Skip to main content

Cheating

In teacher blogs one subject I have never come across is cheating by pupils. You may want to file this one under grandmothers and egg-sucking, but here we go. It is an important aspect of classroom management.

Just as some pupils lie (just ask any head of year how brazenly they do so), some cheat. If they are not tackled about it they will cheat often. Given the chance some will cheat in class if their partner's work is in view. They will also cheat by copying homework wholesale from friends. Some are smart enough to try and disguise their cheating by deliberately leaving some differences between their work and that of the person from whom they have copied. Others cheat by using Google Translate.

My experience was that, in nearly all cases, once the pupil had been tackled quite aggressively over the issue, they did not cheat again. Nice Mr Smith became nasty and abrupt Mr Smith. Furthermore, a firm lecture on the issue to the whole class would largely deal with the issue. My pitch to pupils and classes was that I was personally offended by cheating because it was fundamentally dishonest. They were handing in something to me under false pretences and I disliked being hoodwinked.

As well as a good talking-to, I would set extra work so that the student knew cheating would end up costing them more time. A blind eye was never turned.

Google Translate has aggravated the issue, but it is nearly always easy to spot, as all cheating is. Our policy was that if evidence of computer translation was found it would be punished by detention. We put a notice to this effect on classroom walls. It only rarely occurred.

What about the cheatee - one who offered their work for copying? I would not normally not punish them. It is possible that they were coerced. I would make it clear that giving your work to someone else was not acceptable.

And how about that situation where pupils have worked collaboratively on homework during a weekend get-together? In my view this is no better. The pupils concerned are still handing in work as if it were their own. They may (just) think that working together is alright. They need to know that, in most situations, it is not.

So you can see that we had a pretty zero tolerance approach on cheating and i believe that is how it should be. It is one of the fundamental reasons for marking pupils' work and we need to set high moral standards as far as honesty is concerned.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The latest research on teaching vocabulary

I've been dipping into The Routledge Handbook of Instructed Second Language Acquisition (2017) edited by Loewen and Sato. This blog is a succinct summary of Chapter 16 by Beatriz González-Fernández and Norbert Schmitt on the topic of teaching vocabulary. I hope you find it useful.

1.  Background

The authors begin by outlining the clear importance of vocabulary knowledge in language acquisition, stating that it's a key predictor of overall language proficiency (e.g. Alderson, 2007). Students often say that their lack of vocabulary is the main reason for their difficulty understanding and using the language (e.g. Nation, 2012). Historically vocabulary has been neglected when compared to grammar, notably in the grammar-translation and audio-lingual traditions as well as  communicative language teaching.

(My note: this is also true, to an extent, of the oral-situational approach which I was trained in where most vocabulary is learned incidentally as part of question-answer sequence…

Delayed dictation

What is “delayed dictation”?

Instead of getting students to transcribe immediately what you say, or what a partner says, you can enforce a 10 second delay so that students have to keep running over in their heads what they have heard. Some teachers have even used the delay time to try to distract students with music.

It’s an added challenge for students but has significant value, I think. It reminds me of a phenomenon in music called audiation. I use it frequently as a singer and I bet you do too.

Audiation is thought to be the foundation of musicianship. It takes place when we hear and comprehend music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present. You can audiate when listening to music, performing from notation, playing “by ear,” improvising, composing, or notating music. When we have a song going round in our mind we are audiating. When we are deliberately learning a song we are audiating.

In our language teaching case, though, the earworm is a word, chunk of l…

Dissecting a lesson: using a set of PowerPoint slides

I was prompted to write this just having produced for frenchteacher.net three separate PowerPoint presentations using the same set of 20 pictures (sports). A very good way for you to save time is to reuse the same resource in a number of different ways.

I chose 20 clear, simple, clear and copyright-free images from pixabay.com to produce three presentations on present tense (beginners), near future (post beginner) and perfect tense (post-beginner/low intermediate). Here is one of them:





Below is how I would have taught using this presentation - it won't be everyone's cup of tea, especially of you are not big on choral repetition and PPP (Presentation-Practice-Production), but I'll justify my choice in the plan at each stage. For some readers this will be standard practice.

1. Explain in English that you are going to teach the class how to talk about and understand people talking about sport. By the end of the lesson they will be able to say and understand 20 different sport…

Designing a plan to improve listening skills

Read many books and articles about listening and you’ll see it described as the forgotten skill. It certainly seems to be the one which causes anxiety for both teachers and students. The reasons are clear: you only get a very few chances to hear the material, exercises feel like tests and listening is, well, hard. Just think of the complex processes involved: segmenting the sound stream, knowing lots of words and phrases, using grammatical knowledge to make meaning, coping with a new sound system and more. Add to this the fact that in England they have recently decided to make listening tests harder (too hard) and many teachers are wondering what else they can do to help their classes.

For students to become good listeners takes lots of time and practice, so there are no quick fixes. However, I’m going to suggest, very concisely, what principles could be the basis of an overall plan of action. These could be the basis of a useful departmental discussion or day-to-day chats about meth…

Responsive teaching

Dylan Wiliam, the academic most associated with Assessment for Learning (AfL), aka formative assessment, has stated that these labels have not been the most helpful to teachers. He believes that they have been partly responsible for poor implementation of AfL and the fact that AfL has not led to the improved outcomes originally intended.

Wiliam wrote on Twitter in 2013:

“Example of really big mistake: calling formative assessment formative assessment rather than something like "responsive teaching".”

For the record he subsequently added:

“The point I was making—years ago now—is that it would have been much easier if we had called formative assessment "responsive teaching". However, I now realize that this wouldn't have helped since it would have given many people the idea that it was all about the teacher's role.”

I suspect he’s right about the appellation and its consequences. As a teacher I found it hard to get my head around the terms AfL and formative assess…