Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 19, 2008

:-( TXT TLK uncool 4 skul

frontpageactionpoints.gif
1.gif
For some families, text messaging reflects a "digital divide" between generations. Find an article, photo or ad illustrating another pop culture area that may separate students and parents.
2.gif
Reading the paper regularly builds skills in spelling, grammar and other subjects. Show an example of content that adds or reinforces knowledge.
3.gif
Texting shorthand is hardly the only common instance of a group language. See if you can spot jargon or slang used by politicians, athletes, business executives or – yes – journalists.

The good news is that parents say their teens write more than previous generations did. The flip side is concern that informal – or in4mal – communication via e-mail and instant messages lowers the quality of students' writing because of carefree spelling, casual punctuation, loose grammar and use of initials in place of words. Can NE1 say OMG?

Students who write daily on BlackBerry and Motorola Razr phones don't always switch to formal English in school, a new national study confirms. Phone interviews with 700 teens and their parents by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that two-thirds of middle school and high school students have accidentally used text-messaging style in academic work. Half confessed to informal punctuation and grammar. A quarter admitted they’ve turned in papers with smiley faces and other emoticons.

Lax and loose writing doesn't make adults LOL. "It's like nails on a chalkboard for the teacher. When people's vocabulary becomes abbreviated, you therefore think less," says Carol Miloszewski, who teaches high school English in Allegheny, Pa.
Though educators use red pens and grade penalties to combat what some call "fast-food English," the spread of digital shorthand doesn’t alarm the new study’s senior researcher. "This is what I would term a new slang," says Amanda Lenhart of the Pew Project. "We've always had slang. This is different only in that the language comes out of text instead of spoken language, which is how most of our slang has emerged in the past."

Student says: "I'll forget I'm writing a formal paper. I'll replace 'for' with the number 4. It'll just come out by itself without me thinking about it. But when I proofread, I laugh when I see it." -- Vivek Musinipally, San Jose high school senior

Researcher says: "The teachable moment for parents and teachers is to talk about what makes informal writing and what makes formal writing -- and what's appropriate in each." -- Amanda Lenhart, Pew Research Center

Educator says: "We are very pleased to see how much writing is going on outside of school. The amount of writing -- rich, varied and connected to Internet content -- is good news. The challenge is how can we get that kind of excitement and engagement in schools?" -- Richard Sterling, National Writing Project director

Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2014
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Holiday tech gifts include new phone gadgets, app-driven robot, LEGO Technic, Skylanders tablet game

Police body cameras are pushed in wake of deaths sparking protests across U.S.

Calorie totals are coming to vending machines, popcorn counters and restaurants so we can eat smarter

Here comes the holiday shopping frenzy – with resistance to Thanksgiving Day sales

Why ‘net neutrality’ is in the news and how it affects you

Why you hear about ‘net neutrality’ and how its affects you

Space place crash makes trips by 'tourist' astronauts seem further out there

Here’s why midterm elections Tuesday in all states are important

Cable TV and dish antennas lose popularity as digital streaming expands

Federal response to Ebola grows as missteps spread concern

Complete archive