Leopard Jacob Mwalongo


This study intended to examine the language used in cheating in higher learning education examinations. The study specifically sought: to explore the body language used during cheating in examination; identify reasons for choice of the body languages in cheating during examination; to identify linguistic expression used to facilitate cheating in examinations. The study used both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The researcher used random sampling to obtain the sample. The study involved 350 students from Dar es Salaam regional centers of the Open University of Tanzania (OUT). The instrument used for data collection was the questionnaire. The data were analyzed through SPSS 16 version. The study found that; the most used forms body language in cheating during examination are facial expression (81.4%) and hand-finger gestures (62.3%). However, majority of the students rated high on the positioning of the invigilator (91.1%), number of invigilators during invigilation (80.0%). And the angle one sat (57.7%) as reasons for the choice of body language in cheating during examination. Further, students gave linguistic expressions of body language in cheating like: “attention” (eye brow movement), “ready to help someone” (head movement up –down), “I don’t know” (body posture- up- down shoulder movement or right left of the head) “wait” (up and down of the hand palm). It can be said that, cheating during examination is obvious; use of certain body language depends on the needs and intention of the cheating student in cheating. It is recommended that the invigilator should be keen when invigilating, and the institution has to send their invigilators for short course on language use in educational context especially during examination and techniques used in cheating for quality education.


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language, academic cheating, body language, linguistic expression, educational examination, Open University of Tanzania (OUT)


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