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Implications of Cyber Communication


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Implications of Cyber Communication

  1. 1. What are implications of cyber communication on writing skill of teenagers? Educators are concerned that the youth diary writing or free writing habits are being taken over by face book and text messaging. Eventually, this medium is altering their typographical skills. Resource person: - Muhammad Shaban Rafi Presented by: - Maqsood Ahmad ID #: - 090418002 (Sociolinguistics) Program: - MSc (applied Linguistics) University of Management and Technology, Johar Town, Lahore
  2. 2. Introduction: - According to the free Dictionary online cyber is a prefix that means computer or computer network. 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 and nouns are used) is a new way to interact in society. Online social networking websites, text messages and emails (Internet short hand, net speak or chat speak) provide users an effective and a quick way to communicate with people all over the world. Teenagers spend hours every day online, on computers or personal electronic devices particularly. The effects of cyber communication have both positive and negative consequences for teenagers. Family states that 48 percent of teenagers believe that Internet improves their friendships. Social networking sites are becoming popular and youth are able to stay connected with their online friends. Some teenagers believe that cyber connections help them to feel confident by themselves. Instant messaging programs allow conversations with friends to occur in real time. Online communication tools open the door for friendships with near and far teenagers. Writing: - Teenagers are using cyber forms of communication online frequently and they don’t require formal writing skills. Youths often use shorthand, abbreviations or slang when they write online quite opposite to actual or standard language. The National Commission on Writing states that 85 percent of teenagers use social networking communication, but 60 percent of them don't see this form of communication as "writing." They should be aware of the difference between formal and informal writing, and understand when the latter is not appropriate. Methodology: - I collected this data from different sites of internet (these sites are cited in the list of references) and from my students and my known ones especially from messages. I told them about the cyber communication and asked about the messages they had sent or received through mobiles or emails. I told them reason that I wanted to analyse this data for research purposes because now a days people especially teenagers are using abbreviations in their emails and cell messages instead of standard spellings. So I want to analyse those effects which are affecting the standard language by using these abbreviations. They provided me the data as much as they had.
  3. 3. Discussion:- Pew Institute and American Life Project in April 2008 reported that while 60 percent of teenagers participating in the study did not consider text messaging and other forms of electronic communication to be real writing while two thirds of the students used emoticons and Internet abbreviations such as “LOL” in academic papers. David Crystal, a British linguist and author of the book Language and the Internet, rejects the notion that the Internet harms students’ writing. “The main effect of the Internet on language has been to increase the expressive richness of language, providing the language with a new set of communicative dimensions that haven’t existed in the past.” He says the actively changing nature of the Internet makes it difficult to stay current in studying its effects but he believes its influence on language is small. Professor Dean also does not believe that the Internet necessarily leads to bad writing and says that she has noticed an increase in the number of her students who use technology in their writing; she says “has its ups and downside.” Dean thinks that language should change and technology can influence that change, as long as it adheres to a foundation in what she considers “correctness.” “I am very much a student of the evolution of language,” Dean says. “I believe language should change effectively change, not just weakly embrace bad language but it should effectively change to accommodate the needs of our culture, still upholding the standards of good English.” As Dean asserts, language is meant to change, to evolve. Modern English is not the same as Shakespearean English and it should not be like that. The purpose of language is to communicate, so language and writing should adapt to the method that makes communication most effective. If the majority of high school students are not proficient writers then the majority 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 colleges and universities will produce graduates who are not prepared to compete in the workforce that requires strong writing skills. Regardless of whether poor writing habits come from text messaging, Internet use or another factor, educators need to emphasize to students the basics of good writing. Grammar and spelling lessons may not be effective side of teaching, but they are imperative if students are to improve their writing skills. A great writer does not pick up his or her pen for the first
  4. 4. time and write a best seller. Strong writing comes from repeatedly learning the rules, practicing and mastering those rules. Outside factors cannot damage students’ writing as much if students understand what is and is not acceptable in academic writing. The National Center for Educational Statistics administers writing assessments to high school students across the United States and their most recent report in 2007 shows poor performance among students. According to the study, “about one student in five produces completely unsatisfactory prose, about 50 percent meets ‘basic’ requirements, and only one in five can be called ‘proficient’.” If students’ poor writing skills from high school are not corrected in college, students could be adversely affected post-education. “We are judge on how we communicate. We are judged on how we speak and how we write,” says Madeleine Dean, English professor at La Salle University. Some argue that increased text messaging and Internet use are to blame for students’ poor writing. Eleanor Johnson, English professor at Columbia University, agrees. “I think that text messaging has made students believe that it’s far more acceptable than it actually is to just 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. But language experts praise it for making communication more expressive. Transcript of radio broadcast: This is the Voice of America Special English Education Report. Web browsers first appeared on computers in the early nineteen nineties. Since then, the Internet has greatly changed the way people communicate. But some teachers think the changes are not all for the better. Eleanor Johnson is an English professor at Columbia University in New York. "I think that text messaging has made students believe that it's far more acceptable than it actually is to just make screamingly atrocious spelling and grammatical errors." She says her students over the past several years have increasingly used less formal English in their writing. She says words and phrases like "guy" and "you know" now appear in research papers. And she now has to talk about another problem in class, she says incorrect word use. For example, a student says "preclude" instead of "precede" when talking about one event coming before another. It sounds like “precede” but it means prevent. She suspects a strong link between
