Thursday, June 19, 2008

Against Encouraging Chat with Students

These days, it seems that almost all students have a tendency toward talking to each other through Internet, instead of being face-to-face or talking in person. On this, many English teachers warn that chatting in Internet or text messages in cellular phones would bring about serious English writing problems. “A recent survey by the College Board and Pew Internet and America Life Project found that most students say it’s important to know how to write well, but a majority also said that Internet style language – including abbreviations and emotions – is making its way into their classwork” (Weeks, 2008, paras.12-14). On the other hand, there is a big generation gap between teenagers and older people, because it is quite difficult for older people to understand the language that is being used in Internet or cellular phone. Nevertheless, teenagers would say that there are many advantages in using specific words in Internet or cellular phones. In reality, many people who are frequently using Internet or cellular phones approve of teenagers’ opinions. However, I would roughly disagree with using Internet style words among teenagers.

Therefore, I believe that teenagers who like to use Internet style words should be instructed by English teachers, because there are three main reasons; the losing if the native language, the feeling of generation gap, and the lack of academic skill.

Firstly, people might lose their original language, in the course of time, due to using Internet style language. Lee (2002) stated that teenagers who depend on using specific words in Internet or cellular phone when they speak use irregular language with thoughtlessness. Namely, when teenagers grow up, the language the use may gradually be changed irrespective of their academic education. So, I think that home education is as important as school is. Above all, parents have responsibilities for how their children use language. It would be not only a fundamental education, but also a very important instruction.

Secondly, people may argue that using Internet specific words enables teenagers to feel alienated from older generation. Although older people try to understand what teenagers do, it is quite hard to recognize what they say. Guess (2007) said, “traditional ways of thinking and learning are undergoing a sea change.” So, people should make ceaseless efforts to avoid the generation gap in modern society.

Finally, using text communication would enable teenagers to induce the lack of academic skill. “professor Ben Yagoda has been teaching English for 16 years. Students, he say, are getting brighter. But their abilities to write clealy have deteriorated appreciably in the past four or five years” (Weeks, 2008, para.35). Many students have shown a tendency toward degrading their writing skill, because of the text communication. Thus, school should intensify students’ English abilities through more effective curriculums.

In conclusion, we should adjust using text communication to a certain extent. Though people cannot impinge on the teenagers’ will, we should do collaborative work to solve these problems. Sooner or later, I believe that using Internet words or text message would be corrected by our continuing efforts. Consequently, the main three results, the losing of the native language, the feeling of generation gap, and the lack of academic skill, would disappear soon.

Guess, A. (2007, September 17). Students’ Evolving use of technology. Inside Higher Ed.
Retrieved on June 16, 2008, from
Lee, J. (2002, September). Nu shortcuts in school R2 much 4 teachers, NY Times.
Retrieved on June 16, 2008, from
Weeks, L. (2008, June 15). The fate of the sentence: is the writing in the wall?,
Washington Post. Retrieved on June 16, 2008, from

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