom

A site dedicated to research-based pedagogical approaches to machine translation in language teaching and learning.

By Emily Hellmich and Kimberly Vinall (University of California Berkeley).

 Visit the resource website, where you will find instructional strategies for how to navigate machine translation and related online tools in the second language classroom.

In Fall 2021,  Emily Hellmich (UC Berkeley Language Center; formerly University of Arizona) and Kimberly Vinall (UC Berkeley Language Center) presented a webinar on this topic.

 Click here for the webinar slides.

Google Translate and other machine translation platforms can be a source of strife and confusion in language learning classrooms. Many instructors wonder if and how to handle these platforms with their students. This webinar presents a series of instructional strategies for how to approach machine translation platforms in the language classroom. These strategies come from findings of a research study that used screen recording and retrospective interviews to observe how foreign language learners (French, Spanish, Mandarin) actually use machine translation platforms while completing a writing task. In the webinar, we present key findings from the study and explore the implications they have for instructional practices.

By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to: 1) broadly describe how students actually use machine translation; 2) identify a range of instructional strategies in three areas (training, assignment creation, policies); and 3) reflect on how to integrate take-ways from the webinar into their own teaching/learning contexts.