Text messaging: Don't Get Mad, Get Creative

Written by Erin Jansen

British Educators Angered by "Texting" I say "don't get mad, get creative!"

by Erin Jansen, author "NetLingo The Internet Dictionary" and http://www.NetLingo.com

Texting is a new form of online communication. Texting is English that's been adapted torepparttar rapid fire conversational style of instant messaging. Commonly transmitted over cell phones or mobile devices, "texters" userepparttar 107944 keypad to type written messages to each other.

You've seen bits and pieces of it: brb, cul8r, lylas, b4n, cu@8... It's one ofrepparttar 107945 most popular sections on NetLingo.com.

For teenagers, texting is like knowing another language. Since it is an online language, it is global in nature and is quickly becoming a universal from of English.

Given that you must typerepparttar 107946 messages, shortcuts have been created in an effort to type more in less time. Shortcuts such as r, u, and b4 make these text messages look like code, but in fact it is conversational writing.

It is this kind of conversational writing that is infiltrating students' schoolwork and educators are wondering what to do about it. In a recent interview withrepparttar 107947 BBC entitled "The Pedant's Revolt" I came face to face with those who fearrepparttar 107948 Queen's English is losing her ground.

While everyone agrees that language evolves, there are groups of highly educated speakers and professors who are dead set againstrepparttar 107949 presence of texting in schoolwork and who are arguing for ways to stamp it out. My presence onrepparttar 107950 program, however, forced us to look atrepparttar 107951 cultural implications of online communication and to look for creative ways to deal.

It is not only a subculture of youths who are texting: 60% ofrepparttar 107952 online population under age 17 uses text messages (according to Nielson/Net Ratings). They use it primarily to socialize and communicate, in other words, for recreation.

It is certainly true that at school, kids need to knowrepparttar 107953 difference between formal writing and conversational writing. They need to know where to drawrepparttar 107954 line between formal English and informal English.

Before we solverepparttar 107955 problem with text shorthand found in schoolwork, I want parents and educators to realize and appreciate there is a culture associated with this style of writing, and that culture is important and meaningful to our youths.

After all, when kids use text messaging, they are communicating and isn't that something every parent wants to cultivate? Don't you want your child to express him or herself? To communicate more?

The same is true for educators, after all, because ofrepparttar 107956 Internet, kids are writing more than ever. Isn't that what every teacher wants, to get their kids writing?

Texting poses two major challenges forrepparttar 107957 educator. One, should not be to overcome this new abbreviated language, but rather find ways to use it creatively.

The second challenge texting poses for educators is solved when teachers impress upon their students that there is a clear distinction between formal and conversational writing and that in class, only formal writing is accepted inrepparttar 107958 final draft.

The opportunity exists to encourage students to use text shorthand to spark their thinking process. For example, when you're writing a first draft, it's all about freeing up your creativity.

A sixth grade teacher said "When my children are writing first drafts, I don't care how they spell anything, as long as they are writing. Remember creative writing class? If this lingo gets their thoughts and ideas onto paper quicker,repparttar 107959 more power to them."

It is duringrepparttar 107960 editing and revising stages of a writing project thatrepparttar 107961 switch needs to happen. The switch from using elements of text shorthand to only standard English needs to happen. Ifrepparttar 107962 text shorthand still appears inrepparttar 107963 final draft, it isrepparttar 107964 educator's responsibility to work withrepparttar 107965 student to make sure this writing is translated or converted into proper English.

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