Google Translate in Academic Writing Courses?




English for Academic Purposes, academic writing, Google Translate


The aim of this study was to explore the possible benefits of using Google Translate (GT) at various tertiary English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course levels, i.e., to see if the use of GT affects the quantity and quality of student writing. The study comprised preliminary work and a case study. The former included an awareness task to assess student awareness of GT mistakes, and a correction task to assess their ability to correct the mistakes identified. The awareness and correction tasks showed that intermediate students identified 54% of the mistakes, while advanced students identified 73% and corrected 87% of the mistakes identified. The case study included two writing tasks, one with GT and one without. Results showed that when using GT students wrote significantly more words. They wrote longer sentences with longer words and the vocabulary profile of their writing improved. We believe that GT can be a useful tool for tertiary EAP students provided they are able to critically assess and correct the output.


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