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Accused of using a translation aid for a foreign language assignment? Defense tips from a lawyer for students.

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2018

You submit your foreign language composition to your teacher or professor and think that you did a pretty good job. Suddenly, you get an email from your language professor that you need to meet. In the meeting, they accuse you of using a translation program like google translate, or having a native speaker help you with edits. They claim they will give you an F and will be referring you to the student conduct office. What should you do now? Read on for advice from a lawyer for students.

I didn’t use google translate or a native speaker for my language assignment. How do I prove this?

Proving you did not do something is one of the hardest defenses to create. One option is to translate a phrase to the teacher if you feel confident you can duplicate the level of work in the assignment. Be careful though, a well edited assignment is often not easily duplicated on the spot. Some teachers will use this as proof you used an aid if the on the spot translation is worse than your assignment.If you don’t feel confident translating on the spot, another option is to ask the teacher for their evidence that you did in fact use an aid. Too often students fall into the trap of trying to prove something that isn’t there. Turn the tables around, ask the teacher to show their evidence. Chances are they may just have suspicions and nothing concrete.

The teacher does not believe me.

If a teacher still believes you used an unauthorized translation aid or native speaker, you must ask them what the next step is. Some teachers may say that you will receive an F on the assignment and that is it. Others will not only give you an F, but also refer the student to the conduct office or administration for further punishment.

Is there anyone else I can plead my case to if my teacher does not believe me?

Yes. There is always a chain of command that a student can use to get another opinion on the situation. In college, there is a grade appeal or conduct hearing to plead your case. For middle and high schools, the principal or other school administration should be the first step to resolving the issue. Each school has its own unique process, ask the student support office or guidance counselor for clarification on the steps to dispute the allegation and subsequent consequences.

Advice from a lawyer for students

Consider involving a lawyer in the student disciplinary process. A lawyer for students can help by issue spotting, creating defense arguments, and attacking the teachers evidence plus more. Students are often bullied in these situations and having an expert fight alongside them increases the chance of a successful outcome.

Can you help all students accused of academic misconduct?

Yes. I work with students in high schools and colleges all over the United States fight academic misconduct accusations like using unauthorized assistance. Remember: preparing a defense takes time and the process moves quickly. Don’t wait too long to get a lawyer for students involved. Richard Asselta is an award-winning lawyer who defends students against academic dishonesty charges like unauthorized assistance throughout the United States. Call Asselta Law today for a free consultation and start building your defense. (855) 338-5299 Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard Asselta on AVVO, a lawyer review website.