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Scot McKnight using a graphic featuring cats?! Surely the end is near! 😉
Love the cats! Just wondering though, texting is still a type of literacy, even if it doesn’t fit with traditional academic norms. Maybe we should be thinking not so much how up-and-comers will be disadvantaged by their odd literacy habits but how a conservative English language system disadvantages them.
something tells me we will survive
The question then becomes, what do we do about it? I would suggest that we need to make sure we are not telling students that their grammar is wrong just because they use techspeak. It’s just different. This is an important opportunity to help teach students how language changes, and show them that they are witnessing it. Standard English needs to be taught not as what is right. But as the dialect used in business and the academy.
It’s just like dealing with studes who speak African American Vernacular English. If educators tell them they are wrong, it then creates oppositional identity. Students are made to feel that learning SE and abandoning AAVE is to devalue their commnities. But AAVE is just as grammatically correct as SE, it just has a different grammar.
Students need to be taught to codeswitch between dialects so that they can use their literacy skills critically in order to engage the world around them. Teaching students that even techspeak has a very strcit grammar (my mother’s nonsensical abbreviations are proof of that). If we affirm their native dialects, they will feel more safe to not abandon them, but to adopt new ones and learn to codeswitch between them.
Guess what I just got my BA in.