Chinese ESOL lecturers' stance on plagiarism: Does knowledge matter?

Jun Lei, Guangwei Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Research and discussion on plagiarism have focused predominantly on ESOL students with little attention paid to ESOL teachers. This article reports a study of Chinese university English lecturers' knowledge of and stance on two intertextual practices (i.e. unacknowledged copying and unattributed paraphrasing) regarded as plagiarism in Anglo-American academia, and, consequently, in the wider international academic community. Drawing on 117 Chinese university English lecturers' ratings of three short English passages and open-ended justifications of their ratings, the study found that around two-thirds and two-fifths of them recognized unacknowledged copying and paraphrasing as plagiarism, respectively, and held clearly punitive attitudes towards detected plagiarism. It also revealed that while there was a broad consensus of opinion about unacknowledged copying, understandings of unattributed paraphrasing appeared divergent and ambivalent. These findings not only call into question essentialized views of plagiarism that stereotype cultures as either condoning or condemning plagiarism but also suggest a need to raise Chinese university English lecturers' awareness about Anglo-American notions of plagiarism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalELT Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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