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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Using an ADAPT Approach to Integrate Google Translate into the Second Language Classroom


The increasing prevalence of students’ use of Google Translate has been the catalyst for re-developing the language classroom. Through progressive adaptations, Google Translate has been integrated to help support meaningful language learning, academic rigor and intellectual curiosity. Five key steps form the foundation of the ADAPT approach: amending assignments, discussing Google Translate, assessing with Google Translate in mind, practicing integrity, and training students to use Google Translate. Through this approach, students can be guided in a more mindful use of Google Translate that supports academic rigor and meaningful language learning. This paper outlines the ways in which Google Translate been integrated into beginning and intermediate online Spanish courses. The results of a small study that investigated students’ perceptions and uses of Google Translate in two fully online first-semester Spanish courses that used the ADAPT approach found a diverse mix of uses and perceptions. Students who used Google Translate had neither excessive advantages nor disadvantages. The author argues for a broader acceptance and integration of Google Translate so instructors can better manage their students’ Google Translate use, so students can be guided to more mindful practices and so more productive discussions can take place between language instructors and students.

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