How the use of cell phones changes the English for High School and College student
How the use of cell phones changes the English for High School and College student
Mobile phones have been attributed to the poor performance among most students at school. The growing technology has enabled young boys and girls to acquire advanced mobile phones that can contain all their necessities. With these phones, students have been able to interact through chats via text messages and other messaging platforms like Whatsapp and Kik. Through this art of chatting, they have developed some form of writing their messages that they can understand. Different groups have different forms of writing certain words and only people in that particular group can understand these words. Moreover, shortening of words has been the most common trend that has been adopted by most of the young people. This mode of chatting has influenced the way students write and speak English. Some students go to the extent of using the short words such as “LOL” in exams. Critics, however, have repeatedly argues that the excessive use of cell phones is harming students’ abilities to communicate properly.
Change in vocabulary and sentence structure
Relevant studies such as Baron (2004), is one of the few empirical studies that was conducted regarding Instant Messaging at the time of writing. Baron’s research is fully based on a corpus that was collected from the American college students. Her remarkable discovery was that Instant Messaging was more conservative than it is portrayed by the press (Barron 419). A mere 0.3% of the words had typical Instant Messaging Abbreviations such as hrs, and cuz; 0.4 percent represented emoticons such as the smiley faces and the like, and less than 0.8 percent were initials such as LOL, brb; (Barron 411, 413). Also, where the lexical pairs could be used, as in I’m a replacement for ‘I am’, (Barron 413) found that 65 percent were shortened. From the study, she concluded that Instant Messaging conversations that are used by the young people today are a mixture of both written language and spoken conventions (Barron 416).
The fact that Instant Messaging and online chats diverge from written language at all sound an alarm from English teachers at both high school and college. Indeed, the common view among most individuals is that Instant Messaging, particularly among these adolescents, is filled with grammatical errors, incomprehensible words, and secret codes, which are considered to be inferior modes of communication (Baron 29). Teachers have often reported that most of the student assignments are filled with typical Instant Messaging abbreviations. Although teachers have found it easy to pigeonhole on these mistakes, Computer-Mediated Communication generally as the main cause of this issue, offers an alternative insight concerning the issue (Thorne & Scott 387). It states that technology usually enhances and reflects rather than advocating for a linguistic and social change. Thus, a possible explanation is that Instant Messaging is simply mirroring the upcoming habit for written genres to be like a speech; hence the process is referred to as “colloquialization” (Baron 30). At the same time, the emoticons and elongated spellings of some Instant Messaging items make the context entirely unlike a speech. These two developments indicate the novel tendencies, which suggest that Instant Messaging may be seen as a bellwether in the evolution of the English language.
There has been an increased rate over the act of shortening English words basing on the use of frequent use of mobile phones by the youth. In mobile phone chatting, it is usually a common habit that majority of the students usually adopt and which is the use of shorter words rather than the original words, which they are supposed to be using (Tagliamonte & Derek 24). As a result of all this, the language keeps on breaking from time to time; there is a rampant use of shorter words, which is something that the English language has made sure that it does discourage completely. The language has not provided for any form of short forms concerning speaking of words and the writing of the same words. These words have simply been created in full and trying to make sure that one gets to shorten them will be an academic assault or a different interpretation from what should be taking place as such. This habit has been discouraged over time and has been spread more by the use of the mobile phones over which it is simply a common habit for people to write the short messages (SMS) while making them appear in short form words (De Jonge & Nenagh 64). Using the short, abbreviated words is a very negative feature that the phones have brought in since they lead to the habit of laziness in simply writing English words as they want them to exist. Abbreviations have caused people to be more convinced that the easiest way to write anything is by making sure that it appears in its short form as such.
The spread of the use of slang language that breaks the English language completely: – The use of slang starts to be discouraged immediately one gets to step into the elementary schools. This language is usually a mixture of either two languages or more or can also be achieved through the modification of one independent language to come up with a more modified version. English has not been free from this vice; it is one language that has been subjected to this at the ultimate level. Slang has been spread more since the increased use of the mobile phones; the more the phones also keep evolving, the more slang also gets a bearing in the society as well. Slang has got no rules completely and is not a specific language that can be said to have any grammar. It is one thing that interferes with any language as the youth will always like to try and modify any language so that they may simply look cool in the eyes of the society. As a result of this most of the young members of the society, grow up assuming that some slang words are simply English when they are not. The High school and college students are just victims of this language, and they cannot avoid it because it is the current cool language that is being used in the social media and other sites that are termed to be in use in the 21st Century (Thorne & Scott 379). Due to the mode of exposure that the whole society has been subjected to wit regard to the social media, slang keeps on growing and in return also keeps on affecting the language from time to time too. It is one language that has an upsetting attitude, as it has made sure that the English language is no longer spoken purely without any addition of slang words (O’bannon & Thomas 23). As a result of this, a good number of the youth simply think that some of the words that they get to speak from time to time are just English words when they are indeed nothing more than just slang words.
