Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New Zealand students may 'text-speak' in exams - CNN.com

I'm among those thinking, "Are you all nuts"?

I understand that this is a valid mode of communication. I understand that it is important to allow students to express themselves. However, text-speak is likely no more than a blip on the screen (no pun intended). It will likely be disappear as technologies shift.

I think that they will look back on this and cringe.

What do you think?

Dan

4 comments:

Janine said...

I agree with you. Students need to be taught the differences between academic language and the informal language that is accepted in communication with peers. Standard written English changes very slowly, and not everyone can even read text messages easily, so students definitely need to understand the limitations of its use.

Dan said...

Yes, Janine, I think that this is a very poorly thought out approach. While language does change, especially in the realm of vocabulary, these changes take years to become standardized and make their way into academic and professional communication.

The biggest problem with "chat-ese" is that it is constantly changing, thus even users of the language don't know its meaning much of the time. If it's still around in 20 years, I'll think about letting it pass in a student's paper. CALL me old-fashioned, but it is what it is.

Dan

Ioana said...

I myself think this judgement is an exageration and maybe it's meant to give students more autonomy and freedom in self-expression, but on a long run, it's actually not beneficial for students. I think it impoverishes their language abilities by encouraging them to use an uniformized language at all times. I do believe that students should learn different registers of language and when it's appropriate to use one or the other.
In my classes, I usually give some colloquial versions or even slang, but I stress the fact that is not standard language and they should be careful when to use it. Also, Italians can be very sensitive to formal speach use in certain situations.
In conclusion, I don't see chat language as something bad, it's just that I don't think it's appropriate to allow it especially in formal types of assessment like national or standardized tests.

Dan said...

There's no doubt that slang is important. Without it, students will not be able to adequately communicate in non-academic situtations. Language in most places is laden with slang.

However, like you said, there is a time and place for everything and an academic essay is not the place for "cu l8r"

Dan

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