La Clase de la Sra. Moloney

Academic Integrity

Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty in the World Language Classroom

Google Translate/Web Site Translators/Outside Assistance

It is a violation of course and school policy to use an online translation application to produce work that you present as your own.  You didn’t do the actual work to translate it, therefore it is not yours to pass in for a grade.  Students are both free and encouraged to use print dictionaries and online dictionaries to look up particular term or as always, consult your instructor.

What is the difference???
As a rule of thumb, any attempt to take a phrase in one language and use another source, including any form of translation software, to convert that phrase into the target language is cheating.

The Reason Why:

Using a dictionary allows you to look up individual terms and their spelling/gender/etc. so that you may use them to create phrases and sentences in which you must apply the grammar rules that you have studied.  You are demonstrating what you know and what you have learned.  Using a translator circumvents the process by applying the grammar rules to your English phrase/sentence thereby showing no thought or work of your own.  You are therefore making NO attempt to express yourself in the target language. The same applies if another person performs the translation for you. Do not seek help from other students, other teachers, or Immersion students unless specifically allowed in writing by your instructor.  I want to see your work so that I may assess your strengths and weaknesses and, in turn, adjust my teaching content and style accordingly to best help you succeed.

Using translation software is a concern for your teacher because:

The software often makes numerous and very predictable errors:
The software sometimes will translate too literally.
It will not recognize the meaning you intended, slang, or most idioms.
It will not recognize nor correct your spelling or grammar mistakes.
Not everyone chooses the correct language to translate – don’t laugh.  It’s been done.  🙂
The software will often use grammar that you have not yet studied – dead giveaway folks.
We know how much you know and how good you are at applying grammar.

Cutting and Pasting or Improper Quotation
You may not cut and paste any information from a book or online source and pass it off as your own work. Changing a few words and replacing them with synonyms is also plagiarism IN ANY LANGUAGE.  Even if you put quotes around this information, you did not do the actual research to obtain the knowledge first-hand, so you may not take credit for it.  You may summarize your findings and cite them properly according to MLA format rules.  You have been taught MLA format and proper citation rules in your English classes in the past so there clearly should be no misunderstanding on what constitutes.  When in doubt, as always, check with your instructor.  Better safe than sorry.

Copying/Allowing others to copy homework, class work, projects, etc.
Copying another student’s work is the same as cheating.  ALLOWING SOMEONE TO COPY YOUR WORK IS STILL CHEATING and will meet the same consequences.  Don’t give away your work!  It is not worth the consequences!

The Consequences:
All first-time plagiarism or other cheating violations normally result in both a zero on the assignment and disciplinary referral and documentation to be filed with the school administration. An additional incident may result in a zero for the course for the entire year and additional disciplinary action.  See your Handbook for details.

A helpful hint: Use what you know! We’re not looking for you to write beyond what you’ve studied.  If you’re not sure how to say it, or if you think something might be plagiarism, ask your teacher!  We’ll be glad to help!