Higher Education

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 551–565 | Cite as

Chinese university EFL teachers’ perceptions of plagiarism

  • Jun Lei
  • Guangwei Hu


Although Chinese university students’ perceptions of plagiarism have been extensively investigated, those of their teachers have been surprisingly under-researched. This study sought to address this gap by investigating 112 Chinese university English teachers’ knowledge of and attitudes towards plagiarism. While 57 participating teachers had overseas academic experience, the remaining ones received all their education in mainland China. They completed a perceptions of plagiarism survey that elicited their knowledge of several common forms of plagiarism in Anglo-American academia, perceptions of various possible causes of plagiarism, and attitudes towards plagiarism induced by different causes and plagiarism in general. The study found that the teachers reported varying knowledge of different types of transgressive textual practices, variegated perceptions of the different causes of plagiarism, but clearly punitive attitudes towards plagiarism. It also revealed significant differences between teachers with and without overseas academic experience in knowledge of and stances on plagiarism. These findings highlight the complexity of plagiarism as an intertextual phenomenon and point to the important role of cultural practices and academic socialisation in shaping perceptions of it.


Academic socialisation Academic writing Chinese university EFL teachers Plagiarism Transgressive intertextuality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English Language and Literature, National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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