ERIC Number: EJ955116
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 3
Pajamas or Tuxedo? Digitalk and Formality in Adolescent Writing
Turner, Kristen H.
Educational Horizons, v90 n2 p7-9 Dec 2011-Jan 2012
Today's adolescents write to communicate--via text messaging, instant messaging, and social networking posts. They are skilled at manipulating their out-of-school digital language to communicate with an intended audience and to capture individual voice. Because the writing is informal, teens have the ability to break rules, and they can do so without the threat of being marked "wrong" by the red pen of a teacher. This freedom encourages them to experiment with language and to alter standard conventions by creating their own style. This "digitalk" helps them to define their individual identity while participating in a community of peers. However, most adolescents don't consider the writing that they do in digital venues as ""real" writing." Rather, they view what they do as "talk." But the term "talk" in these situations is really a misnomer. Talk is fleeting; writing is not. The messages teens send, frozen in time and on screen, represent a large portion of their everyday written literacy. Adolescents are, in fact, writing all the time and engaged in the process. Unfortunately, they do not always bring this same energy for writing to the classroom, and they are not aware that they possess skills in understanding audience and manipulating language for various purposes that are useful in academic settings. This article discusses how teachers can harness the competence that teens develop in their out-of-school communities to help their students learn in the classroom.
Descriptors: Writing Skills, Adolescents, Synchronous Communication, Influence of Technology, Communication Strategies, Language Styles, Computer Use, Computer Mediated Communication, Check Lists, Content Area Writing, Writing Exercises, Handheld Devices, Secondary School Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A