Cyber Communication's Implications on Writing Skills of TeenagersDocument Transcript
AssignmentSubject: - SociolinguisticsResearch Question: -What are implications of cyber communication on writing skill of teenagers? Educators areconcerned that the youth diary writing or free writing habits are being taken over by facebook and text messaging. Eventually, this medium is altering their typographical skills.Resource person: - Sir Muhammad Shaban RafiPresented by: - Maqsood AhmadID #: - 090418002Program: - MSc (applied Linguistics)University of Management and Technology, Johar Town, LahoreIntroduction: -According to the free Dictionary online cyber is a prefix that means computer or computernetwork. It means it is an electronic medium in which online communication takes place.Cyber communication (relating to computers and the Internet in which some adjectives andnouns are used) is a new way to interact in society. Online social networking websites, textmessages and emails (Internet short hand, net speak or chat speak) provide users an effectiveand a quick way to communicate with people all over the world. Teenagers spend hours everyday online, on computers or personal electronic devices particularly. The effects of cybercommunication have both positive and negative consequences for teenagers.Family rescource.com states that 48 percent of teenagers believe that Internet improves theirfriendships. Social networking sites are becoming popular and youth are able to stayconnected with their online friends. Some teenagers believe that cyber connections help them
to feel confident by themselves. Instant messaging programs allow conversations with friendsto occur in real time. Online communication tools open the door for friendships with near andfar teenagers.Writing: -Teenagers are using cyber forms of communication online frequently and they don‟t requireformal writing skills. Youths often use shorthand, abbreviations or slang when they writeonline quite opposite to actual or standard language. The National Commission on Writingstates that 85 percent of teenagers use social networking communication, but 60 percent ofthem dont see this form of communication as "writing." They should be aware of thedifference between formal and informal writing, and understand when the latter is notappropriate.Methodology: -I collected this data from different sites of internet (these sites are cited in the list ofreferences) and from my students and my known ones especially from messages. I told themabout the cyber communication and asked about the messages they had sent or receivedthrough mobiles or emails. I told them reason that I wanted to analyse this data for researchpurposes because now a days people especially teenagers are using abbreviations in theiremails and cell messages instead of standard spellings. So I want to analyse those effectswhich are affecting the standard language by using these abbreviations. They provided me thedata as much as they had.Discussion: -Pew Institute and American Life Project in April 2008 reported that while 60 percent ofteenagers participating in the study did not consider text messaging and other forms ofelectronic communication to be real writing while two thirds of the students used emoticonsand Internet abbreviations such as “LOL” in academic papers.David Crystal, a British linguist and author of the book Language and the Internet, rejects thenotion that the Internet harms students‟ writing. “The main effect of the Internet on languagehas been to increase the expressive richness of language, providing the language with a newset of communicative dimensions that haven‟t existed in the past.” He says the activelychanging nature of the Internet makes it difficult to stay current in studying its effects buthe believes its influence on language is small.
Professor Dean also does not believe that the Internet necessarily leads to bad writing andsays that she has noticed an increase in the number of her students who use technology intheir writing; she says “has its ups and downside.” Dean thinks that language should changeand technology can influence that change, as long as it adheres to a foundation in what sheconsiders “correctness.” “I am very much a student of the evolution of language,” Deansays. “I believe language should change effectively change, not just weakly embrace badlanguage but it should effectively change to accommodate the needs of our culture, stillupholding the standards of good English.”As Dean asserts, language is meant to change, to evolve. Modern English is not the same asShakespearean English and it should not be like that. The purpose of language is tocommunicate, so language and writing should adapt to the method that makes communicationmost effective. If the majority of high school students are not proficient writers then themajority of high school student cannot effectively communicate in their academic settings.This trend carries over into college writing and if it is not corrected at that level then collegesand universities will produce graduates who are not prepared to compete in the workforcethat requires strong writing skills.Regardless of whether poor writing habits come from text messaging, Internet use or anotherfactor, educators need to emphasize to students the basics of good writing. Grammar andspelling lessons may not be effective side of teaching, but they are imperative if students areto improve their writing skills. A great writer does not pick up his or her pen for the firsttime and write a best seller. Strong writing comes from repeatedly learning the rules,practicing and mastering those rules. Outside factors cannot damage students‟ writing asmuch if students understand what is and is not acceptable in academic writing.The National Center for Educational Statistics administers writing assessments to high schoolstudents across the United States and their most recent report in 2007 shows poorperformance among students. According to the study, “about one student in five producescompletely unsatisfactory prose, about 50 percent meets „basic‟ requirements, and only one infive can be called „proficient‟.” If students‟ poor writing skills from high school are notcorrected in college, students could be adversely affected post-education. “We are judge onhow we communicate. We are judged on how we speak and how we write,” says MadeleineDean, English professor at La Salle University.
