¿Cómo se dice “contract cheating”? Exploring Academic Integrity Terminology in Spanish-speaking contexts

September 15, 2020

All Posts

by: Sarah Elaine Eaton and Beatriz Moya Figueroa


In this brief report we explore linguistic differences in how contract cheating has been explained and translated into Spanish.

Keywords: academic integrity, academic misconduct, terminology, contract cheating

Palabras clave: integridad académica, mala conducta académica, terminología


Academic integrity is a concern across the world. Contract cheating, which is the outsourcing of academic work to third parties is a growing problem. We know that contract cheating happens in a multitude of languages, including Spanish (Eaton & Dressler, 2019). In order to address a problem, we must first have a common language to talk about it. The term “contract cheating” was coined by Clarke and Lancaster (2006), as a more updated way and comprehensive term to address academic outsourcing in text-based as well as non-text-based disciples. “Contract cheating” is now preferred over “essay mill” or “term paper mills”, though all of these terms remain in use in various contexts.

In this brief report we explore linguistic differences in how contract cheating has been explained and translated into Spanish.

ENAI Glossary: A Starting Point

We acknowledge and applaud the work done by the European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI) (n.d.) to produce a multilingual glossary of terms relating to academic integrity. The glossary is available in ten languages; but currently, Spanish is not one of them. We consulted the glossary in the closest language, Portuguese, (see Taúginienė et al., 2019) and found contract cheating referenced as, “fraude no contrato” (p. 23), explained as, “Forma de má conduta que existe quando uma pessoa utiliza uma entidade terceira para a assistir a produzir trabalho, independentemente de envolver um pagamento ou favor” (p. 23).

Although the accompanying explanation describes contract cheating well, to translate “fraude no contrato” (Portuguese) into Spanish would result in “el fraude de contrato”, the meaning of which could be misconstrued as contractual fraud in a legal sense, rather than an academic one. For this reason, we contend that “el fraude de contrato” is not an appropriate translation of the English term, “contract cheating”.

In Search of a Spanish Translation

Having eliminated that possibility, we continued our inquiry, but we found no standardized translation of the term. Instead, we encountered a variety of phrases used in the literature. Some examples of translations we found include:

  • realización por parte de un tercero de trabajos escritos” (Gómez Córdoba & Pinto Bustamante, 2017, p. 170)

Gómez Córdoba & Pinto Bustamante (2017) self-identified in their paper as being in Columbia.

  • “comprar ensayos finales (u otros ensayos) en agencias específicas o de otros estudiantes” (Denisova-Schmidt, 2016, p. 6)

Denisova-Schmidt (2016) self-identified as working in Switzerland.

  • La “compraventa de trabajos académicos” (Comas, Sureda, Casero, & Morey, 2011, p. 209)

These researchers self-identified as being in Spain.

  • La “compra de textos” (Armesto, 2016, p. 6)

A review of the front matter of the publication in which Armesto’s article was published showed she works in Mexico.

We found the term used by Comas et al. (2011), “compraventa de trabajos académicos” to be the closest translation to the English phrase contract cheating if one is speaking about the commercial industry, including aspects of both buying and selling. However, we acknowledge that the term “compraventa de trabajos académicos” excludes those who complete academic work on behalf of others who do not receive payment (e.g. family members, partners, friends, etc.).

To convey the idea that a third party who is not part of the commercial cheating industry is completing work on behalf of a student, the phrase used by Gómez Córdoba & Pinto Bustamante (2017), “realización por parte de un tercero de trabajos escritos” might be more accurate. However, we point out that this phrase specifically addresses text-based disciplines and excludes fields where the academic work produced does not necessarily include prose writing, including computer code.

We do not claim that our search was exhaustive. We have highlighted particular examples from the extant literature to illustrate the inconsistency in how contract cheating is discussed in scholarship written in the Spanish language.

Conclusion: Call to Action

In order to effectively address a problem, we must first be able to name it; to talk about it in ways that others will understand. Only then can we, as community of educators, advocates, and scholars, be as unified in our actions against the problem as we are in the way we talk about it. Therefore, we conclude with a call to action to our colleagues across the Spanish-speaking world to produce a Spanish-language glossary for academic integrity that includes a precise phrase to convey contract cheating that can be used with confidence as a common term.


Armesto, G. (2016). El plagio académico: ¿Qué es y cómo distinguirlo? Revista de integridad académica, 1(1), 5-7.

