Atividade - Texting for all (nível avançado)
Theme: Text messaging in the UK
Lexical area: The language of text messages and punctuation marks.
Instructions for language assistants in Italics
Text messaging is becoming an increasingly popular form of communication in the UK and around the world, especially amongst young people. In the UK alone there are 52 million mobile phone users who send about 2.3 billion text messages a year. Students are often really keen to learn how to text in English and the students may also be interested in teaching you some of their ways of texting in their language.
Task 1 is a short quiz to get students into the topic. Task 2 is a matching activity which introduces students to a lot of the texting abbreviations in current usage in Britain. Task 3 gives students the chance to practise writing text messages and Task 4 is a lead-in for the reading text in Task 5 which looks at how text messaging is being used in some innovative contexts in the UK. Task 6 is a fun way to teach students the language of punctuation through emoticons. This lesson could be combined with tasks from the Essential UK on mobile phones.
1. R u a text expert?
This task is an introduction to the topic of texting and will give students practice in saying numbers statistics. Ask students to do the quiz in small groups then check the answers together.
Answers: 1- b, 2 – c (before this date it was used amongst telephone engineers which is why it was invented originally), 3-c, 4 – c, 5-a (there are several cases of people having to have therapy for text message addiction)
Information is from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/joyoftext/facts/index.shtml
Task 1 R u a text expert?
Try this quiz about text messages to find out if you are a text expert!
| 1) SMS is another way of saying ‘text message’. What does SMS stand for?
a) Silly message system
b) Short messaging service
c) Sending message service
2) When did text messaging begin?
3) On average, how many text messages did each British person send last year?
4) What percentage of British teenagers have a mobile phone?
a) Less than 50%
b) Over 60%
c) Over 75%
5) Is it possible to become addicted to text messaging?
2. Text lingo
Ask your students how they send texts in their language and to teach you a few tricks for messaging in their language. Then tell them that in English there are lots of ways to send short texts. Cut up the strips and give a set to each group of 3 or 4 students. Ask them to read the messages and to match them with their real English equivalent.
Answers: 1 – f, 2 – m, 3 – a, 4 – j, 5 – g, 6 – i, 7 – b, 8 – e, 9-c, 10 – o, 11 – d, 12 – n. 13 – h, 14 – l, 15 - k
Task 2 Text lingo
How’s your English text lingo? Match the text message on the left with its ‘translation’ in real English on the right.
|1) C U L8R M8
||a) As far as I know.
| 2) B4
||b) Love you with all my heart
| 3) AFAIK
|4) W8 4 ME, I’M L8, SOZ
||d) Text me back|
| 5) KIT
||e) Have a nice day|
| 6) RUOK?
||f) See you later mate|
| 7) LUWAMH
||g) Keep in touch|
| 8) HAND
| 9) Zzzzzzzzz
||i) Are you okay?|
| 10) KOTL
||j) Wait for me, I’m late, sorry|
| 11) TMB
||k) See you tonight or tomorrow|
| 12) 0 ME
||l) By the way|
| 13) EZ
| 14) BTW
||n) Ring me
| 15) C U 2NITE O 2MORO
||o) Kiss on the lips
3. Text circle
If you can, put students into a circle for this activity. They will all need a piece of paper and a pen. Tell them that they are going to text each other using nicknames as if they were in an internet chat room. Ask students to each choose a nickname. Then ask them to write their nickname at the top and write a text message in English next to it.
Pingu: R U ok? Want 2 go 2 cinema L8R?
As students finish their message you stand in the middle of the circle and swap the pieces of paper around. Tell them that you are the mobile phone network and that just for today it’s free for them to text each other! (If you have a large group ask one of the students to join you in the middle of the circle to help swap around the finished messages) The student who receives the message, should read it, decipher it, and reply to it, putting their nickname first. When they finish, pass it on to anyone who has a message ready to ‘send’, it doesn’t have to go back to the person who sent it. The person who receives the message must continue with the conversation. After five or six swaps give the papers back to the student who started the conversation for them to read out to the group.
Task 3 Text circle
You’re going to practise sending text messages in English. Listen carefully to your teacher.
