Parenting: Texting and literacy

Thursday, April 05, 2012

If I were to deliver this report in a text, maybe I would say this: FYI dng nwz story on kidz & txtng. 'rents b-leave leads 2 bad grammar ROTFL.

Hard to understand without the translation right? Some think that's a problem.

First, meet a South Jersey family that texts about as much as any other - maybe even more.

A typical family scene - children at their Burlington Township home, sending texts by the second, in their own symbol-laden language.

"There's letters like SMH which is shakin' my head," said Ceara Goodnow.

"Or NVM which is nevermind. It's basically anything that can make anything shorter," said Ashley Goodnow.

Then there is the parent who is trying to understand them.

When does it become confusing you ask?

"When they mix numbers in sometimes, and symbols sometimes - that gets a little confusing," said Andrea Ciemnolonksi.

These symbols, numbers, and acronyms might have you believe that this texting generation is more careless with their writing in the classroom.

"They think that it is having a detrimental effect on teens' writing abilities, when actually it is a literacy skill," said Linda Braun.

Braun is a literacy expert who wrote a book on why she believes bad grammar isn't always bad.

"If you're writing a letter to the President of the United States, you write in a different way than writing to your aunt or uncle. And it's the exact same thing, it's just taking it to technology and talking about text messaging," she said.

That is the key, Braun says. Children need to realize that what's contained in a text may be okay for their friends, but not okay for a term paper at school.

"I make sure that when I say "you" I don't just write the letter "u" I go y-o-u because our teacher yells at us if we do that," said Meghan Ciemnolonski.

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