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Durham University

Chinese Studies

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Publication details for Dr Binghan Zheng

2014 'Towards Students’ Learning Activities in an MA Translation Module: An Interview-based Study', in Li, Linda Mingfang & Xing, Minjie (eds.), Innovation and Consolidation in Learning and Teaching Chinese-- Applied Chinese Language Studies V, Sinolingua London Ltd, pp. 223-236

Author(s) from Durham


This paper focuses on the experience of learning from the student’s perspective and is based upon
a phenomenological approach to education studies, investigating the relationships between approaches,
conceptions, contexts and outcomes of learning. Students’ interview data were collected and analysed
in order to investigate the complex relationships between different factors in the nested model of
student learning (Meyer 2011).
This research reveals that learning processes have close connections with students’ intentions,
motivation, and conceptions of learning. Moreover, the context of learning also plays an important
role in the complex learning system. Secondly, students’ prior knowledge or background plays an
important role in their learning process. For example, blank knowledge or troublesome knowledge
of translation theories can obstruct a student from taking deep approaches toward learning, inhibiting
their ability to achieve in-depth understanding of, and creative thinking about, reading materials.
The findings of this research can effectively be applied to the teaching of this module. 1) It is vital
to provide students with clear task requirements (i.e. learning aims and presentation standards) at the
beginning of the teaching activity. 2) Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge in MA translation teaching should be taken into account. A focus on threshold concepts enables teachers to make
refined decisions about what is fundamental to a grasp of the subject they are teaching. It is a‘ less is
more’ approach to curriculum design (Cousin 2006:4).
Keywords: learning intention, learning motivation, conception.