Fast forward to the past? Popular-song-translation communities as spaces for language acquisition and learning.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This paper takes as its point of departure previous decades’ marginalization of translation as a component in formal language teaching and learning, looking at various ways in which information technology provides the means for a grass-roots reclaiming of translation as a tool in the acquisition and learning of languages. In the absence of policy-driven measures to reinstate translation as a theoretically-justified element of formal classroom activity, learners have arguably taken matters into their own hands, joining translation communities on the Internet where the activities performed, although complexly motivated, are also undertaken with the purpose of learning, and helping others learn, languages. The case used to illustrate this point is that of popular song translation. The motivations that fuel this kind of activity on the Internet are identified by analysing statements made on the communities’ web pages, and the potential of these communities as language acquisition and learning arenas is studied by analysing the different functionalities available to community members, functionalities which provide different forms of reward and enable interaction and peer learning.