Clarke, R., & Lancaster, T. (2006). Eliminating the successor to plagiarism: Identifying the usage of contract cheating sites. Paper presented at the Second International Plagiarism Conference, The Sage Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom.

Comas, R., Sureda, J., Casero, A., & Morey, M. (2011). La integridad académica entre el alumnado universitario español. Estudios Pedagógicos, 37(1), 2007-2225.

Denisova-Schmidt, E. (2016). El desafío global de la integridad académica. International Higher Education (Spanish edition), 87, 5-7. Retrieved from http://ceppe.uc.cl/images/stories/recursos/ihe/Numeros/87/art_03.pdf

Eaton, S. E., & Dressler, R. (2019). Multilingual essay mills: Implications for second language teaching and learning. Notos, 14(2), 4-14. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110695

European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI). (n.d.). Glossary. Retrieved from http://www.academicintegrity.eu/wp/glossary/

Gómez Córdoba, A., & Pinto Bustamante, B. (2017). La integridad académica: el dilema de la formación médica / Academic integrity: The dilemma of medical education. Revista Educación y Desarrollo Social, 11(2). doi:org/10/18359/reds.3248

Taúginienė, L, Gaižaúskaitė, I, Glendinning, I, Kravjar, J, Ojsteršek, M, Ribeiro, L, Odiņeca, T, Marino, F, Cosentino, M, Sivasubramaniam, S. Glossary for Academic Integrity (Portuguese). ENAI Report 3G [online]. Tradução de: Malaquias, A, Fachada, B, Ribeiro, L. 2019. http://www.academicintegrity.eu/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Glossary_PT.pdf


Note: This post is a re-print of our short paper. Here is how to cite this content:

Eaton, S. E., & Moya Figueroa, B. (2020). ¿Cómo se dice “contract cheating”?: Exploring academic integrity terminology in Spanish-speaking contexts. University of Calgary. http://hdl.handle.net/1880/112526


Share or Tweet this: ¿Cómo se dice “contract cheating”? Exploring Academic Integrity Terminology in Spanish-speaking contexts https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2020/09/15/como-se-dice-contract-cheating-exploring-academic-integrity-terminology-in-spanish-speaking-contexts/

This blog has had over 2 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.

Living Reading List for Language Learning and Technology

July 3, 2018

U of C logo - 2015I am trying something a little different with my course readings for the Master of Education summer course I am teaching, Language Learning and Technology, a living reading list.

We are required to list the course readings in our syllabus. This helps keep everyone organized and allows students to be fully prepared for their course. The problem is that many of our students are eager change agents who often bring in additional resources that everyone finds useful. So in addition to including a basic set of readings in the course outline, I will update this post throughout the course as a living list of readings, with contributions of gems we find along the way to promote co-creation of knowledge with and along side these very capable graduate students.

Official course materials (as posted in the syllabus)

This page contains a list of all your course readings. One of the readings is no longer freely available on the Internet, but I have posted it below as a .pdf, under Fair Dealing, as approved by the University of Calgary Copyright office.

Required text

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. (2010). (Sixth ed.). Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association.

Week 3 Readings

Benson, S. K. & Ward, C. L. (2013). Teaching with technology: Using TPACK to understand teaching expertise in online higher education. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 48 (2), 153-172. doi:10.2190/EC.48.2.c

Harris, J. B., & Hofer, M. J. (2011). Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) in action: A descriptive study of secondary teachers’; curriculum-based, technology-related instructional planning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 43(3), 211-229. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ918905.pdf

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2009). Too cool for school? No way! Using the TPACK framework: You can have your hot tools and teach with them, too. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(7), 14-18. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ839143.pdf

Mishra, P., Koehler, M. J., & Kereluik, K. (2009). Looking back to the future of educational technology. TechTrends, 53(5), 48-53.

Romrell, D., Kidder, L., & Wood, E. (2014). The SAMR Model as a Framework for Evaluating mLearning. Online Learning: Official Journal Of The Online Learning Consortium, 18(2). Retrieved from https://olj.onlinelearningconsortium.org/index.php/olj/article/view/435

van Olphen, M. (2008). World language teacher education and educational technology: A look into CK, PCK, and TPACK. Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Week 4 Readings

Gaebel, M. (2013). MOOCs: Massive open online courses. European University Association Occasional Papers, 2-17. Retrieved from http://www.eua.be/news/13-02-25/Massive_Open_Online_Courses_MOOCs_EUA_to_look_at_development_of_MOOCs_and_trends_in_innovative_learning.aspx

Ham, J.J., & Schnabel, M.A. (2011). Web 2.0 virtual design studio: social networking as facilitator of design education. Architectural Science Review(54)2, 108-116. Doi: 10.1080/00038628.2011.582369.

