Embedding translation AI in the L2 secondary school classroom: creative applications and potential barriers

Dear Teacher

We wish to invite you to attend a focus group related to a new project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of its "Creative Multilingualism" initiative. This concerns the use of translation technology in the classroom. We are contacting you because you are a language teacher working in a secondary school. We will be using the focus group to develop an open-source online web app which we think may be useful in language teaching. We would be more than happy for you to use this in your classroom teaching, and would love to hear your feedback on it. In addition, we are hoping that your participation in the focus group may spark new ideas for classroom activities.

The focus group will take place on Saturday 9th November at 11am . If you are selected to attend we will cover your travel expenses and will also be providing coffee and snacks. If you are interested in attending please read through the information below and complete the consent form and return it to Saziye Tasdemir at S.Savaskan2@newcastle.ac.uk.

We look forward to meeting you in the near future!

Saziye Tasdemir (Research Assistant), Nick Riches (Principle Investigator), Elaine Lopez, Müge Satar (Investigators)

What is the purpose of the study?

The study will investigate teacher's feelings, opinions and practice around the use of translation in the classroom as a means of teaching foreign languages. In particular, it will investigate opinions and practice regarding the use of translation technologies, e.g. Google Translate. It will address the kinds of classroom activities and materials used in translation based activities. It will also address the use of "creative" materials, e.g. poems and short-stories, some of which may have been produced by the students themselves, and whether these are beneficial for learning. We also wish to use the information gathered in the focus group to develop a translation app we are writing. The app runs over the web, so you can use it on any internet-enabled device, and we are happy for you to use it in your classrooms. We would love to get your feedback on it.

Who has funded the study?

The study has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their "Creative Multilingualism" initiative (https://www.creativeml.ox.ac.uk/)

Who is conducting the study?

The study is being conducted by Nick Riches, Elaine Lopez, Müge Satar, and Saziye Tasdemir. Nick Riches is a senior lecturer in linguistics and language development, Elaine and Müge are lecturers in applied linguistics (specialising in language learning and teaching), and Saziye is completing a PhD in applied linguistics. The focus group itself will be facilitated by Saziye, who will also be in charge of transcribing and analysing the data.

Why have I been chosen?

We are contacting secondary school language teachers in the North East region. We think you have a lot of classroom expertise to share with us during the focus group. We also think you might be interested in piloting the translation app we are developing.

What does participation involve?

Participation involves attending a Focus Group. This will take place on Saturday 9th November at 11am at Newcastle University, and is likely to last an hour. Coffee and snacks will be provided and any travel expenses will be reimbursed. During the focus group, which will be audio-recorded, you will be encouraged to discuss the use of translation and translation technologies in the language classroom.

Towards the end of the focus group we will also demonstrate a classroom translation app we are working on, and you will be invited to discuss whether you think this is useful in your classroom context, and how it may be improved upon.

What will you do with the data?

The audio-recordings from the focus group will be kept in a password-protected folder in a networked drive on a university computer. It will be transcribed, and then subjected to a qualitative analysis which aims to pull out the most important themes in the discussion. They audio-recordings will be kept until all the data has been transcribed, after which they will be disposed of. The transcriptions will be kept indefinitely.

Will my identity be kept private?

Audio recordings: Anyone who hears the audio-recordings may be able to identify you. However, given that the recordings are securely stored, the risks of this happening are minimal. We will not play these audio-recordings to anyone outside the research team.

Electronic transcripts: The electronic transcripts of the recordings will not mention you by name, and instead you will be given a pseudonym which bears no relation to your actual name.

Anonymisation process: The only document linking your real name with your pseudonym is the consent form which will be kept in a locked filing cabinet in the office of Nick Riches (the Principle Investigator). Consent forms will be kept indefinitely. It is very unlikely that an individual outside the research team will be able to gain access to both the consent form and the electronic transcripts.

Reports of findings: When we report the data at conferences and in published journal articles we may reproduce, in text only, some of your utterances, but we will not identify you by name and any potential identifying information, e.g. names of schools, will be hidden. As mentioned above, when reporting findings beyond the research team, we will not use audio-materials.

The role of Newcastle: Newcastle University will act as the data controller for this study. This means that Newcastle University is responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. When we use personally-identifiable information from people who have agreed to take part in research, we ensure that it is in the public interest. Your rights to access, change or move your information are limited, as Newcastle University needs to manage your information in specific ways in order for the research to be reliable and accurate. If you withdraw from the study, Newcastle University will keep the information about you that has already been obtained. To safeguard your rights, the minimum personally-identifiable information will be used. You can find out more about how Newcastle University uses your information at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/data.protection/PrivacyNotice and/or by contacting Newcastle University’s Data Protection Officer (Maureen Wilkinson, rec-man@ncl.ac.uk).

Do I have to participate?

You are under no obligation to participate. You have the right to withdraw at any time without giving a reason. Are there any advantages to taking part?

The study will give you an opportunity to express your thoughts and opinions about the use of translation technology, and also let us know about any innovative uses of this approach you may have developed. The information we gather will hopefully inform future pedagogic practice, and the development of translation technology for language teaching.

In terms of benefitting you directly, we will introduce you to a translation app we are developing which may be used at no cost in the classroom (with the small proviso that you would need to set up a Google Cloud account, and pay a small amount of credit for their translation services, and you might also need to pay for server space). We are hoping that this app will prove to be a useful classroom tool for language learning.

Are there any risks involved in taking part?

Taking part involves travelling to Newcastle University and participating in a group discussion. We believe that this does not involve any risks above and beyond those you would be exposed to in your daily lives.

What will you do with the results of the study?

We aim to disseminate the results of the focus group in the form of a conference presentation (possible conferences: CALL https://www.call2019.org and BAAL https://www.baal.org.uk) , and also a journal article . (Possible target journal: International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching)

We also aim to use the results of the focus group to set up a workshop for teachers in February, discussing the findings of the focus group, disseminating teaching ideas based on the findings of the focus group, presenting a more developed version of the translation app which incorporates the feedback from the focus group, and brainstorming ways to use the app in a classroom context. We will send you an invitation to this workshop but you are under no obligation to attend.

If I have any further questions who do I ask?

Please address questions to Nick Riches, the Principle Investigator at nick.riches@newcastle.ac.uk.

How do I participate in the study?

Please complete this consent form, and send it Saziye Tasdemir at S.Savaskan2@newcastle.ac.uk.

Please use this link to download all the information in one document

North Leadership Centre, School of Education, Communication and Languages Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle, NE1 7RU