A double-edged sword: the merits and the policy implications of Google Translate in higher education

Mundt, Klaus and Groves, Michael J. (2016) A double-edged sword: the merits and the policy implications of Google Translate in higher education. European Journal of Higher Education, 6 (3). pp. 1-15. ISSN 2156-8243

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Machine translation, specifically Google Translate is freely available on a number of devices, and is improving in its ability to provide grammatically accurate translations. This development has the potential to provoke a major transformation in the internationalisation process at universities, since students may be, in the future, able to use technology to circumvent traditional language learning processes. While this is a potentially empowering move that may facilitate academic exchange and the diversification of the learner and researcher community at an international level, it is also a potentially problematic issue in two main respects. Firstly, the technology is at present unable to align to the socio-linguistic aspects of university level writing and may be misunderstood as a remedy to lack of writer language proficiency – a role it is not able to fulfil. Secondly, it introduces a new dimension to the production of academic work that may clash with Higher Education policy and, thus, requires legislation, in particular in light issues such as plagiarism and academic misconduct. This paper considers these issues against the background of English as a Global Lingua Franca, and argues two points. First of these is that HEIs need to develop an understanding and code of practice for the use of this technology. Secondly, three strands of potential future research will be presented

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Journal of Higher Education on 12/04/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/21568235.2016.1172248
Keywords: academic writing, English for Academic Purposes, English as Lingua Franca, Higher Education policy, academic misconduct
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2016.1172248
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2016 14:39
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2016 13:32
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/32759

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