Texting Impacts Student Writing

Photo+by+Esmeralda+Rodriguez
Photo by Esmeralda Rodriguez

Photo by Esmeralda Rodriguez

Photo by Esmeralda Rodriguez

Esmeralda Rodriguez, senior

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Technology is negatively impacting student’s writing; too many have fallen into using the abbreviations and acronyms of every day texting in their academic writings.

Students who communicate with peers on social media or via text messaging often make use of “text-speak.”  Unfortunately, many do not know not to do so in school.  Slang terms such as “u,” “idk,” and “2nite,” often called “text-speak,” are used to speed up the writing process, which is fine in casual conversation, but not in schoolwork.

According to the Pew Research Center, there has been a large decline in the writing ability of student scholars in recent years.  This is creating a negative impact on student’s school work and essays, which are often filled with punctuation and grammatical errors.

Health and Medical Academy English teacher Dana Klein said, “I do think it (text-speak) is affecting student’s writing… I think texting is good and that it has allowed students to write more, but we need to help them figure out the different ways and the different purposes and the different audiences for which we write.”

The Pew Research Center reports that 85 percent of teens use an electronic cell phone to communicate.  Unfortunately, many are not cautious when using slang in schoolwork.  When doing homework, they become careless and do not take the time to re-read what they have written down.

Clairemont High School staff member Jackie Elzien said, “I want to say it (texting) makes students lazy; I just think it makes them less creative.  People that use (text-speak) to communicate with other people don’t take the time to be creative in the way they think and talk to each other.”

Technology is also a problem for adolescents when it comes to interacting with their peers due to the lack of face-to-face communication.  Too often they hide behind a device.  Clairemont senior Karla Villegas said, “Yeah, my friends and I are guilty.  Even when (we’re) with one another, we still manage to text each other when we’re in the same room.”

Moreover, educators fear that “text-speak” is going to create long-lasting academic problems for students.  “Text-speak” is a concern for many teachers who feel it is undermining the future for graduates; however, if young students are smart enough to know what situation to use this type of vocabulary in, it does not have to pose a problem.  Most students know to avoid text writing in their school work.  They also know how to “code-switch,” or they need to figure out how to.

Others have a more optimistic view.  Some parents feel that this new form of communication is helping children become more advanced in their reading and writing.  This “text-speak” is making kids write more than any parent ever did.

Klein said, “I think students are smart and they realize that texting is one avenue and venue for writing, but whenever you’re writing an email for business or for your job… that’s a different form of writing than text messaging, and I would like to think students would graduate knowing that.”

It seems that “text-speak” is going to be a language that future generations will grow up using.  The key is to educate students when and where is an appropriate time to use “text-speak.”

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