Texting language

In this lesson, students explore the features of texting language, from a linguistic perspective.

Goals

Lesson Plan

Part 1

Use the handout attached at the bottom of this page to introduce texting language to students. The handout begins by introducing texting language, and then discussing an example of texting language in comparison to formal written language. Next, the handout lists some key features of texting language, including Subject ellipsis, compression of grammatical structures, reduced punctuation, and nonstandard spelling patterns. On the last page, an exercise is offered, in which students identify the key features of texts that appear in a set of example text messages.

Students can work in pairs or groups, or individually. They should read the handout together, taking notes, and discuss with their partners anything that they don't understand. Ask them to jot down the key terms and to write a brief definition of each key term using their own words.

Then, have them move on to the activity on the final page of the handout. 

Part 2

The slides in the Activity page in the right hand menu present pairs of text messages as well as scroll bars for rating them on a continuum from standard to non-standard, and from formal to informal. 

Have students work in pairs or groups to evaluate each pair of text messages. They can use the handout and features listed there to help them address the following questions for each pair:

Students may find that their sense of the formality and standard-ness of the messages develops as they view more examples. In that case, you can return to the earlier examples and change your assessments.

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Texting language: Activity

Text 1 Text 2

Hey Gems,how ru?How was last nite?Hope u had a gd time..;)I herd the party was rele bad…ppl had an awful time!I guess I shud b glad I didn’t go afta all…tbXx

Free Msg; Our records indicate you may be entitled to £3750 for the accident you had. To apply free reply CLAIM to this message. To opt out text STOP

 
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal

Text 3 Text 4

Yeseo thank you :) xx

Hey Tunde , my ting iz cancelld…nt gna go past Peckham…is it ok if i cum nxt wensday? Sori

 
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal

Text 5 Text 6

Thank u fr thinking of me & givin me lift home. I’m tired & hav fairly early start tmrw. Hav good eves & wkend! Kx

+44_________________ YOU HAVE 1 MISSED CALL FROM THE ABOVE CALLER. LAST CALL ON 13/10 09:15 PRESS SEND TO CALL TO STOP THIS FREE T-MOBILE SERVICE TEXT STOP TO 2727

 
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal

Text 7 Text 8

All over it like a bbq marinade. Is it quicker to go straight to balham on northern or go part of way overground xx

Hi Lucy, Orao Hair Stdio confirming appoint 17:00, Mon 09 May. Reply: YES=Confirm, NO=Cancel, or ph 0208 1234567

 
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal

Text 9 Text 10

Hey! I’ve just sent you a very rambly facebook message,sorry! Will you let me know when your free over half term or summer or perhaps a weekend coz I miss your ass and would love to come and see you. Meaooowww xxx

I like da way u dnt holla but I wud love it if u would phone me

 
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal

Text 11 Text 12

Lol. I’m sure it would of made me mad too. No excuse! Xx

Your MAY bill totals £17.76. The due date for this payment is 06 JUN 2011. To view your full bill visit vodafone.co.uk/myaccount on your pc

 
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal

Text 13 Text 14

N E WAY BETTER GO HIT ME BACK YALL K?

SERIOUSLY U HAVE 2 CHANGE MY LIFE I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU DO JUST DO IT………………………

 
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal

Text 15 Text 16

Cheers once i ve found out what s wrong with the bike i ll be put my feet up and enjoy the sun

Going to Wanstead aft sch 2day to a shop and to playgrnd there on the green, wld Kathy like to come too?

 
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal
Standard
 
 
 
Non-standard
Formal
 
 
 
Informal

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