Impact of Text Messaging Language Shortcuts in Formal Writing By Sophomore Students

7 July 2016

INTRODUCTION Electronic gadgets are having a profound effect on all aspects of life, especially to children and young people, and language is no exemption. These electronic gadgets has become an increasingly famous means of communication. However, there are distress that this trend is having a harmful effect on the writing skills of students. Communication technology is composed of many forms of electronic communication.

Those associated with the internet, now accessible through both computers and mobile phones; include e-mail, instant messaging services, chat rooms, forums, social networking sites, interactive online gaming networks, and Web-logs (blogs). In addition, mobile phones enable their users to make telephone calls and send text messages. This electronic communication has changed the composing process and participation in writing activities; and we all know that a good writing skill is very vital in gaining a job and advancing in one’s place of employment in the near future.

Impact of Text Messaging Language Shortcuts in Formal Writing By Sophomore Students Essay Example

Writing is a complex process that involves many skills, processes, and strategies. It requires a codifiable medium to convey meaning and uses a vocabulary, based on known conventions and rules of usage, to create new ideas. Can we acquire these good writing skill that we need to master to be successful throughout our education if these trends are having harmful effects on the writing skills of students? Critics have noticed that this increasing trend in communication technologies has however led to a new variety of the written language, which seems to be deviant from the traditional norms.

One example of this is that email communication is more informal in comparison to traditional norms governing the form of official letters. Since the language of e-mail and SMS messages is associated with acronyms and changes in spelling norms; it is an inherently informal communication system. Standard spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, which are some of the characteristics of the normal written language, is not present in the use of electronic communication. The explosion of social media has completely changed the way we communicate with each other. Whether via laptop, computers or advanced mobile devices.

Students are using texting as a major method of their day to day communications, and because they are writing on compact and small keyboards they invented these acronyms to get their ideas across with the least typing time possible. There is nothing wrong with this except when it spells over into the formal writing territory then it becomes a problem. Texting and the slang that goes with it have crept into students’ more formal writing. The implications of modern technologies to writing practices especially among teens is examined in this study and solutions proposed in order to ensure effective writing and literacy development.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The research question sought to determine if language shortcuts have an impact on sophomore’s formal writing skills. In addition, the question also sought to find out if these language shortcuts affect the students’ spelling skills. In an attempt to answer this question, five focus questions were derived to address the contributing factors. Specifically, it sought to answer the following research questions: 1. What is the demographic profile of the Sophomores in relation to: 1. 1 Age 1. 2 Sex 1. 3 Spoken Language 2. How students use language shortcuts in their academic writing in terms of: 2.

1 Grammatical Syntactic Rules 2. 2 Acronyms 3. How language shortcuts influence student’s spelling and grammar skills? 4. How well atudents are able to differentiate between casual writing and academic writing in terms of: 4. 1 Punctuation 4. 2 Capitalization 5. How the use of language shortcuts influence the amount of writing students do. 5. 1 Number of characters 5. 2 Syntactical and lexical reductions 5. 3 Semantics HYPOTHESIS It is hypothesized that students may carry over the writing habits they pick up through text messaging into assignments.

One way that text messaging affects writing skills is that it encourages people spell words the wrong way into their writing projects. Texting may also make people dislike traditional writing. They get used to the shorthand way of texting and do not want to put the effort into writing a letter or paper. ASSUMPTIONS There is an assumption that student’s written language skills are deteriorating because of increase use in electronic communication. This research was based on the Constructivist theory, which rationalizes that students use what they are most familiar with as they acquire new knowledge.

Like in all things, there is a golden rule that governs technology’s impact on education -“Moderation in Everything. ” Text messaging language shortcuts can easily be overused within the community, and this can cause negative effects on the entire learning experience. Some of these effects are already seen from student’s formal writing, and an overall lack of respect for correct language usage within essays. It was assumed that the participants in this study were representative of mostly lower section sophomore students. There is the assumption that lower section students have less-than-average academic writing and spelling skills.

In addition, there is the assumption that the majority of the research participants used the text messaging feature on their cellular phones and the language shortcuts commonly used with the method of communication. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY Today’s students are a generation of learners who want things instantly, as exhibited by the use of text messages and the language shortcuts that are commonly used within the messages. Teachers also must have an understanding of how these students perceive their own academic writing skills.

The researchers believed that, in giving this study a great importance, this will be of great significance to the whole community. This research aims to discuss the impact of electronic communication gadgets to determine the possible effects of text messaging so that remedial measures may be instituted. It also aims to determine the hazards and influence of language shortcuts in their academic writing. The following are the list of persons that are to be benefitted in this study, and how they are going to be benefitted. The Teacher

After teachers know to what degree text messaging language shortcuts influence students’ writing skills, adjustments can be made to the curriculum to factor in the technological changes that may improve their deficient writing skills. Teachers in developmental courses must find other ways, more relevant ways, to connect with those students. The use of text messaging language shortcuts in the writing process may be that connection. The Students As the text messaging shortcuts contributed in the academic writing skills of the students, they will be able to lessen their exposure in using too much shortcuts.

Avoiding grmmatical and lexical errors for them to follow the formal writing. Students must find some ways to develop it that they are not violate the rules of academic formal writing. These text messaging shortcuts will help the students to identify what they need to be improved in their academic formal writing. To the Body of Knowledge This study contributes to the body of knowledge needed to address this problem by examining the impact, if any, that the language shortcuts have on the students’ formal writing skills.

This study presents current literature as it relates to the prevalence with which students use common methods of technology, the role developmental courses play in bolstering students’ writing skills, and the constructivist theory of learning, which contends that students relate their existing knowledge to what they are learning. SCOPE AND DELIMITATIONS As much as it is a relevance to bring forth this study to completion, this study must be completed during the entire semester.

Due to population acquired at Muntinlupa National High School, specifically the sophomores of the said institution. The study would be conducting interviews, focus groups, observations and group discussions. The number of participants for the focus group was based on information from Hatch (2002), who wrote that most authors of qualitative research recommend that the size of focus groups be kept to about 6 to 12 participants to allow enough participants for discussion, but not such a large number that everyone does not get to speak.

The six participants will discuss their use of text messaging language shortcuts in a small-group setting with the researcher serving as facilitator. The same six randomly selected students were observed in classroom settings during a writing assignment. The use of the focus group and observations served as methods to triangulate the data obtained from the individual interview sessions. In addition, previous writing assignments were analyzed to establish an idea of the students’ writing styles, grammatical skills, and command of the language.

The number of sections that were involved in the study were the lower sections of the said institution to visibly determine the impact of text messaging language shortcuts in the formal writing of students. LIMITATIONS The findings of this qualitative research could be subject to other interpretations due to the participants’ proficiency of text messaging language shortcuts as well as the participants’ varied levels of academic writing skills. Also, the study was limited to sophomore students.

As such, the findings may not be applicable to the general population of students at the school. Furthermore, some of the potential participants were selected randomly. DEFINITION OF TERMS Technology is continually advancing. As it becomes more personal and commonplace, some terms have become quite familiar. However, there are other terms that may not be as well known. This section provides a list of terms relevant to this study. Language shortcuts: Abbreviations, shortened words or codes used to communicate short messages with other cellular phone users (Schaller, 2007, p.

7). Text messaging: A feature on cellular telephones that allows users to receive and send short messages (maximum of 160 characters) using the telephone’s alphanumeric keypad (Harley, Winn, Pemberton, & Wilcox, 2007, p. 1). Formal Writing Skills: CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK The conceptual framework for this study was taken from research that addressed students’ use of text messaging and its relationship on students’ writing skills. Research revealed there was limited statistical information regarding the use of text messaging and its influence on students’ academic writing.

This study also demonstrated how the students use the language shortcuts by abbreviating or using codes for words. Figure 1: Paradigm for getting the impact of text messaging language shortcuts in formal writing skills. RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES Writing teachers have encountered new challenges as text messaging language shortcuts have made their way into the academic writing classroom. The literature reviewed within this section explores how the constructivist theory supports the notion of connecting what students know about text messaging with what they do in their assignments.

Specifically, the research looks at how and why some students are using text messaging language in their academic compositions. This section also looks at the function of developmental writing courses and the role they play in honing students’ writing skills and the knowledge base of teachers regarding this form of technology. Overall, the relevant literature sought to address the research question about how text message language shortcuts influence developmental students’ writing skills.

This literature review begins with an exploration of the role the constructivist theory plays in the implementation of technology in the writing classroom. This section also reviews the various research methods used in the scholarly studies. Applying B. F. Skinner’s theory of behaviorism, the writing teacher would provide instruction and model the compositions the students were to produce, and the practice would be repeated until the expected outcome was achieved (Irvin, 2001, p. 8).

Students would rely on their memories and routine practices to complete writing assignments, and they possibly had no connection between how they were learning and what or how they were writing. Skinner’s concept of operant conditioning stressed the reinforcement of responses to attain learning. Basically, the behaviorist theory allowed the learner to react to what was going on in the environment around him instead of allowing the learner to be actively involved in the environment itself. But questions arose as to whether the drills and repetition actually helped students learn to write well.

Graham and Perin (2007) suggested that one way to combat the rigidity and repetitiveness of writing instruction is for teachers to focus more on students’ expressions instead of their grammar and spelling during the early stages of the writing process. The Constructivist Theory As education continually evolved, teachers moved beyond the routine type of instruction to allow the students to be more involved in their learning process. The constructivist theory permitted students to be more in charge of their own educational processes and development.

Constructivism was created based upon John Dewey’s belief that students increase their knowledge as a result of their experiences and social activities. Lev Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development expanded the idea of constructivism into the sociocultural realm, which stressed social interaction as a means of acquiring knowledge. The theorist suggested that learners must be exposed to those with more experience in order to promote advanced levels of learning. In that regard, students and teachers play an active role in how knowledge is obtained and the tools used to gather that knowledge.

The constructivist theory is applied to the writing curriculum by having the teacher present composition topics that are relevant to the students and through which the students can write details based upon their prior knowledge, beliefs, and experiences. That writing instruction should also focus on stretching students’ minds and honing their awareness and creative thinking capabilities to produce compositions that demonstrate their understanding of what they know (The National Commission on Writing in American’s Schools and Colleges, 2003, p.

13). Students’ use of text messaging language shortcuts to prepare their writing assignments is an example of social constructivism. It allows students to gain meaningful knowledge using cultural items, such as the cellular phone, to create a common understanding with other students. Constructive learning allows students to use their existing knowledge to grasp and retain the new knowledge. When students are able to process information internally they are then able to produce assigned writing assignments with greater ease.

They are able to use what they have been taught through instruction and blend it with their preferred method of self-expression, which may be text messaging. Teachers need to embrace innovative ideas that may be outside of the traditional style of teaching to allow the students to be more involved in their educational development. Text messaging can be used as a learning tool if students are taught how to make the connection between its form of writing and the formal, academic writing.

A study of the instructional use of text-messaging practices by DeArment (2002) found that when pedagogical practices were based on cognitive-constructivist theory, the students were believed to be actively involved in the lesson. They were able to “cognitively manipulate the course content” and transform their thinking in order to gain more meaning from the instruction. Those students who were introduced to texting after gaining a strong knowledge of basic writing skills had an easier time switching between the informal text-speak and formal English.

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