REaChing for the stars
Empowering English Language Learners
Recently, while working on posters in my presentation class, students tried to take a short cut when adding content to their posters by using Google Translate. What they didn't seem to understand, is that Google translate doesn't actually translate things as you want to say them. Too prove my point, I pulled up Google translate on the big projector screen, and I wrote out the following in English to be translated into Japanese:
"I wish my students wouldn't use Google Translate. It doesn't make sense. Translating one word at a time can be useful, but when you try to write sentences and even paragraphs, words get jumbled and confused and they sound like they came from an imperfect computer translation program, and not from my students. My students have lots of English words in their memory to work with, and, they can write great sentences when they try hard."
I asked the students to read the Japanese version, and asked them if it made sense. They immediately understood my frustration. No, it did not make sense. Students began to rework their sentences in their own words, and the result may have been shorter sentences, with a grammar or spelling error here and there, but at least they made sense, and were from the students own English reserve.