CU2LTR: TEXTING AND LITERACY IN ENGLISH CLASSROOMS
University of Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
“Digital communications allow learners to instantaneously communicate and collaborate with peers…it is necessary to explore all avenues that increase youth exposure to text and attempt to frame the creation and consumption of content as a social exercise” (Vosloo, 2009, 6). The use of digital communications such as texting or sms language is however often branded as the scourge of the English classroom. Teachers’ complaints that texting is solely responsible for declining writing skills, and spelling in particular are not uncommon. The English language, they claim is being corrupted and degraded by texting. This paper explores texting as a genre, and argues that there can indeed be an upside to its use in the English classroom. From strategies to improve writing through sms language, writers are encouraged to explore the reasons for writing within a particular genre, such as audience appropriateness. The paper is theoreticallylocated within the New Literacies framework.