Multilingual Essay Mills: Understanding Contract Cheating among Second Language Learners – Workshop

February 1, 2019

U of C logo - 2015As many of you know, I’ve been developing a research program on academic integrity over the past few years. Last year I began collaborating with my friend and colleague, Dr. Roswita Dressler, on a project that brings together our combined expertise in academic integrity and language learning.

It started when I noticed that almost all of the research that I’d seen about contract cheating was focused almost exclusively on services provided in English. That led us to ask ourselves what the market was students of second languages. We undertook a rapid review to help us get a general sense of the landscape. We wrote up the results and they have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. I’ll post about it when the publication comes out later this year.

We are also doing a workshop at the University of Calgary’s Language Research Centre  to help teachers of second languages build their understanding of what the contract cheating industry is and why they need to pay attention.

Workshop description

Contract Cheating_Poster - LRC WorkshopContract cheating happens when students have a third party complete academic work on their behalf. The term was coined by UK researchers Clarke and Lancaster (2006). It includes, but it not limited to essay mills and homework completion services. Suppliers of this form of “black market” academic work exist mainly online. Students can simply upload a digital copy of their assignment instructions to a website, insert a delivery date and pay for the work by credit card. Contract cheating is big business. Owings and Nelson (2014) found the essay mill industry in the United States alone to be valued at a minimum $100 million USD. Estimates show that over 71,000 post-secondary students in Canada buy academic work online (Eaton, 2018). There is growing evidence to suggest that contract cheating is not limited to academic work completed in English, but also in a variety of world languages.

In this workshop, you will learn more about what contract cheating is, how it happens, and how second language learners can order homework tasks, essays and even theses from online providers, customized to the exact instructions of an assignment. We will discuss strategies for prevention and detection, along with an examination of what to do if you suspect a case of contract cheating among your students.

Date and time: Friday, February 15, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Location: Craigie Hall, 4th floor, Room D-420

This workshop is open to the public and is free to attend.

References:

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, Gateshead, United Kingdom.

Eaton, S. E. (2018). Contract cheating: A Canadian perspective.  Retrieved from http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcblog/2018/07/24/contract-cheating-a-canadian-perspective/

Owings, S., & Nelson, J. (2014). The essay industry. Mountain Plains Journal of Business and Economics, 15, 1-21. http://www.mountainplains.org/articles/2014/General%20Research/Mountain_Plains_Journal_of_Business_and_Economics_Volume_15_2014_1-21_General_Research_Owings.pdf

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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.

 

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Call for papers: Multidisciplinary Approaches in Language Policy and Planning Conference 2012

April 15, 2012

University of CalgaryAre you interested in language policy and related research? I’m on the organizing committee for this upcoming conference in Calgary and promised I’d share this call for papers. We’d love to have you submit a proposal!

Multidisciplinary Approaches in Language Policy and Planning Conference 2012

September 6 – 8, 2012

University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Plenary Speakers

  • Francois Grin, University of Geneva
  • Elana Shohamy, Tel Aviv University
  • Peter Ives, University of Winnipeg

Call for papers

This international conference will be held at the University of Calgary, Canada.  We invite papers that approach language policy from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives, and in a variety of contexts, from the local/institutional to national/global.  We invite abstracts (500 words maximum) for papers in any of the following areas:

  • Language policy and political theory
  • Official language policies
  • Language policy and lingua franca
  • Heritage language policies
  • Language policy and globalization
  • Ideologies and language policies
  • Language policies in school settings
  • National identities and language policies
  • Language policy and the economics of the workplace
  • Non-official languages in mainstream classrooms
  • Language policies and social mobility
  • Language attrition, language revitalization and language policies
  • Language policies and transnational communities

Abstracts should be 500 words maximum including all references. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2012.

Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by at least two experts in the field. Final decisions will be sent to authors by June 15, 2012.

Each paper presentation should be 20 minutes, with 10 minutes for discussion. You can submit a maximum of two contributions, one as author and one as co-author or discussant.

Principal conference organizers: Dr. Tom Ricento and Dr. Mary O’Brien.

Go here to submit your proposal: http://www.educ.ucalgary.ca/lpp/call-for-papers

Conference website: http://www.educ.ucalgary.ca/lpp/

Click here for a downloadable poster for the conference.

Conference Twitter hashtag: #malpp

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Update – January 2018 – 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.


Living, loving and learning languages – An appreciation event for language teachers and literacy tutors

March 23, 2012

Today at the University of Calgary I’m doing a presentation for language teachers and literacy tutors. It is not a research talk, but rather an appreciation event that takes a light-hearted look at teachers, tutors and other instructors who work in informal, non-formal and formal language learning contexts and how we can build the profession — and help our students — by collaborating, rather than competing.

If you are in Calgary, please join us!

Language Research Centre, D-419

University of Calgary

2500 University Dr. NW

Calgary, Alberta

2:00 – 2:55 p.m.

View this document on Scribd

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Update – January 2018 – 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.


