Viktorija Mažeikienė

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Using translation in ESP teaching and learning is an important issue but it has been very scarcely researched so far because of the negative connotations with the grammar-translation method. But since the last decade of the 20th century, revival of interest in the use of translation and use of L1 in foreign language teaching has been noticeable. Therefore, the main aim of this paper is to analyse academic publications on the use of translation (and L1) in the ESP teaching and learning in order to see what aspects are raised by researchers and practitioners as regards the efficiency of translation as a teaching method in ESP classes in higher education. The objectives of this paper are: (1) to see what important and telling themes are evident in the selected academic publications, and (2) to analyse the attitudes of the authors of the papers towards using translation as a supplementary teaching method in teaching/learning ESP. For this paper, inductive thematic analysis has been chosen as a useful qualitative analytic method (Brown and Clarke 2006). The data corpus for this paper (14 quality papers) has been collected by conducting a systematic literature search of two academic online databases: EBSCO Academic Search Complete and Web of Science. Initially, emerging themes have been grouped under two headings – learner needs and teaching practices – and elaborated further on as specific themes: defining learner profile, course design, translation as a communicative activity, focusing on accuracy, facilitating understanding, defining specific tasks, consolidating particular skills, balancing the amount of translation in the ESP classroom. The inductive thematic analysis of the academic publications done for this paper shows that translation-based activities are useful for the ESP learner and that translation is an efficient ESP teaching and learning method if the amount of translation done is well-balanced, activities are well-planned and the learner profile and needs in each specific course well-analysed. Translation activities consolidate reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of the ESP learners, facilitate communication and comprehension of a specific field, develop analytic skills and teach to focus on accuracy.


ESP, translation, teaching method, inductive thematic analysis

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