The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Rethinking the Role of AI in Business English Education: From Policing Plagiarism to Coaching Language Skills

Barbara L. Ciccarelli, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands)


This conference paper explores the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a writing tool within the context of a Business English course, aiming to ascertain whether educators can adopt a role more akin to language coaches rather than mere plagiarism monitors. Methodologically, the research draws upon first-hand experiences from the Spring 2024 class and student assignments as primary sources. Specifically, the research material derives from the analysis of student portfolios, which encompassed various reading and writing tasks. The findings indicate that reframing the approach towards AI usage in educational settings, from a suspicion-driven endeavor to a multi-layered assessment strategy similar to evaluating academic sources, can mitigate the need for a constant "guessing game" regarding students' reliance on AI for generating answers. Instead, the focus shifts towards assessing the proper citation and integration of AI-generated content, similar to conventional scholarly sources. Notably, it was observed that some inexperienced students received lower grades for failing to credit AI sources appropriately, mirroring the consequences of improper citation of academic references. Rather than resorting to accusations of plagiarism, these instances are viewed as pivotal learning moments for both students and educators, considering the nascent stage of integrating AI into educational practices. Looking ahead, the future trajectory of Business English and AI courses hinges upon the advancements in AI technology and the cultivation of responsible AI usage among educators. As instructors become proficient in designing assignments that use AI tools effectively, students stand to benefit from utilizing AI as a writing aid rather than a mere solution provider. Thus, the ongoing evolution of AI and the pedagogical refinement in its application hold promise for enhancing language learning outcomes in educational contexts.



ethics; language; nonnative students; plagiarism; writing



[1] McKee, Heidi and Jim Porter. (27 May 2023) The impact of AI on writing and writing instruction. DRC. Blog Carnival 13.

[2] McKee, Heidi and James Porter. (27-31 October 2020) Human-Machine writing and the ethics of language models.  The 21st Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers.


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