The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) is a non-governmental, non-profit cooperative of national research institutions and governmental research agencies that originated in Hamburg, Germany in 1958.
The organization develops and conducts high-quality, large-scale comparative studies in education to support countries’ efforts to engage in national strategies for educational monitoring and improvement. IEA promotes capacity building and knowledge sharing to foster innovation and quality in education. IEA studies inspire fruitful dialogue on critical educational issues facing the sector today, informing the development of evidence-based policies and practices across the globe.
As a leading entity in the field of education, the IEA counts over 60 member countries and influences the provision of education in almost 100 nations.
The International Civic and Citizenship Study (ICCS) is one of IEA’s flagship studies examining the ways in which young people are prepared to undertake their roles as citizens. ICCS 2016 continues to report on students’ knowledge and understanding of concepts and issues related to civic and citizenship education, as well as their beliefs, attitudes and behaviours.
In addition, the study collects and analysis contextual data from national centres, teachers, school principals and students themselves about the organization and content of civic and citizenship education in the curriculum, teacher qualifications and experiences, school environment and climate, and home and community support. Twenty-four countries participate in the 2016 cycle.
Today Translations was commissioned to proof-read and verify all national versions of the assessment instruments – translated version of the international version into language(s) of instruction, that enter the data collection phase of the study.
The project was divided into three broad categories of verification: proof-reading for errors, checking cultural appropriateness, and continuity with the previous cycle.
The project required that all translations were carefully checked against the English source content, ensuring no errors had crept in.
Close cultural checking was necessary to ensure that the translation was not only accurate, but that the survey materials matched the local dialects and were suitable for the socio-cultural contexts. Further, checking for continuity ensured that content and terminology used in the 2016 survey corresponded to that used in its earlier 2009 counterpart. This step was crucial as one goal of the study was to measure how trends in civic and citizenship education have changed over time.
Finally, all errors and suggested changes had to be logged, categorised and justified.
Project delivery required a consultative and collaborative effort in proofing-reading and trend verification between Today Translations’ project management team, its pool of specialised linguists, and senior researchers at IEA.
To ensure continuity across all languages, it was crucial that all linguists verifying the survey content were working in close coordination, with access to centralised reference materials and instructions. Coordinating such a large team of linguists, as well as building and applying comprehensive glossaries required expert project management and workflow assessment.
Further, the vast scope of the project meant that all files were delivered on a rolling basis, as agreed between the Today Translations project management team and IEA, with all accepted changes logged and incorporated into instructions as the project evolved over the course of almost six months.