Text Lexicon

By: Lisa McDivitt Email
By: Lisa McDivitt Email

If you have teenaged children, chances are they text... a lot.

One recent industry study found that teens text 7.5 times more than they make calls.

Text messaging tends to bend the rules of grammar, or even require a language of its own. So does this change the way teens are turning in their English homework?

One thing is certain: There's no question texting is changing the way teens communicate.

"I usually text my mom, if she doesn't answer her phone. Or my friends," says Grand Junction High School senior, Shane Beasley.

GJHS graduate Elle Dunn does the same. "I text my friends and my mom. I've gotten addicted to it now."

But is it changing their performance in the classroom?

Edutopia.org, a foundation devoted to the study of today's education system, recently posed that question to their teacher audience.

Forty-six percent of 430 respondents said yes – that it's taking writing down a notch.

But one Grand Junction teacher disagrees.

"I think kids have an amazing capacity, actually, to embrace all these changes in language,” says Sutton Casey, who teaches English at GJHS. “I don't think it means that they can't write in a formal fashion when asked to."

She suggests teachers embrace it as a tool – assigning homework via text, using it for pop quizzes or reminders. But not at the expense of distraction.

"I think we should use it. But is it a distraction in class? Sure. Because kids have a huge desire to communicate."

And as far as this new technological development of the English language, Casey thinks it's great.

"It's exciting and interesting that a whole new lexicon is coming up. It shouldn't be feared, it should be something that we figure out how to use better."

But whether it's altering the way students turn in papers or not, one thing is certain: with the convenience of text messages, the age–old art of passing notes in class has officially disappeared.

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