Marshall, S. (2014.)  Exploring the ethical implications of MOOCs. Distance Education(35)2, 250-262. doi: 10.1080/01587919.2014.917706.

U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. (n.d.). MOOC for English-Teaching Professionals. Retrieved from http://www.americanenglish.state.gov/mooc-english-teaching-professionals

Week 5 Readings

Cornillie, F., Thorne, S. L., & Desmet, P. (eds.) (2012). Digital games for language learning: Challenges and opportunities. ReCALL Journal, 24(3).doi:10.1017/S0958344012000134

deHaan, J., Kuwada, K., & Ree, W. M. (2010). The effect of interactivity with a music video game on second language vocabulary recall. Language, Learning & Technology, 14(2), 74+. Retrieved from http://www.lltjournal.org/item/2689

Mifsud, C. L., Vella, R., & Camilleri, L. (2013). Attitudes towards and effects of the use of video games in classroom learning with specific reference to literacy attainment. Research In Education, 90(90), 32+.

Reinders, H. & Wattana, S. (2014).  Can I say something? The effects of digital game play on willingness to communicate.  Language Learning and Technology, 18(2). Retrieved from http://www.lltjournal.org/item/2858

Additional Resources

This part of the list contains the additional resources that the students and I collaboratively added throughout the course:

Alharbi, H., & Jacobsen, M. (2017). Tracking the Design and Development of a Six Module miniMOOC for Quality Graduate Supervision Paper presented at the AECT Annual Conference. Retrieved from https://members.aect.org/pdf/Proceedings/proceedings17/2017/17_04.pdf

Akyol, Z., & Garrison, D. R. (2011). Understanding cognitive presence in an online and blended community of inquiry: Assessing outcomes and processes for deep approaches to learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(2), 233-250.

Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teacher presence in a computer conferencing context. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2), 1-17.

Barber, M., Donnelly K., & Rizvi S. (2013). An avalanche is coming. Higher education and the revolution ahead. Retrieved from Institute for Public Policy website: http://www.ippr.org/publications/an-avalanche-is-coming-higher-education-andthe-revolution-ahead

Bralić, A., & Divjak, B. (2018). Integrating MOOCs in traditionally taught courses: Achieving learning outcomes with blended learning. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 15(1), 1-16.

Cagiltay, N. E., Ozcelik, E., & Ozcelik, N. S. (2015). The effect of competition on learning in games. Computers & Education, 87(1), 35-41.

Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational Strategies in the Language Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Common Sense Education. (2016, July, 12). How to apply the SAMR model with Ruben Puentedura. .  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQTx2UQQvbU

Common Sense Media. (2018). Digital Citizenship. Retrieved July 18, 2018, from https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-citizenship

Duenas, M. (2004). The whats, whys, hows and whos of content-based instruction in second/foreign language education. International Journal of English Studies, 4(1), 73-96.

Eaton, S. E. (2011). The Need For Increased Integration of Technology and Digital Skills in the Literacy Field in Canada  Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED526087.pdf

Eaton, S. E. (2012). Why some teachers will never love technology (and that’s O.K.).  Retrieved from https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/why-some-teachers-will-never-love-technology-and-thats-o-k/

Gaebel, M. (2013). MOOCs: Massive open online courses. European University Association Occasional Papers, 2-17. Retrieved from http://www.eua.be/news/13-02-25/Massive_Open_Online_Courses_MOOCs_EUA_to_look_at_development_of_MOOCs_and_trends_in_innovative_learning.aspx

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking, cognitive presence, and computer conferencing in distance education. American Journal of Distance Education, 15(1). doi:10.1080/08923640109527071

Garrison, D. R., & Akyol, Z. (2013). Toward the development of a metacognition construct for communities of inquiry. The Internet and Higher Education, 17, 84-89.

Golonka, E.M., Bowles, A. R., Frank, V.M., Richardson, D.L., & Freynik, S. (2014). Technologies for Foreign Language Learning: A Review of Technology Types and Their Effectiveness. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 27(1), 70-105.

