The Impact of Back-translation Instruction with Collaborative Activities on Iranian English Students’ Translation Achievement

Hesam Mohammadi, Maryam Beiki, Arshya Keyvanfar


The present quasi-experimental study with a non-equivalent control group pretest-posttest design investigated the impact of back-translation teaching with collaborative activities on Iranian English translation students’ translation achievement. To this end, 30Iranian EFL translation students studying at Islamic Azad University North Tehran Branch were nominated based on convenience sampling. The Oxford Placement Test (OPT) and a translation pretest were directed to inspect the contributors’ homogeneity prior to the treatment. The groups were assigned to the Collaborative Back-translation Group (CBTG n=15) and Back-translation Group (BTG n=15). During 16 sessions, CBTG experienced back-translation with collaborative activities as a treatment, whereas the BTG experienced only back-translation every session. After the treatment stage, the participants were given a translation posttest. The study also examined the participants’ attitudes toward collaborative activities implementation via semi-structured interviews and tried to assess some students’ perceptions towards collaborative activities and the instructional practices in the university context. The qualitative analysis revealed that most learners preferred collaborative tasks in their classrooms. The quantitative analysis showed that the CBTG outdone the BTG in translation ability. The result of the present research had some implications for the teachers and students in translation pedagogy. As for the theoretical aspect, this study can provide some hints for researchers interested in developing a comprehensive model for the L2 translation process. Considering the practical implications, all the instructors could employ a set of collaborative activities in their translation classes. Collaborative activities create translating opportunities where students exchange meaning, suggest feedback, and offer enhanced output for revealing the meaning.


Back-translation, Collaborative Translation, Individual Translation

Full Text:

Download PDF


Adlan, T., Anwar, D., & Hamzah. (2020). The effect of collaborative translation on students’ translation ability. 1st International Conference on Lifelong Learning and Education for Sustainability (pp. 180-182). Atlantis Press.

Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Prentice-Hall.

Allen, L. (2004). The Oxford placement test. Oxford University Press.

Aly, E. (2019). Collaborative translation: Wicked problems and emerging solutions. Minor Translating Major-Major Translating Minor-Minor Translating Minor, 10,101-116.

Almusharraf, N. M., & Bailey, D. (2021). Online engagement during COVID‐19: Role of agency on collaborative learning orientation and learning expectations. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 37(5), 1285-1295.

Beiki, M., Raissi, R., & Gharagozloo, N. (2020b). The differences between Iranian EFL teachers’ perceptions and their instructional practices regarding the cooperative learning. Cogent Arts & Humanities, 7(1), 1847420.

Beiki, M., Gharagozloo, N., & Raissi, R. (2020a). The effect of structured versus unstructured collaborative pre-writing task on writing skills of the Iranian EFL students. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education, 5(1), 1-29.

Beiki, M., Gharagozloo, N., & Raissi, R. (2020c). Iranian EFL learners’ perceptions towards the Cooperative Learning (CL) implementation in Islamic Azad University. Asian EFL Journal Research Articles,27(3),193-220.

Bistué, Belén (2017). On the incorrect way to translate: The absence of collaborative translation from Leonardi Bruni’s De interpretatione recta. Anthony Cordingley and Céline Frigau Manning (Eds.). Collaborative translation: From the Renaissance to the digital age (pp.33–48). Bloomsbury.

Chidlow, A., Plakoyiannaki, E., & Welch, C. (2014). Translation in cross-language international business research: Beyond equivalence. Journal of International Business Studies, 45(5), 562-582.

Christensen, A. (2016). An intercultural communication perspective of back- translation: The impact of cultural hybridity and border crossing. Aalborg University.

Doostizadeh, M., Badiei, H. (2018). Education of Translation; developments, potential and limits of teamwork in translation. Foreign Language Research Journal, 7(2), 405-424.

Farid, Y., Beiki, M., Rashtchi, M. (2022). The impact of incorporated task-based instruction with metacognitive activities on listening comprehension ability. International Journal of Innovation Scientific Research and Review,4(5), 2801-2807.

Fatemi, M., & Modarresi, G. H. (2017). Teamwork versus individual work in translation practice: A project-based action research. ROSHD FLT, 2, 48-55.

Fernández Dobao, A. (2012). Collaborative writing tasks in the L2 classroom: Comparing group, pair, and individual work. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21, 40–58.

Field, A. (2018). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS, statistics for statistics. (5th ed.). SAGE.

Haji Jalili, M., & Shahrokhi, M. (2017). The effect of collaborative writing on Iranian EFL learners’ l2 writing anxiety and attitudes. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research, 4(2), 203–215.

Hatami, A. (2015). The effect of collaborative learning and self-assessment on self-regulation. Educ. Res. Rev, 10(15), 2164–2167. 10.5897/ERR2015.2349

Hebenstreit, G. (2019). Coming to terms with social translation: A terminological approach. Translation Studies, 12(2), 139–155.

House, J. (2008). Using translation to improve pragmatic competence. In E. Alcon, & A. Martinez-Flor (Eds.). Investigating pragmatics in foreign language learning and teaching (pp. 135-153). Multilingual Matters.

Huang, H. W., Lin, Q., & Darragh, J. J. (2020). Understanding EFL learners’self-efficacy of collaborative translation in a blended English course. Paper presented at 4th International Conference on E-Education, E-Business and E-Technology. Zagreb university.

Huss, J.T. (2018). Collaborative translation. In K. Washbourne & B. van Wyke (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of literary translation (pp. 389–405). Routledge.

Javaherian, S. (2018). A survey on translation. Arshad Sepahan.

Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T. (1994). An overview of cooperative learning. In J. Thousand, A. Villa, & A. Nevin (Eds). Creativity and collaborative learning. Brookes Press.

Khanmohammad, H., & Osanloo, M. (2009). Moving toward objective scoring: A rubric for translation assessment. Journal of English language studies,1(1), 131-153.

Khosravani, Y., & Dastjerdi, H.V. (2013). Back-translation versus collaborative translation: A comparative study of Persian subtitles in English movies. Lebende Sprachen, 58, 366-377.

Kiraly, D. (2015). Occasioning translator competence: Moving beyond social constructivism toward a postmodern alternative to instructionism, Translation and Interpreting Studies, 10(1), 8-32.

Klausen, J.Z. (2016). An intercultural communication perspective of back-translation: The impact of cultural hybridity and border crossing. (Unpublished master thesis), University of Aalborg.

Maruenda-Bataller, S., & Santaemilia-Ruiz, J. (2016). Project-based learning and competence assessment in translation training. In M. L. Carrio Pastor (Ed.), Technology implementation in second language teaching and translation studies: New tools, new approaches (pp. 207-228). Springer.

McGowan, J. (2014, January 13). The what and why of back-translation and reconciliation. [Language Scientific Web Blog post]. Retrieved from:

Neather, R. (2019). Collaborative translation. In Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (pp. 70-75). Routledge.

Nord, C. (1997). Translating as a purposeful activity. Functionalist approaches explained. St. Jerome.

McDonough Dolmaya, J., & Sánchez Ramos, M. (2019). Characterizing online social translation. Translation Studies, 12(2), 129–138.

Paradowska, U. (2021). Benefits and Challenges of an Intra-University Authentic Collaborative Translation Project. New Voices in Translation Studies, 24, 23-45.

Pavlović, T. & Hadžiahmetović Jurida, S. (2019). Collaborative translation: Student translators’ perspective. Current Trends in Translation Teaching and E-Learning, 6, 4 – 28.

Prabhumoye, S., Tsvetkov, Y., Salakhutdinov, R., & Black, A.W. (2018). Style transfer through back-translation. Computational Linguistics, 1, 866-876.

Rashidi, G. (2015). Translation and Translator. Beh Nashr.

Rashtchi, M., & Beiki, M. (2015). The effect of teacher-generated cooperative brainstorming versus learner-generated cooperative brainstorming on activating EFL learners’ background knowledge in essay writing classes. Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences, 5(52), 1218-1227.

Rastegar Moghadam, M. R., Khoshsaligheh, M., & Pishghadam, R. (2020). English translation students’ attitude towards teamwork skills in subtitling training classroom. Language Related Research, 11(3), 95–119.

Rosyidah, R., Kharis, M., & Afifah, L. (2017). Back-translation technique to assess the students’ translation of literary text. International journal of language and linguistics, 5, 25-28.

Roy, M. (2009). Back Translation. Encyclopedia of business in today’s world. SAGE, Inc.

Sadeghi, K. (2011). Effects of note-taking training on reading comprehension and recall. The Reading Matrix, 11, 116–128.

Savasci, M., & Kaygisiz, S. (2019). One hand washes the other and both wash the face: Individuality versus collaboration in L2 writing. Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics,5(1),131–151.

Shirazifard, H., Abbasian, G. R., Mohseni, A., & Rashtchi, M. (2021). Implementation of task-based collaborative dialogues in EFL speaking classes: Focus on achievements and perceptions. Teaching English as a Second Language Quarterly,41(3), 155-195.

Storch, N., & Sato, M. (2020). Comparing the same task in ESL vs. EFL learning contexts: An activity theory perspective. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 30(1), 50-69.

Tsai, Y. (2020). Collaborating in a flipped translation classroom: The student perception. T&I Review, 10(2), 49-73.

Vlachopoulos, D., & Makri, A. (2019). Online communication and interaction in distance higher education: A framework study of good practice. International Review of Education, 65(4), 605-632.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard University Press.

Wu, H. J. (2015). The Effects of Blog-supported Collaborative Writing on Writing Performance, Writing Anxiety and Perceptions of EFL College Students in Taiwan. (PhD Dissertation). University of Florida: South Florida.

Yanti, M., Syarif, H., & Hamzah. (2020). The effect of back-translation on students’ translation achievement. Advances in social science, education and humanities research, 405, 101-106.

Zhang, Y., & Gao, C. (2014). Back translating: an integrated approach to focus learners’ attention on their l2 knowledge gaps. English teaching forum,1,30-35.

Zwischenberger, C. (2022). Online collaborative translation: its ethical, social, and conceptual conditions and consequences. Perspectives, 30(1), 1-18.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
IJELTAL (Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics) by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Abstracting and Indexing



Contact Us: IJELTAL (Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics;

Address: Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Universitas Islam Negeri Sultan Aji Muhammad Idris Samarinda

Jl. H.A.M. Rifadin, Samarinda, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia. Email: