40 Grammar Skills are not Affected by Texting

Megan Braine

Grammar is with no question important for all students to grasp at a young age in order to develop and continue the ability to learn new concepts. From the start of grade school to the transition to upper grade levels, grammar takes great priority in the classroom. Not only are grammar skills utilized in English studies but they are used in all other subjects too like science, social studies, mathematics, and other primary subjects. Education evolves everyday in new ways by incorporating new styles of learning and teaching. Digital technologies are quickly transforming the education system to new heights. A classroom that does not integrate technology today is likely to fall behind, negatively impacting the students’ achievements moving forward. The digital technology texting, controversially enough, does not affect grammar skills or development in the classroom. Studies have shown that texting can actually be beneficial to students and that there’s no real negative effects on students’ abilities in writing from it.

Educators are pushed and encouraged to incorporate student’s interest into their lessons and activities, so why not incorporate texting. We can assume that all students from the approximate age of six and older, text or do some sort of texting, whether that be through a game, app, or communication device. Children and teens use texting to communicate with parents, friends, family and simply because of its popularity. Texting doesn’t only involve typing words, phrases, and sentences, but it also has “text-speak”. Looking at this digital technology from a different perspective, learned from the Center for Technology Implementation, students can gain better reading skills such as word recognition and phonological awareness. It’s a concern to some that texting will interfere with a student’s academics but in fact there are benefits to texting integration in the classroom. Center for Technology Implementation informs us that texting based discussions can be beneficial for students with learning disabilities or English language learners, due to the high pressures they experience when challenging work is presented. Some students excel in their reading and writing because of digital technologies or assistive technology. Texting devices can be a fun, interactive, and approachable way for students to feel confident in the classroom, being that writing involves many different forms that may be challenging for students.

Writing is not just essays, descriptive texts, or research documents, it is much more and offers a lot more than meets the eye. Writing includes informal documents as well as formal documents. Pieces of writing have specific purposes, audiences, and different tasks at hand. Texting generates discussions which can be transferred into an educational environment with active discussions between students in different subjects and types of activities or projects. Teachers need to acknowledge that texting can be a type of writing! Traditions in education are being challenged by digital technologies year after year. Suggested from Center for Technology Implementation is if the same energy that’s put into texting was put towards writing in school, students’ interest in writing and abilities can improve significantly.

Slang and made up acronyms like “lol” or “wya” used in texting are a concern to teachers that these terms could transfer into students formal academic writing, but that’s not the case and research has been done to prove that. Tom Jacobs states in his article Study: Texting doesn’t erode your writing skills :), “Studies conducted in two countries suggest university students, at least, have a clear sense of when this often-clever shorthand is and isn’t called for, and can adjust their prose style accordingly” (2014). Instead of thinking how poorly it will affect students’ writing, educators should be creating lesson plans relevant to these norms students use and experience outside of the classroom. Slang and acronyms can be used to teachers’ advantage, to help students recognize and remember information. An example of this would be creating an acronym for a new topic learned or coming up with slang terms related to the topic for students to use, increasing their memory skills.

Not only can slang or acronyms be used within lesson plans, texting activities can be used to educate students on manners, how to communicate with others, and how to build relationships. The ability to have a simple conversation with someone through short texts or phrases enables those skills to develop into more enriched ones such as writing a letter, email, or memo, which are used in adulthood and professional fields of work. By encouraging students to write more whether that be with pen and paper or through their choice of texting, emailing, or perhaps blogging, students will become better writers. Grammar can be difficult but when taught the correct way and in an engaging way students will develop the right skills. The way language works from vocabulary, syntax, to abbreviations, it won’t be affected negatively by texting. It’s even resourceful for students who may be English language learners or with other learning disabilities. As stated before, texting could help them understand better by the use of their language as hurtle help in the classroom.

Texting is not the main source for improving literacy skills, it can be used though to enhance learning, engage students, and create outlets for conversations, without affecting grammar skills. Other ways to use texting is by using it as an outlet to send reminders to parents and/or students about homework, quizzes, or projects. It’s possible to introduce texting into the classroom and also express that there are differences between texting methods and traditional formal writing styles. If done in the right way, texting integrating in the classroom can be very effective and fun for the students!

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Good Ideas About Writing by Megan Braine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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