Monday, December 16, 2013


I am so frustrated right now. We are in the final stretch of the semester (final exams begin tomorrow!) I am not sure what the issue is with some of my students, but I am very upset by the overuse of Google Translate. I am not sure what the problem is.......or how to fix it. I have never had a group so reliant on GT before.

My current frustration is a student that wrote his three paragraph fairy tale for the summative assessment for the fairy tale unit. The minute I looked at it, I knew there was trouble. The writing was far superior to anything he had ever done before. As I read the three paragraphs, my eye was drawn to three misspelled words, one in each paragraph, in English. This pretty much confirmed what I had suspected all along, that he had used Google Translate to write the story.

Now, against my policy and my usual mean "teacher" self......I spoke to this student, and after he confessed to using the translator (and he broke down and cried), I decided to give him the opportunity to write the story again....IN HIS OWN WORDS!! I reassured him that I would not have given an assignment that I didn't feel that all of my students were capable of doing and that dictionaries are fine, but translators are not. Students have to use their own brain to show me what they know.

So, today was the deadline for him to give me his rewrite. (I gave him an entire week, which I thought was rather nice of me.) What did I get for all my niceness? I have a paper, that is almost word for word EXACTLY THE SAME as the original paper he turned in!!!!! He did fix the words that he misspelled in English and translated them to Spanish.....and he also added his own sentence to the end. Now to ensure that I knew exactly what had been done, he made sure he gave me back the original with the new version.

I am so upset I could spit nickels.....Now, I have to call parents and explain that I gave their kiddo a second chance and that he still chose to use the translator. I don't know how to be more clear about translator usage. me!!!!