Eloquence in speaking: – As a result of the use of mobile phones, the eloquence level in the society has grown so much. Most of the students that do speak the language have adopted good oral skills and speed in speaking English considering the fact that most of the phones are programmed in English, and most conversations via mobile phones are usually made in the English language (Shin 52). As a result of all these, the students have a platform over which they can be able to improve their speed in speaking English and also their eloquence in general as well. They are now more than able to speak better in English just on the basis having a good background and better relationship with the language just through the use of mobile phones. Chatting and texting in English would help so much as they do give the society the opportunity to be able to improve their levels regarding how better they can be able to speak their language and also how fast they can also be at the same too (De Jonge & Nenagh 59). A platform in which they are more than sure that they will get used to speaking good English is a better means because it is something that the student loves what they are doing and needs no class for one to attend to but a nature force.
Changes in teenagers due to the incorporation of slang into daily life
Slang is also ethical insensitive, and that is the main reason as to why it has caused so much effect on the speaking of English in the high schools and colleges (Flynn 78). The youth easily prefers such a language that allows the kind of intonation that would be favorable for them; they now come up with a mixture with the English language that gives English the same characteristics that slang has as well. As a result of this the choice of English words by these students has run down so much; they no longer know nothing that is referred to as pure English. They do prefer to speak their slang rather than opting to speak English. Therefore, whenever they are in school or when they are needed to speak the same, they fail to do it so well because slang has already had a very negative impact on the language (Ling & Baron 291). English continues to lack a bearing to them, and as the times keep on moving, the situation even becomes more than just worrying because they are more threatened when asked to speak pure English as such.
Communication skills are among the widely taught topics in English. A teacher is required to teach students how to interact with other members of the society. However, these skills are slowly evaporating from the students minds since most are using their phones to interact with each other (Ling & Baron 292). Use of mobile phones has limited the number of times people can meet and have a conversation physically. Physical conversations have been replaced by the “chats” that students use mostly today. Research indicates that most students today find it hard to speak with their classmates physically; they rather prefer sending text messages to each other (Thorne & Scott 391). Using the text message platform and the social media sites has influenced the way people participate during the English lessons. English is a very interactive subject at high school and without the basic knowledge of communication skills, a student tends to avoid being pointed out to answer questions in class (Lu 519). This behavior is a clear indication of a lack of participation from young people who are seen as the future leaders.
During the online conversations and text messaging, these groups of people tend to use emoticons created by the online platforms as a means of expressing their facial reaction or a physical reaction (Ling & Baron 296). The social media sites have greatly influenced how students interact during English lessons. Group discussions are not taken seriously since most students prefer visiting the social sites throughout the period provided for the group discussion. In the event, they end up not learning anything rather than the online conversations that the students were participating in them.
It is not as though cell phones are completely destroying the trend of education. They have not only made access to information easier, but also more interesting. However, control over the use of the same is what one has to concern oneself with. Some parts of the world have seen advantages that have been brought by the use of cell phones (Chinnery 10). In countries like Japan, cellphones have clearly offered numerous practical uses in learning the English language. Cellphone ownership in Japan is seen as universal amongst most college students. The use of mobile phones for distance learning is similar to the m-learning system that was used before to provide long distance learners with assistance and feedback regarding their progress. There are existing mobile phones applications that have been created to teach people the English language (Chinnery 15). This has gone to an extent of creating an online dictionary that students use to find confusing words. These applications have made it easier to read and learn English from any place where one is located since a student does not have the responsibility of carrying around books such as the dictionary to learn English. There are several free and commercial mobile applications such as the BBC World Service Learning English, which offers English lessons through the SMS system in China and Francophone West Africa (Chinnery 16). Blogs too are some of the recent trends in teaching since they provide opportunities for development of English language. Although the mobile applications have been pedagogic in nature, they have been customized further to be used for an administrative matter such as providing a flexible communication between the teacher and the student. There needs to be comprehensive studies on how one can counter the situation, especially where students are disregarding the only language universally accepted in the world. There is a need for balance between learning with technology and letting it take over aspects of the language. When we achieve it, the education system will improve drastically.
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