Monday, March 9, 2009

Studying "Texting" in Class

Emory University English Professor Mark Bauerlein has a post on Brainstorm on the current fad [promoted by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)] of elevating students' leisure writing to the level of seriousness of their academic writing. The NCTE, Bauerlein writes, seeks "to ennoble leisure writing."

Speaking of the NCTE's proposed National Day on Writing to celebrate "21st-century literacies," Bauerlein says:

This agenda doesn’t make sense, at least not to me. Why devote a national organization’s energies and resources to a national day celebrating texting?

Bauerlein points out that students currently have a more reasonable perspective than the NCTE does on the importance of texting and the like:

...[W]hy in the world should [students] regard texting, posting, blogging, tweeting, and the rest as counting as much as class assignments? They aren’t graded, they don’t require research, they don’t observe grammar and punctuation and spelling, and they address peers, not adults. [Students] may consider their leisure writing as significant, but in a different way, sensibly recognizing the respective circumstances of academic and leisure writing.

Why spend classroom time and energy on studying texting? It's not as if schools are doing a good job today of teaching academic expository writing, like term papers.

1 comment:

  1. I am currently writing a research paper on the possible effects of texting on the formality of oral and written language of school children (specifically teens). Can you suggest other sources? Thanks.