Monthly Archives: March 2007

Tolerating intolerable nonsense — Senator Andrew Bartlett

Bouquets to Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett for this entry on his blog: Tolerating intolerable nonsense.

Following on from my previous piece on Harmony Day and the benefits of cultural diversity, it was a bit sad, and faintly pathetic, to see The Australian choose that very day to run a rather lame opinion piece trying to do a hatchet job on multiculturalism.

The article was by Queensland University law Professor James Allen and consisted of the tired old trick of putting up two definitions of multiculturalism, one purporting to be an old definition, which happens to be excessively narrow and benign:

the phenomenon of restaurants serving foods from across the world: food that was, on the whole, far better than the then bog standard Anglo-Saxon fare.

along with

novel dances, different music, unusual art, and so on.

and the other definition so extreme and broad that it is nothing but a caricature:

the spoken or unspoken proposition that no culture’s beliefs, practices or achievements are any better (or worse) than any other’s…

Do read it all.


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Posted by on March 27, 2007 in Australian, diversity, equity/welfare, multiculturalism


Workshop Creative Writing Year 10 finished…

Go to Workshop — Creative writing Year 10 age level, six months in Australia.

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Posted by on March 13, 2007 in English grammar, English language, esl for students, student help, study skills, writing


I have something to say about reading and teaching…

… on my other blog. Hardly surprising, really. Teachers and other interested people may like to look: When I was a twenty-something conservative in transition….

Yesterday Dr Kevin Donnelly contributed to my blog! See Donnelly is miffed.

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Posted by on March 11, 2007 in equity/welfare, for teachers, pedagogy


Learning from the USA

In recent weeks I have commented several times on my other blog on what passes for educational thought these days at the federal government level here in Australia, most recently in Donnelly the dreadful, where you will find a link taking you to other entries. Since much of that thought seems to derive from a particular strand of Republican Administration ideology currently in vogue, it is worth looking into the pages of Education Week, an American magazine for educators. Free registration is required to access the articles. I have done this, and also get details of the latest issue emailed to me. It is well worth it. You will find a healthy debate there about the nostrums our government so seems to admire.

Take one issue: should early stage ESL learners (or ELLs — English Language Learners) do the same standardised reading tests that are part of the No Child Left Behind package, upon which also depend things like school accreditation and funding? You don’t have to have much imagination to see the relevance to Australia. One recent report on this is Tussle Over English-Language Learners by Mary Ann Zehr, who also has a blog in Education Week. If you check those links you will probably be invited to register before you can read them; do so. 🙂

Fifth grader Any Samaria and 4th grader Maliksha Dursunov are both classified as English-language learners, but both can confidently read aloud in English from books at a 1st grade level. And they’re quickly picking up some of Virginia’s required academic skills for reading, such as how to identify a “problem” in a story.

Even so, the three teachers for their reading class of beginning English-learners at Waterman Elementary School in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley oppose making the students take the state’s regular reading exam at their official grade levels, as federal officials would require.

After all, Any (pronounced AH-nee) came from Honduras only about a year ago, and Maliksha, a Meskhetian Turk from Russia, arrived less than a year ago. The two still struggle to speak full sentences in English…

Also having a blog on Education Week is Emmet Rosenfeld, “an English teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 9, 2007 in equity/welfare, esl for teachers, for teachers, pedagogy



All your own work


Click to see cartoon full size.

Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism


Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s words or ideas as your own. The following are all examples of plagiarism:

  • Quoting or paraphrasing material without citing the source of that material. Sources can include Web sites, magazines, newspapers, textbooks, journals, TV and radio programs, movies and videos, photographs and drawings, charts and graphs; any information or ideas that are not your own.
  • Quoting a source without using quotation marks — even if you do cite it.
  • Buying a paper online or downloading a paper from a free site.
  • Copying or using work done by another student.
  • Citing sources you didn’t use.
  • Turning in the same paper for more than one class without the permission of both teachers.


The best way to avoid plagiarism is to take careful notes. When taking notes, always do the following:

  • First, read the entire text and summarize it in your own words. Then paraphrase important points and copy usable quotes. Enclose quotes in quotation marks.
  • Carefully distinguish between material that is quoted, material that is paraphrased, material that is summarized, and your own words and ideas. Consider using different colored ink for each type of source.
  • Include in your notes all the information you will need to cite your sources.
  • Copy all source information into your working bibliography using the format your teacher has provided.
  • Print any Web pages you use. Write the URL and the date on the Web page if it isn’t included on the printout.
  • Save all your notes and printouts until you receive your final grade.


You must cite the source of every quote, every paraphrased passage, and every summarized idea you use in a research paper. Commonly known facts, such as dates or definitions, do not need to be cited unless you take those facts directly from a specific reference source, such as an encyclopedia. If you’re not sure whether a source should be cited, include it just in case.

Sources must be cited both in the body of the paper and in the bibliography. In the body of the paper, you must do the following:

  • Copy quoted material exactly, enclose it in quotations marks, and name the author immediately before or after the quote. Use the same procedure for summarized or paraphrased material, but omit the quotation marks.
  • Cite the source information (title, publisher, date, and so on) for the quote or paraphrased or summarized information either in parentheses within the text or in a footnote.
  • List on a reference page at the end of your paper the information for all the sources you have cited. (This is not the same as the bibliography.)

The bibliography is a list of all the sources you used — both those you cited and those you used for research, but did not cite directly. The bibliography should follow the format your teacher has provided.


The following tips on the writing process also will help you avoid plagiarism.

  • Read your notes carefully and make sure you understand the material before you begin to write.
  • Write a preliminary draft without looking at your notes. Leave spaces where you think you’ll want to include quotes or supporting material.
  • Use your own words as much as possible. No one expects you to write like an expert or a professional writer. You should, however, write like a serious, intelligent student.
  • Cite all sources as you write your rough draft.
  • Read through your final draft and make sure all uncited ideas are your own.

© 2002 by Education World®. Education World grants educators permission to reproduce this page for classroom use.

I posted that on the old Tripod blog on Friday, 10 June 2005.

The NSW Board of Studies now offers a comprehensive site called HSC: All My Own Work . It is vital that students do this program.