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serenade

teaching very religious students who like acronyms

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For those of you who teach at religiously affiliated institutions or who have very religious students, have you ever encountered them writing self-identifiying religious acronyms on their work? For example, I've seen Catholic students write "+JMJ+" (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) and heard about Muslim students writing "PBUH" (peace be upon him) when referring to Muhammad. Do you think it's best to just ignore or instead to tell students that this isn't really appropriate for academic writing? 

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It may be late to change the game for this term/semester. Before addressing it, I recommend talking to your boss and the DGS. Students may feel picked on if you offer the correction. If that happens, the push back will be an unwelcome distraction/shitshow.

Going forward, when you hand out a section syllabus make it clear that writing assignments are to be fulfilled in standard American English. Provide examples of no go words and phrases. Re-enforce the point when you're talking about a pending assignment. Make sure that you have an educationally sustainable teaching point. (Every word you write should serve the purpose of advancing your core argument. If any word doesn't serve that purpose, it must be removed.) This tactic will allow you to ask "How does '+JMJ+' support your argument? You will need to be ready to refute (gently) almost every conceivable answer and provide a better way.

HTH.

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