Saturday, April 25, 2009

NCTE tries to define 21st C Writing ---LOL

This e-School news article is very interesting. NCTE is trying to wrap their arms around, and control, informal writing styles that predominate Web 2.0 and are labeling them unacceptable. They state that the new generation are learning from,"extracurricular social co-apprenticeship." A term like this will have a typical 16 year old heading for the hills with their iPhones! :-) This sounds like an organization feeling a loss of control trying to control a social phenomenon. Good luck with that.

What do you think?

Jim :-)

10 comments:

Trina said...

I completely agree with you that the organization is feeling a loss of control and is trying to control a social phenomenon.

I would think that part of the appeal of the language "style" of web 2.0 is that it is not standard English, that students have been forced to learn. In a sense, this is their "off duty" vernacular, just as some of the slang expression they use with their friends when talking. Surely, we are not going to start trying to standardize all forms of teenage communication! They will simply mutate it faster than a flu virus!

This is not to say that I do not feel as though the language style used for web 2.0 by our students has its merits. I believe that it does. They use creative ways to be as concise as possible, which is a valuable skill. But, not all valuable skills necessarily need to be taught in the classroom. My stance on this issue is that now, more than ever, we need to encourage students to continue to use standard English in the classroom. If web 2.0 lingo has a place in the classroom, then I would suggest that it is in an exercise where they "translate" it to standard English, so that they do not forget how to use it!

I am anxious to read what others think about this issue!

Lauren said...

I am a middle school English teacher, and I believe that there is a time and place for each type/style of writing. In formal papers, students in my class are expected to follow the proper format such as spelling out words, not using contractions, and avoiding the use of slang or short hand writing. I find that students do not have a difficulty "code switching" meaning changing the way they speak and write to fit the current situation. This may not be the case in every school, but in my personal experiences in the classroom it has not be a big issue. c

I do agree with Trina that web 2.0 should not be used on a regular basis rather as an exercise. Students should be exposed to all different types of writing styles. Standard English; however, should be the primary focus. As a warm-up in my class, students receive several sentences that have numerous errors ranging from subject/verb agreement to grammar errors, and they need to make the corrections. We then review the sentences using the Smart board. It is important to review the standard English rules as students develop their writing skills, so they do not forget how to properly make the transition in their "code switching." If we did not have this review, I am not sure my students would be able to make the move to Standard English as smoothly. Although many schools are moving away from teaching grammar and focus more on writing, I believe exposure is key to survival.

-Lauren

Lauren said...

I am a middle school English teacher, and I believe that there is a time and place for each type/style of writing. In formal papers, students in my class are expected to follow the proper format such as spelling out words, not using contractions, and avoiding the use of slang or short hand writing. I find that students do not have a difficulty "code switching" meaning changing the way they speak and write to fit the current situation. This may not be the case in every school, but in my personal experiences in the classroom it has not be a big issue.

I do agree with Trina that web 2.0 should not be used on a regular basis rather as an exercise. Students should be exposed to all different types of writing styles. Standard English; however, should be the primary focus. As a warm-up in my class, students receive several sentences that have numerous errors ranging from subject/verb agreement to grammar errors, and they need to make the corrections. We then review the sentences using the Smart board. It is important to review the standard English rules as students develop their writing skills, so they do not forget how to properly make the transition in their "code switching." If we did not have this review, I am not sure my students would be able to make the move to Standard English as smoothly. Although many schools are moving away from teaching grammar and focus more on writing, I believe exposure is key to survival.

-Lauren

Tom Bremer said...

I recently thought about this as I have students post artwork and write about it as well as comment on other students' work. I have really tried them to ditch the Myspace/text message lingo, no "hey gurlz!" "lolz" etc. Its tough on them, but they are getting better!

I think this debate is really similar to the debate 15 years ago or so when Ebonics was first officially recognized as a dialect. People freaked out that it was the end of English as we knew it.

It really is the job of the classroom teacher to know/understand/be able to translate the dialects of Web 2.0/text message and reinforce the correct way to write in school--there is a time a place for everything!

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Ted Nellen said...

hey jim,

ncte has always been in a reactive mode rather than a proactive mode. there was a time when ncte could have been in front of this, but because of its traditional structure it was unable to accept the paradigm shift and is still unable to. yancey is the first really tech savvy president they have had. the problem is she serves just one year and is replaced by another person for a year and so on. ncte is an interesting organization, useless, but interesting.

now consider how on another matter an old stalwart of ncte, nancie atwell wrote this rubbish in defense of literature.

of course social networks should be used. it is the new communications network used by the new world so the old world better catch up or get out of the way. consider a recent blog post.

cheers,
ted
ted

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I agree with you that the organization is feeling a loss of control and is trying to control a social phenomenon but if they keep looking only on not losing control they'll lose everything.

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flat said...

It is very interesting. NCTE is trying to wrap their arms around, and control, informal writing styles.They state that the new generation are learning from extracurricular social co-apprenticeship.

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