Hai-Jew, S. (2010). An instructional design approach to updating an online course curriculum. Educause Review Online. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/instructional-design-approach-updating-online-course-curriculum

Hoban, G. & Neilson, W. (2014).  Creating a narrated stop-motion animation to explain science: The affordances of “Slowmation” for generating discussion.  Teaching and Teacher Education42(1), 68-78. DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2014.04.007

Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hutchison, A., Beschorner, B., & Schmidt-Crawford, D. (2012). Exploring the use of the iPad for literacy learning. The Reading Teacher, 66(1), 15.

Jacobs, G., & Farrell, T. (2003). Understanding and implementing the CLT (Communicative Language Teaching) paradigm. RELC Journal, 34(1), 5-30.

Keat, Jane B., Strickland, Martha J., & Marinak, Barbara A. (2009). Child Voice: How Immigrant Children Enlightened Their Teachers with a Camera. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37(1).

Korda, R J, Clements, M S, & Dixon, J. (2011). Socioeconomic inequalities in the diffusion of health technology: Uptake of coronary procedures as an exampleSocial Science & Medicine 72(2). 222-22. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.11.002

Kumar Basak, S., Wotto, M., & Bélanger, P. (2018). E-learning, M-learning and D-learning: Conceptual definition and comparative analysis. E-Learning and Digital Media, 15(4), 191-216. doi:10.1177/2042753018785180

Liu, E. Z. (2011). Avoiding internet addiction when integrating digital games into Teaching. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 39(10), 1325-1335. doi:10.2224/sbp.2011.39.10.1325

Martin, A. R. (2015). Is MOOC madness here to stay? an institutional legitimacy study of employers (Order No. 3714173).

Mifsud, C. L., Vella, R., & Camilleri, L. (2013). Attitudes towards and effects of the use of video games in classroom learning with specific reference to literacy attainment. Research In Education, 90(90), 32+. Retrieved from  http://journals.sagepub.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/doi/abs/10.7227/RIE.90.1.3

Museelwhite, C., Martson, H. R. and Freeman, S. (2016). From needy and dependent to  independent homo ludens: Exploring digital gaming and older people. Games and Aging.   11 (1), 3-6. DOI: 10.1177/1555412015605220

Pariser, E. (2011). The filter bubble: How the new personalized web is changing what we read and how we think. New York: Penguin Books.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants (part 1). On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6. doi:https://doi.org/10.1108/10748120110424816

Rogers, E. (1997). Diffusion of human factors design: Resistances and how to overcome them. Proceedings of the human factors and ergonomics society…annual meeting, 1(1). Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/doi/pdf/10.1177/107118139704100101

Stoller, F. (2008). Content-based instruction (N. V. Deusen-Scholl & N. H. Hornberger, Eds.). In Encyclopedia of language and education (Vol. 4, Second and foreign language education, pp. 59-70). New York: Springer.

Turow, J. (2013). The daily you: How the new advertising industry is defining your identity and your worth. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wu, I. X. Y. ; Kee, J. C. Y. ; Threapleton, D. E. ; Ma, R. C. W. ; Lam, V. C. K. ; Lee, E. K. P., Wong, S. Y. S. & Chung, V. C. H.(2018). Effectiveness of smartphone technologies on glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: systematic review with meta-analysis of  17 trials. Obesity Reviews. 19(6), p.825-838.



Share or Tweet this: Living Reading List for Language Learning and Technology https://wp.me/pNAh3-2jW

This blog has had over 2 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.

Understanding and Exploring Signature Pedagogies for TESOL Teacher Education

March 20, 2018

Sig ped coverI’m excited to share a new resource that’s been almost a year in the making. I’ve been working with some amazing colleagues: Santoi Wagner (University of Pennsylvania), Jennifer Hirashiki (Westcliff University) and Julie Ciancio (Westcliff University) on “Understanding and Exploring Signature Pedagogies for TESOL Teacher Education”. This is a freely available, Open Educational Resource (OER) intended to help teacher trainers working in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).


Purpose: The purpose of this report is to elevate the collective understanding of what it means to be and become a TESOL professional and what differentiates “TESOLers” from other teachers. We have intentionally prepared this report as an Open Educational Resource (OER), so it can be freely shared with an international audience.

Methods: This report synthesizes literature relating to signature pedagogies, teacher training, and educational technology.