4. Texting contexts
This could be used as a lead-in to the reading task 5. It is to get students thinking about different situations where text messaging could be used and asks them to discuss with a partner or group and decide in text messaging in these situations is a good idea.
Task 4 Texting contexts
We can use text messaging as a form of communication in many different situations. Read the contexts in the table and discuss with a partner or group whether you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea to use text messaging. Give reasons for your decisions in the comments column.
| To ask somebody out on a first date.
|To finish a relationship.|
|To wish a friend happy birthday.
| To say sorry to a friend for a mistake you made.
| To ask for advice from an organisation.
| For a teacher to tell you the homework.
| For a teacher to give you your marks or arrange a tutorial.
| For schools to keep in touch with parents.
| To arrange a doctor’s appointment.
| To renew books at the library or reserve videos at the video shop.
- Now compare your answers with another group.
5. Reading task: Texting for all
This is a Trend UK article about how text messaging is now being used in diverse ways in the UK. Put students into groups of 4 and give each student in the group one section of the text to read. Ask them to read their paragraph and then explain it to the others in the group. When they have all completed the task ask the group some questions to get their opinions on what they have read.
Task 5 Reading task: Texting for all
You are going to work in small groups. Each student is going to read about one innovative way that text messaging is used in the UK. Read your paragraph and then explain it to your group.
A study at the University of Bath found that texting was the preferred medium for flirting and arranging dates. 62% of females compared to 52% of males are comfortable arranging a first date by text. A third of boys and a quarter of girls saw no reason not to end a relationship by text. Professor Helen Haste says, ‘texting is replacing speech for much communication among young people. It is immediate, accessible, private and gives them unprecedented control over how they communicate with friends and family.’
It’s not just the students who are texting, the lecturers have also realised the benefits. The staff at Wolverhampton University are now sending students revision tips, timetables, appointment times and coursework feedback using mobile phone texting. This method of communication is beneficial to both parties; the university saves money as texting is cheaper than snail mail and it saves the student time. It is no longer necessary to travel into campus to check notice boards.
Social issues texting
Base 25 is a Wolverhampton charity offering advice on relationships and health issues. They use texting to communicate with their audience. Rob Willoughby from Base 25 explains, ‘it makes sense to use a medium which our target market is very comfortable with. Regardless of social class, 96% of young people own a mobile phone. We have found that we now have more boys using the service which may be because text messaging enables anonymity which makes it easy for them to ask for help.’ Texting has also been used as a cry for help. A potential suicide victim not wanting to talk, sends a text instead.
Parents are kept in the know at a Scottish secondary school. Keith Grammar school is using texting to provide parents with regular updates on pupil’s progress. Rector John Aitken said the intention is to praise positive attitudes to work or behaviour but it will also be used to highlight any problems. One parent commented that, ‘I know from speaking to other parents that the scheme is welcomed. People are busy nowadays and this can tell us what is going on, wherever we are.’
It seems lots of people are finding innovative uses for texting.
This is a fun task that will help students learn vocabulary for punctuation marks. First of all, pre-teach them the language for punctuation. Elicit the ones they know by putting them on the board and asking them what they’re called in English and then add any new ones and put them on the board. It may be an idea to go through the symbols on your own mobile phone before the class and make a note of them so you don’t miss any out.
Then on the board, draw a few common emoticons and ask students which punctuation marks are used. Then ask students to draw some of their own and dictate them to a partner to draw. Then students should guess what the picture is.
E.g. “colon, dash, closed bracket”
Task 6 Emoticons
Emoticons are another way to send text messages. Emoticons are little pictures made out of punctuation marks. Here are some examples:
- :-) = happy face
- :-( = sad face
- ;-D = winking grin
- @--^--- = a rose
First check you know how to ‘say’ the punctuation marks in English, then create some new emoticons and dictate them to your partner. For example, to dictate a smiley face, say, “colon, dash, closed bracket”.
This page has some basic information about mobiles and texting.
Translate a postcard written in text speak
http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/ The BBC.
Texting creates sub-par grammar, some say
By Jo Budden