About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6494-6501
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

THE NET-GENERATION: ADAPTING CURRICULUM TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC ENGLISH

A. Bota

UAlg - University of Algarve - Faro (PORTUGAL)
It is the aim of this presentation to raise awareness for the fact that the problem is not the bad influence of the English students of English as Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) learn while exploring online resources. The Internet is a modern trend and we cannot modify that fact. We can, however, modify our curriculum by adapting it to please our students and create a learning environment where they perceive the difference between the English needed for academic purposes and that used on the Internet, at least, amongst colleagues while chatting.
As we turned to the new century parents, schools, mayors, all seem to promote the use of the Internet in many different ways. From installing fast connections at home, to create laboratories where students must attend computer classes, to provide wireless signal throughout entire cities, all are contributing to the Internet dependency. It is no wonder that this generation of students relies on the Internet for everything, ranging from school tasks to social networks. Thus, this generation of young learners, also known as Net-Generation, is deeply motivated to use the Internet, explore it and learn with it.
Obviously, the Net-Generation of students, after spending so many hours online, shows language behaviors that reflect what they read online or practice by socializing with others who share the same language codes. So, expressions such as “u” for “you” or “4” instead of “four” or “TY” for “thank you” should not surprise teachers. There is no doubt that this short forms of writing interferes with the writing performance of students and with their future in the job market. For one side, the Internet brought advantages since most of the writings are in English and students who are in countries where English is not the official language at school can only benefit from this fact. On the other hand, however, these same students are getting far apart from academic expectations in terms of language usage. To this level, it is important to mention that teachers cannot control what learners acquire. But, sentences such as “i want 2 b a counselor because i love 2 work with kids” (Friess, 2003), which was written in response to a short assignment about the desired job, should be used to raise awareness and show the difference between what is “Internet English” and what is expected and acceptable in the world of business.
Perhaps, what teachers need to do, instead of criticizing students’ writing outcomes, is to include in our syllabus ways in which the Net-Generation students learn the differences between “Internet English” and “Academic English.” What we must change, then, it is our own methods of assigning tasks in order to allow for learners to perceive the differences between “Internet English” and the Academic and Commercial English they need. Indeed, it is a moral obligation to adapt curriculum in order to include tasks such as reading books online, exploring and explaining titles or ads from the Internet, notice and discuss (in class) expressions used to communicate while chatting opposed to those read in other types of texts, etc, we are being the moderators of our learners and we are providing them with many different sources from which they can acquire effective communicative skills, either for their leisure moments, for their academic achievements, or even for their future job needs.
@InProceedings{BOTA2010THE,
author = {Bota, A.},
title = {THE NET-GENERATION: ADAPTING CURRICULUM TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC ENGLISH},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {6494-6501}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Bota
TI - THE NET-GENERATION: ADAPTING CURRICULUM TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC ENGLISH
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 6494
EP - 6501
ER -
A. Bota (2010) THE NET-GENERATION: ADAPTING CURRICULUM TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC ENGLISH, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 6494-6501.
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