Results: We explore the surface, deep, and implicit structures of three signature pedagogies of TESOL teacher education: (a) developing the TESOL knowledge base; (b) cultivating reflective practice; (c) engaging in a TESOL practicum. We also situate TESOL within a technology, content, and pedagogical content (TPACK) framework as a means to further understand how and why TESOL teacher education can and should incorporate technology in a variety of ways.

Implications: TESOL is a relatively young discipline and has come of age during a time when technology has emerged as an essential element of teaching and learning. As such, TESOL teacher education programs must address technology as a key element of teacher preparation for the profession.

Additional materials: Contains 1 table, 1 figure and 81 references.

Keywords: signature pedagogies, English as a second language, TESOL, teacher training, teacher education, TPACK

Citation (APA): 

Eaton, S. E., Wagner, S., Hirashiki, J., & Ciancio, J. (2018). Understanding and Exploring Signature Pedagogies for TESOL Teacher Education. Calgary: University of Calgary.


Share or Tweet this: Understanding and Exploring Signature Pedagogies for TESOL Teacher Education https://wp.me/pNAh3-2hH

This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.

The Difference Between Multilingualism and Plurilingualism, Simplified

February 20, 2018

Sarah Eaton - blog - iStock photoStudents sometimes ask me what the difference is between multilingualism and plurlingualism. Because these concepts are also linked to monolingualism and bilingualism, I’ll explain each one here.

Monolingualism – The ability to speak only one language proficiently.

Bilingualism – The ability to speak two languages proficiently (though not necessarily perfectly).

Multilingualism – The ability to speak many languages proficiently (though not necessarily perfectly).

Plurilingualism – The capacity and competence to learn more than one language, as well as the value of linguistic tolerance within individuals and countries. It is associated with intercultural competence and democratic citizenship. This term is often used to talk about language education and policy. (For more details, see Council of Europe source referenced below.)

When we talk about proficiency, we are usually talking about a person’s ability to communicate in a language. Sometimes people also call this fluency, though the two terms have different meaning to those with linguistic training.

Please note, linguists and those with training in second language acquisition may (rightfully) contend that these definitions are simplified. My objective here is to offer clear and straightforward explanations, without too much technical jargon. If you are interested in digging deeper into these concepts, I encourage you to explore some of the resources I have listed in the references.


Boeckmann, K. B., Aalto, E., Abel, A., Atanasoska, T., & Lamb, T. (2011). Promoting plurilingualism – Majority language in multilingual settings  Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andrea_Abel/publication/259507522_Promoting_plurilingualism_-_Majority_language_in_multilingual_settings/links/0deec52c5967de1a36000000.pdf

Council of Europe. (2007). From linguistic diveristy to plurilingual education: Guide for the development of language education policies in Europe. Retrieved from https://rm.coe.int/16802fc1c4

Psaltou-Joycey, A., & Kantaridou, Z. (2009). Plurilingualism, Language Learning Strategy Use and Learning Style Preferences. International Journal of Multilingualism, 6(4), 460-474.


Share or Tweet this: The Difference Between Multilingualism and Plurilingualism, Simplified

This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.

Understanding Language Register

January 2, 2018

A few years ago I wrote a post on language register. It has become one of the most popular and often viewed posts on my blog. It is a long and fairly involved post, so for those who like their information in bite-sized pieces, here is a quick synopsis for you in the form of an infographic:

Language ReGISTER

It is important to understand the differences between registers so you can use language that is appropriate for a particular situation. If your register is too high, you may come across as being snobby, pretentious or arrogant. If your register is too low, you can come across as being inappropriately informal or too friendly.

It is not only English language learners who need to understand the difference between registers, but native speakers do too. One of the things I have observed in my work as a professor is that students sometimes write in a register that is too casual. Sometimes students do this because they do not want to come across as “stuffy” or pretentious. But casual writing in academic and professional papers can backfire. Writing that is overly casual is often not considered professional or terribly credible by the reader. It is important for students, professionals, scientists and academics to know the formal register for writing papers, theses and reports.

Here’s a free .pdf of this infographic that you can use for your own research or teaching purposes: Language Register (.pdf).

Check out these related posts:

Teaching formal and informal language register to native speakers of English http://wp.me/pNAh3-jV

Language Register and Why It Matters (Or: Why You Can’t Write An Academic Paper in Gangsta Slang) http://wp.me/pNAh3-1pr


Share or Tweet this: Understanding Language Register https://wp.me/pNAh3-25U

This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

%d bloggers like this: