On the Applicability of Oxford's Taxonomy of Learner Strategies to Translation Tasks

Document Type: Research Paper


Islamic Azad University Ghaemshahr Branch


During the last three decades, especially 1980's, language learning specialists have been busy  discovering the nature of language learning strategies, describing them, and formulating their relationships with other language learning factors. In line with these studies, the field of translation studies has undergone a complete revolution in terms of its perspective toward its research priorities; that is, recent works tend to adopt a more descriptive rather than prescriptive approach. One of the newly emerged trends in translation studies is the quest for the nature of mental processes applied while translating a text.  Following this trend, the present study incorporates think-aloud protocols (TAPs) and retrospective interviews to probe the learning strategies employed by some university students during the translation of an expository text from English to Persian according to the taxonomy of learning strategies presented by Oxford (1990). The results show that (1) the participants tend to incorporate cognitive and meta-cognitive strategies as their dominant strategies, (2) there is no significant difference between direct and indirect strategies incorporated by the participants, and (3) the scope of the taxonomy proposed in the field of language teaching can be generalized to translation studies.


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