Reader's Forum: Machine translations revisited: issues and treatment protocol

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Harry Harris



Machine translation (MT) is a pedagogical issue in second language (SL) writing because student use means less engagement with the target language and diminished chances to learn it. It is also a quality issue because current MT technology is imperfect. This paper examines these issues, arguing that the current research-backed process writing methodology does not generally support student submissions of MTs for writing assignments. It also demonstrates several language problems resulting from MTs. Although MT can be valuable for business, government, and personal purposes, SL writing teachers should discourage student use of the technology.