Texting: A New Register or Style in the L2 Curriculum?

Bonnie Reimer

The blog is somewhat related to the interesting perspective Melissa brought to texting last week.  Since I have some slightly different issues and perspectives to share, I thought it would be better to post a new blog rather than comment.

A couple years ago, I was teaching paragraph writing to a low intermediate ESL class of adult newcomers from various countries. One of the students, who had been in Canada almost a year, had recently started the level and was just beginning to write compound sentences, so his assignment was to write a paragraph of about 75-100 words incorporating both simple and compound sentences. At the time, we had not covered register or style, but I was still quite taken aback when this Afghani male in his 30s emailed me the paragraph completely in textese, some of which I could not decipher. This learner was able to clearly read the paragraph to me though he had difficulty expressing his writing in a more formal style. This was the first and only time I had received a writing sample in textese although I occasionally receive writing with abbreviations and symbols. I had hoped to get some input from my colleagues, but this had never happened in any of their classes.

Continue reading “Texting: A New Register or Style in the L2 Curriculum?”