Some argue that increased text messaging and Internet use are to blame for students‟ poorwriting. Eleanor Johnson, English professor at Columbia University, agrees. “I think thattext messaging has made students believe that it‟s far more acceptable than it actually is tojust make screamingly atrocious spelling and grammatical errors.”Students Writing and the Web: -Some teachers blame the Internet for an increase in spelling and grammar errors. Butlanguage experts praise it for making communication more expressive. Transcript of radiobroadcast: This is the Voice of America Special English Education Report. Web browsersfirst appeared on computers in the early nineteen nineties. Since then, the Internet hasgreatly changed the way people communicate. But some teachers think the changes are notall for the better.Eleanor Johnson is an English professor at Columbia University in New York. "I think thattext messaging has made students believe that its far more acceptable than it actually is tojust make screamingly atrocious spelling and grammatical errors." She says her studentsover the past several years have increasingly used less formal English in their writing. Shesays words and phrases like "guy" and "you know" now appear in research papers. And shenow has to talk about another problem in class, she says incorrect word use. For example, astudent says "preclude" instead of "precede" when talking about one event coming beforeanother. It sounds like “precede” but it means prevent. She suspects a strong link betweenthe rise of instant and casual communication online and an increase in writing mistakes.But she admits there may not be much scientific evidence, at least not yet.Erin Jansen is founder of Net lingo, an online dictionary of Internet and text messagingterms. She says the new technology has not changed existing language but has greatlyadded to the vocabulary. "Basically its a freedom of expression," she says.And what about teachers, who find these new kinds of mistakes in spelling and grammar intheir students‟ work, what is her message to them? She says "I always advocate, dont getangry or upset about that and get creative. If its helping the kids write more orcommunicate more in their first draft, thats great. Thats what teachers and educators want,is to get kids communicating." But Erin Jansen and David Crystal agree with EleanorJohnson on at least one thing. Teachers need to make sure students understand the uses andrules of language.
Some implications of cyber communication on teenagers’ writing skills: - 1. If u wnt 2 se how fast ur mdr cn run? Jst tel hr: Ami dudh ubl gaya.In this example we can see that grammatically, semantically and syntactically this sentence isalright but no proper spellings are there and even the sender is using Urdu version oflanguage. It means he is mixing Urdu code into English language. It is also an infusion ofUrdu language into English. The writer did these spelling mistakes intentionally and he/sheused the abbreviations instead of spellings for his/her convenience. These spelling mistakesor abbreviations are called shortening and now a day it is a cool way of communication.He/she also used English spellings for Urdu words because teenagers are very much use toand feel it very easy to write English spellings on internet or cell phone instead of Urdu. Thesecond thing is that he/she is successful in conveying his/her message. These new wordsbeing abbreviations for existing long used words and phrases dont enrich anything but theyare just shortening the original words. 2. Whts hpnd wid u….?In this message again the writer used the abbreviations instead of proper spellings and savedhis/her time and energy but again he/she is successful in conveying his/her message. Theseabbreviations are just shortening of the original words. This sentence is also syntactically andgrammatically alright. But these abbreviations are creating new words for English language. 3. Nobody cn give u advice than urself. So if u wnt 2 take any opinion u take suggestion from ur heart becuz heart is ur mirror which shoz a ri8 path 4 ur leading way. 4. Victory leads u 4 success. 5. Maan 4 u: salam my dear frndz don‟t ad xchange nd join, “zabi-15” becuz he is a lier prson. 4m the owner of maan 4. plz show it 2 my frndz.In these three messages the writer again used abbreviations and shortenings instead of wholespellings. These shortenings has made the writer more creative and he/she has become muchmore successful in his communications but according to Erin Jansen, David Crystal andEleanor Johnson teachers need to make sure students understand the uses and rules oflanguage.
Here are some abbreviations, which are used very commonly.“ROFL" Rolling on the Floor Laughing"BTW" By the Way"B4" before"AKA" also known as"4gt" forgot"sum1" someone“ADR”- address“AEAP” - as early as possible“ALAP” - as late as possible“F2F” – face to face“ILU” - I love you Educators are getting worried as more and more students are involving themselves intext speak over their mobile phones and computers because their writing skills are suffering.A short message format routinely sacrifices grammar, syntax, and punctuation for the sake ofslang and brevity. There is concern that students who frequently express themselves inabbreviations and smiley faces may lose the capacity for more grammatically correct writing.But other educators see little evidence that the language of texting is having a negativeimpact on students schoolwork. In fact, some are even glad that students are communicatingso frequently through writing and are creating their own language.Does text messaging harm students writing skills? Comments from teachers:-Yes. I believe students are carrying over the writing habits they pick up through textmessaging into school assignments.Maybe, although text messaging may have some impact on how students write, I dont thinkits a significant problem.No. I believe students can write one way to their friends and another way in class. They cankeep the two methods separate.
I believe texting helps you throughout college as long as you know not to use it in papers. Ican take notes so much faster now that I am used to so many abbreviations and I find that it iseasier to make abbreviations for longer words in my science classes and remember them atthe end of the day. I used to have to write everything out and now it only takes HALF thetime to take the notes it would have taken me forever to take. So in that way txting and theabbs for txting can help a student.Gayle Blodgett: - I think you are right. I teach at a community college and I explain to mystudents very early on that one writing style does not fit all situations. This is really nothingnew there have always been different styles for different purposes. Business writing,technical writing, fiction writing, formal writing why these are a big deal to people? I think ittends to be a bigger problem for people who dont use it in their personal lives but I am in myfifties and me text quite a bit. I also use Face Book and Twitter because I think you have tostay abreast of current trends.Yes it has impact on formal writing skills: - I have observed a relationship between textmessaging and declining quality of formal writing skills. More empirical research isconducted that closely examines potential variables that attribute to the decline in qualitywriting. We simply need to make sure that students understand the difference between thewritten language used for text messaging and the written language used in other writingsituations.Spencer: - While I believe that texting is absolutely working its way into students homeworkand everyday dialogues among themselves and sometimes toward adults, I think it is a perfectteachable opportunity for students to learn about the exclusive/inclusive power of languageand how word choice or style can impact communication, specifically audience andappropriateness. Professional educators should always look for ways to teach their subjects ina way that is interesting to students. Viewing texting as a popular way of communication andas an example of how a language lives and changes, taps into a very interesting topic studentscan then relate to and take an active role in. Harnessing this interest goes beyond throwing inan off-hand "LOL" for the students entertainment or to feed some hope of gaining "streetcred" with ones youth. Fashioning assignments that use such language and creatingopportunities to have discussions about the popularity of texting and its effect on todayslanguage validates the idea that the youth of a language spoken is the true smithy in whichany language is shaped.
Doc: - I am 23 and commonly use text messages. However, I have never in my life felt theneed to abbreviate things that are undeserved of abbreviation. For example, why would youabbreviate a 3 (you) letter word, down to a 1 letter word (u). Or a 4 letter word (what) into a 3letter word (wut). Its just absurd. Maybe t9 should start correcting "wut" in "what" etc.Anyway, my main point here is that I have a little sister in 8th grade, who likes many is a diehard "texter". She is a terrible speller. Her and her friends cannot distinguish the differentbetween various common words. "There" becomes commonplace for every form of the word,"Theyre", their, than, then, too, two, to. We are yet to see the consequences of a generation ofkids who are less literate, not to mention who are going to look like inarticulate fools whentalking/writing.Irene green: - Language is a life entity, and it is changing with the rest of the worldscontent. The changes are part of both, adapting to an active present and to the mystery of thefuture.Eventually, this medium is altering the teenager’s typographical skills.Yes, the researcher is agreed with this statement that this medium is altering thetypographical skills of teenagers but the question is, “Is this medium changing the language?”The answer is “NO”. Why? Because it is only changing the spellings of words not thelanguage. In this era English language has changed into lingua franca and has got the statusof world Englishes. Now there are European English, American English, Australian English,Indian English, Singaporean English, African English and so on and they all havetypographical styles in them and these changes are acceptable all over the world. So we maysay that this typographical change will enrich English language and everybody will get aroom to communicate in English language very easily.Conclusion: -After this discussion the researcher concluded that English language has got so manytypographical changes till its birth. These changes enriched it very much and gave it thestatus of lingua franca and world Englishes. If there were no changes then perhaps Englishlanguage never got so much appreciation and never got the status of lingua franca. Forexample, if Shakespeare can comeback in this age then can he understands this Englishlanguage? The answer will definitely be “No”. The reason is that English has got so manychanges and people of every age and area developed their own words according to theirneeds. These words facilitated them as they wanted and when a word is introduced in a
speech community it becomes the part of that language and every body of that speechcommunity can use and understand that word frequently. So we can say that every newintroduced word enrich a language especially English.References: -http://www.edutopia.org/poll text messaging writing skills? page=4http://www1.voanews.com/learningenglish/home/education/a-23-2010-01-28-voa1-84659287.htmlhttp://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/education/2010/march/Using-Computer-Programs-to-Improve-Student-Writing.htmlhttp://linguisticslover.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/trends-in-college-writing/http://www.ehow.com/info_8286470_cyber-communication-its-effects-youth.html#ixzz1LxFUKUYXhttp://www.netlingo.com/