Global Issues in Language Teaching and Learning

June 23, 2011

University of Calgary A few colleagues and I at the University of Calgary are collaborating to team teach a block week course this fall:

LANG 599 / 699: Global Issues in Language Teaching and Learning
Block Week Fall 2011: September 6-10, 2011

Course description:

In today’s multilingual society, each of us is both a language learner and a language teacher. In this interdisciplinary course we will discuss current research and its practical implications as they relate to language teaching and learning. Students will engage with real-world data and will have the opportunity to publish course papers.

Instructors: Dr. Mary O’Brien, Dr. Sarah Eaton, Roswita Dressler and Katherine Mueller.

Course location: This course is taught live (face-to-face) at the University of Calgary.

Prerequisites: Senior or graduate student standing.

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Update – January 2018 – 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.


Lifelong Language Learning: Benefits for 21st Century Global Citizens

April 1, 2011

University of CalgaryApril 2 – 9, 2001 is International Adult Learners’ Week. The Language Research Centre, in conjunction with Alberta Advanced Education and Technology and UNESCO, is hosting a panel discussion on the importance of lifelong language learning, mutilingualism and multiculturalism.

This panel brings together thought leaders from a variety of organizations in Calgary who are experts on language learning, multilingualism and multiculturalism. They will share their views on the importance of language learning in the 21st century and its relevance to us as Calgarians, Canadians and global citizens.

Expert panelists include:

  • Mr. Wayne Cao, MLA Calgary Fort (to be confirmed)
  • Dr. Mary O’Brien, Director, Language Research Centre
  • Dr. Rahat Naqvi, Associate Director, Language Research Centre
  • Dr. Jürgen Meisel, Distinguished Fellow, Language Research Centre
  • Mr. Michael Gretton, Southern Alberta Heritages Language Association (SAHLA)
  • Ms. Shaheen Murji, Mount Royal University, International Education and Past President, Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language

    Wayne Cao, MLA, Calgary Fort and Dr. Sarah Eaton

    Mr. Wayne Cao, MLA, Calgary Fort with me, holding the “Advantage for Life” CD produced by the Language Research Centre. This photo was taken at the IALW event.

Student Discussant: Ms. Jacqueline Warrell, PhD Candidate, Graduate Division of Educational Research

Event host: Dr. Sarah Eaton, Research Associate, Language Research Centre

The Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education (IISLE) will join us via videoconference from Edmonton.

For more information, visit these websites:

Alberta Advanced Education and Technology (AAET)
Language Research Centre

View this document on Scribd

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Update – January 2018 – 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.


A Review of the Literature on Second Language Learning

July 19, 2010

Written Dr. John Archibald,  Dr. Sylvie Roy and other researchers at from the Language Research Centre (LRC), of the University of Calgary, A Review of the Literature on Second Language Learning, 2nd ed. Published in 2006, this study examines 4 key areas:

  1. Effects of a second language on a person’s first language
  2. The role of content instruction in offering a second language
  3. Effects of second language learning on students with special needs
  4. Effects of learning and third language on students for whom English is a second language.

Some key findings of this research are:

  • Exposure to a second language can enhance non-linguistic skills such as divergent thinking, attitudes towards others and math skills.
  • Acquiring knowledge in a second language does not impede first language development.
  • Significant time investment is required to acquire full fluency.
  • Content-based language teaching (e.g. teaching math or science in a second language) can increase students’ ability to make connections between second language study and the outside world.
  • Students with special needs can learn second languages.
  • Acquiring a third language is a common occurrence around the world.
  • It helps to learn a third language if you have a strong proficiency in a first language.

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Update – January 2018 – 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.


Leadership through Language Learning and Teaching: The Case of Gandhi

May 11, 2010

In February I presented a paper called “Leading through Language Learning and Teaching: The Case of Gandhi” at the “Interdisciplinary Language Research: Relevance and Application Series” at the Language Research Centre at the University of Calgary.

I talked about a study I conducted of Gandhi’s autobiography, An autobiography or the story of my experiments with truth.
My purpose was to uncover and analyze Gandhi’s experiences as a second language learner. Here’s what I found:

1) Gandhi learned 11 languages throughout his life, including his native Gujarati.

2) He used his knowledge of other languages to connect with others on a deeper level, helping them fight for human and civil rights.

3) He believed that all children should learn more than one language.

He says, ““It is now my opinion that in all Indian curricula of higher education there should be a place for Hindi, Samskrit, Persian, Arabic and English, besides of course the vernacular.” (Gandhi, 1948, p. 9)

For Gandhi, language learning and leadership were intertwined. He saw language learning as a way to communicate with others in his own country, to connect with others on a deeper level, understanding their human condition from a compassionate point of view.

While not everyone who learns another language may go on to have a profound effect on the world to the degree that Gandhi did, any person who learns a new language grows as a human being because they can communicate with others in new ways. This helps to develop a more profound curiosity about the world around us, which leads us to learn more about that world. Learning more about the world and those who live in it leads to deeper understandings of other cultures, other values and other ways of understanding life, love, politics, spirituality and all that is important to humans. Learning other languages opens up new possibilities for personal and professional growth, new opportunities to do meaningful work and ultimately, to value others more deeply because we can communicate with them better and understand them.

The presentation included a practical classroom activity for students.

The full-text paper is publicly available on the ERIC data base.

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED508664

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Related posts:

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Update – January 2018 – 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.


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