Language teaching: a comparison of social representations held by first- and fifth-year students of the Translation Studies undergraduate programme at Universidad de Santiago de Chile

ABSTRACT This article compares the social representations about the processes of teaching and learning a foreign language held by first- and fifth-year students of the translation studies undergraduate programme at Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH). The concept of social representations is taken from social psychology (Jodelet 1988, 2008; Moscovici 1979).A word association task and a semi structured interview were administered to four groups of translator trainees. Results show significant changes in terms of language proficiency, teaching and learning. It is concluded that such changes would promote the adoption of new methodologies for the foreign language course units in this translation programme.