  5. 5. the 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 messaging terms. She says the new technology has not changed existing language but has greatly added to the vocabulary. "Basically it's a freedom of expression," she says. And what about teachers, who find these new kinds of mistakes in spelling and grammar in their students’ work, what is her message to them? She says "I always advocate, don't get angry or upset about that and get creative. If it's helping the kids write more or communicate more in their first draft, that's great. That's what teachers and educators want, is to get kids communicating." But Erin Jansen and David Crystal agree with Eleanor Johnson on at least one thing. Teachers need to make sure students understand the uses and rules 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 is alright but no proper spellings are there and even the sender is using Urdu version of language. It means he is mixing Urdu code into English language. It is also an infusion of Urdu language into English. The writer did these spelling mistakes intentionally and he/she used the abbreviations instead of spellings for his/her convenience. These spelling mistakes or 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 to and feel it very easy to write English spellings on internet or cell phone instead of Urdu. The second thing is that he/she is successful in conveying his/her message. These new words being abbreviations for existing long used words and phrases don't enrich anything but they are just shortening the original words. 2. Whts hpnd wid u….? In this message again the writer used the abbreviations instead of proper spellings and saved his/her time and energy but again he/she is successful in conveying his/her message. These
  6. 6. abbreviations are just shortening of the original words. This sentence is also syntactically and grammatically 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 whole spellings. These shortenings has made the writer more creative and he/she has become much more successful in his communications but according to Erin Jansen, David Crystal and Eleanor Johnson teachers need to make sure students understand the uses and rules of language. 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
  7. 7. Educators are getting worried as more and more students are involving themselves in text 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 of slang and brevity. There is concern that students who frequently express themselves in abbreviations 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 negative impact on students' schoolwork. In fact, some are even glad that students are communicating so 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 text messaging into school assignments. Maybe, although text messaging may have some impact on how students write, I don't think it's a significant problem. No. I believe students can write one way to their friends and another way in class. They can keep the two methods separate. I believe texting helps you throughout college as long as you know not to use it in papers. I can take notes so much faster now that I am used to so many abbreviations and I find that it is easier to make abbreviations for longer words in my science classes and remember them at the end of the day. I used to have to write everything out and now it only takes HALF the time to take the notes it would have taken me forever to take. So in that way txting and the abbs for txting can help a student. Gayle Blodgett: - I think you are right. I teach at a community college and I explain to my students very early on that one writing style does not fit all situations. This is really nothing new 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 it tends to be a bigger problem for people who don't use it in their personal lives but I am in my fifties and me text quite a bit. I also use Face Book and Twitter because I think you have to stay abreast of current trends.
  8. 8. Yes it has impact on formal writing skills: - I have observed a relationship between text messaging and declining quality of formal writing skills. More empirical research is conducted that closely examines potential variables that attribute to the decline in quality writing. We simply need to make sure that students understand the difference between the written language used for text messaging and the written language used in other writing situations. Spencer: - While I believe that texting is absolutely working its way into students' homework and everyday dialogues among themselves and sometimes toward adults, I think it is a perfect teachable opportunity for students to learn about the exclusive/inclusive power of language and how word choice or style can impact communication, specifically audience and appropriateness. Professional educators should always look for ways to teach their subjects in a way that is interesting to students. Viewing texting as a popular way of communication and as an example of how a language lives and changes, taps into a very interesting topic students can then relate to and take an active role in. Harnessing this interest goes beyond throwing in an off-hand "LOL" for the students' entertainment or to feed some hope of gaining "street cred" with one's youth. Fashioning assignments that use such language and creating opportunities to have discussions about the popularity of texting and its effect on today's language validates the idea that the youth of a language spoken is the true smithy in which any language is shaped. Doc: - I am 23 and commonly use text messages. However, I have never in my life felt the need to abbreviate things that are undeserved of abbreviation. For example, why would you abbreviate a 3 (you) letter word, down to a 1 letter word (u). Or a 4 letter word (what) into a 3 letter word (wut). It's 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 die hard "texter". She is a terrible speller. Her and her friends cannot distinguish the different between various common words. "There" becomes commonplace for every form of the word, "They're", their, than, then, too, two, to. We are yet to see the consequences of a generation of kids who are less literate, not to mention who are going to look like inarticulate fools when talking/writing. Irene green: - Language is a life entity, and it is changing with the rest of the world's content. The changes are part of both, adapting to an active present and to the mystery of the future. Eventually, this medium is altering the teenager’s typographical skills.
  9. 9. Yes, the researcher is agreed with this statement that this medium is altering the typographical 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 the language. In this era English language has changed into lingua franca and has got the status of world Englishes. Now there are European English, American English, Australian English, Indian English, Singaporean English, African English and so on and they all have typographical styles in them and these changes are acceptable all over the world. So we may say that this typographical change will enrich English language and everybody will get a room to communicate in English language very easily. Conclusion: - After this discussion the researcher concluded that English language has got so many typographical changes till its birth. These changes enriched it very much and gave it the status of lingua franca and world Englishes. If there were no changes then perhaps English language never got so much appreciation and never got the status of lingua franca. For example, if Shakespeare can comeback in this age then can he understands this English language? The answer will definitely be “No”. The reason is that English has got so many changes and people of every age and area developed their own words according to their needs. 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 speech community can use and understand that word frequently. So we can say that every new introduced word enrich a language especially English. References: - text messaging writing skills? page=4 84659287.html Improve-Student-Writing.html youth.html#ixzz1LxFUKUYX