A cross-sectional study of translator trainees' L2 reading comprehension skills and strategies

Omar F. Atari, Adel Abu Radwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In some undergraduate five-year translator training programmes, the first two years are devoted to language training, and the following three years to linguistics and translator training courses. However, there is a growing concern among EFL instructors and translator trainers in Arab university English departments about an apparent decline in their 4th-year and 5th-year trainees' L2 reading comprehension skills. The question that should be addressed then by both EFL and translation instructors is whether students' L2 reading skills continue to develop after they proceed from the language training component to their linguistics and translator training courses. This cross-sectional study examines the performance of 32 subjects, drawn from the language training component, and the linguistics and translator training components in the fiveyear translator training programme at King Saud University, on two L2 reading comprehension tests. The study also examines their reading strategies through the use of the think-aloud technique. Results show that there is no differentiation in strategy use among the different level groups (i.e., Level 4 from the language component, Level 6 from the linguistics component, and Levels 8 and 10 from the translator training component), and that both higher level and lower level groups become entangled in bottom-up lower-level language-based text processing strategies. The macro-textual issues (i.e., top-down higher-level knowledge-based text processing) such as knowledge of text type, anticipation of content, integration of ideas, inferencing, etc. seem to be overlooked in current translator training courses at King Saud University.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-256
Number of pages32
JournalInterpreter and Translator Trainer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bottom-up text processing
  • Process/product-oriented research
  • Schemata
  • Strategies
  • Top-down processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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