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Does texting spell trouble for students?

May 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
You don't need punctuation, correct spelling or complete sentences to text message. So what does texting do to students' language skills in the real world?Some teachers say too much texting is translating into trouble in the classroom.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch Leslie Sykes' report.

"Spelling, it is hard because I never have to spell anything right when I text," said one teen.

Most high school students these days text a lot.

"My mom said I sent like 4,000 in one month," said another teen.

Meghan Rowlands teaches high school English. She says she's noticed some text messaging habits trickling into students' school work.

"It's short, it's informal, it's abbreviated and so they have short, informal, and abbreviated sentences in their written work," said Rowlands.

She says punctuation can also be a problem.

"Commas are just kind of sporadically placed because I tell them to put commas in their papers. So they're just kind of put in some places, then they're not in the appropriate places," said Rowlands.

But ninth grade English teacher Kathleen Servick doesn't think text messaging has an impact on students' language skills.

"I see kids still being able to separate the difference between standard academic language and a different audience, which is their peer group," said Servick.

"When I'm like writing e-mails, I have to like remember that I'm writing it to like not one of my friends, so then that's when I use like correct," said one student.

It's just a matter of knowing when to use text lingo and when not to.

Research on text messaging is mixed. One study finds kids are writing shorter answers on exams. Another study shows students are quite talented at switching between texting and conventional language.

 

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