From Collaboration to Cheating: Where Do We Draw The Line?
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(v) – act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage
(n) – a person who behaves dishonestly in order to gain an advantage
We’ve all grown up with the idea that cheating is wrong. It’s bad, it’s against school rules and it just generally shouldn’t be done.
Are things different in the EFL classroom?
Well, in many respects EFL classrooms are very different to other classrooms. We like to think that learning English should be a fun and enjoyable event so we do everything we can to make our EFL classrooms as different to the stereotypical classroom as possible: we don’t stand at the front of the classroom for the whole lesson, we encourage questions, we involve our students in every stage of the lesson and we foster participation and interaction.
Which brings up the sticky issue of: when does collaboration turn into cheating?
If we want our students to work together and we know the benefits of peer teaching and teamwork and co-operation, why is it a problem sometimes when our students do exactly that?
Quite frankly, we don’t think it is.
The aim of learning English is being able to use and understand English, not to pass a test. If they need to work together in order to help them grasp a concept or problem solve a language issue, then so be it. This will surely only serve to help them in the learning process, whether they are asking or answering the question.
BUT (and it’s a big but), before we get our heads bitten off, we must reassure you that t’s and c’s apply.
If you are teaching in a school and are giving your students a placement or level test, then it makes sense that we would want our students to work individually – because otherwise you would not be testing their individual performance. Even if you are giving an end-of-the-week test you may want to limit the groupwork and enhance the individual work.
In these cases, there are things you can do to try to avoid the problem of cheating: arranging the classroom so it does not encourage peeking, keeping an eye on your students during the test and dealing with clear instances of cheating quickly and quietly.
Hopefully in this way cheating will not become an issue in your classroom. If you find that it is, consider the reasons that may lie behind the cheating. Is there a lot of pressure on your students to perform well? Are your students not paying attention during your lessons so they are unprepared for the test? Are the tests inadequate reflections of their learning?
Above all, it is necessary to instil in your learners that cheating is not useful for their learning. Collaboration is, given the right circumstances, and so should be encouraged during class time, but cheating will never help anyone. Hopefully, if your learners appreciate they are learning English for a purpose – i.e. communication in the real world – then their enthusiasm for learning will negate the need to cheat.
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Name of course Description Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 20-hour face to face Classroom Teaching Practice TEFL Course combined with a 148-hour online TEFL and grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour online Top-Up Online Courses) Online Level 5 TEFL Course 168-hour Online Level 5 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Online Level 3 TEFL Course 120-hour Online Level 3 TEFL & grammar course (Plus three free 30-hour Top-Up Online Courses) Top-Up Courses 30-hour Online Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Business English and Teaching Online & 1:1 Courses 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours of webinar teaching practice course (Learn about classroom management and Q&A with a TEFL expert)
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Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks
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Extension type Extension fee pre-expiry Extension fee post-expiry Level 3 & 5 TEFL Course 30 day extension $55 $70 Level 3 & 5 TEFL Course 90 day extension $80 $95 Top-up Course 30 day extension $30 n/a
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Name of course Price Combined Level 5 TEFL Course $ Online Level 5 TEFL Course $660 Online Level 3 TEFL Course $458 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course $160 Top-up courses $130
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- The TEFL Academy offers a guaranteed pass, or your money back guarantee. You can retake the exams as many times as needed in order to pass. If you fail to achieve a pass on any assignments after your third attempt we will provide you with a full refund. A full refund will not be provided in accordance with clauses 11.4 & 11.5.
- Native speakers of English will typically be above the minimum standard of English for this course.
- Non-native speakers should have an English level of C1 (Advanced), as a minimum to commence the course.
Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
- Students found not to have a C1 level of English will likely fail the course and not complete the
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- Where an assignment marker finds evidence that indicates that plagiarism may have occurred within a submitted
assignment, this will be escalated to an Internal Quality Assurance Manager for investigation who will compare
the submitted assignment to the source it is believed to be plagiarised from. The Internal Quality Assurance
Manager will make an assessment as to whether they consider plagiarism to have occurred. In the event the
Internal Quality Assurance Manager decides that plagiarism has occurred, they will prepare and provide to you a
detailed report outlining the reasons for their decision along with a letter explaining your removal from the
course. Should you wish to dispute this decision, you can do so in accordance with The TEFL Academy’s Appeals
policy for students which can be found here.
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The TEFL Academy’s Appeals policy for students which can be found
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LAST UPDATED: 27th August 2021
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Information Governance & Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
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We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
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- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
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Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
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- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by Everything TEFL Ltd but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
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- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
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In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that Everything TEFL Ltd securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to Everything TEFL Ltd collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think Everything TEFL Ltd has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the Everything TEFL Ltd processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.