Background of the Study
Throughout the ages, man has been communicating and keeps on finding means possible to improve communication. Communication has played a vital role in the survival and development of human beings. It is a process of exchanging information with or without words; and just like any other processes, it is dynamic. The way people communicate has changed. From the traditional snail mail to the modernized electronic mail; pen pal to phone pal; handbook to e-book; library to internet; it is now possible to send a message by merely pushing a button on a computer or swiping your hand or tapping a crystal display on a mobile phone. Today, science and technology is apparently at its peak. Several blogs and social networking sites illustrate that the advancement in technology brings improvements in humanity; however it also brings new risks in human race. As the famous theoretical physicist Albert Einstein has said, “I fear the day when technology overlaps with our humanity.
The world will only have a generation of idiots,” presently becoming factual that technology affects not only the person himself but also his way of life. The two main points here is initially, technology shapes communication and lastly, because of technology, communication affects language. Cellphones, computers and other electronic gadgets spread all over the globe; and with the commercial advent of the internet and cell phones, instant messaging and text messaging are widely used today (Lazaro, 2012). Many believe that life becomes more convenient, more enjoyable, and communication becomes faster through these technologies. With the increasing need to be fast and brief in our communication, Short Message Service (SMS) has gained a great popularity (Kumar, 2012). This new method of communication has worried educators particularly on its effect on students’ behavior and academic performance. As more and more students worldwide acquire and use mobile phones, so are they immersing themselves in text messaging.
Text messaging has evolved its own language, colloquially referred to as text language, text speak, or textisms (Durkin et.al., 2010). It is the practice whereby users of mobile and portable devices exchange brief written messages via cellular networks (Dansieh, 2011). It is the fastest yet cheapest way of communication (Nicolas, 2012). However, Ream contends that text messaging is destroying the written word wherein students are no longer writing letters instead they are typing one line at a time, feelings are not communicated with words, and emotions are made sideways smiley faces, such as 😀 XD :* :’( 😎 😛 d’_’b (2008). A recent report found out that the language used in SMS has been a topic of discussion for various reasons for linguists, grammarians and generally elders due to the deviations it is taking from the regular language (Kumar, 2012). Parents and teachers have begun to feel that the youngsters are using incomprehensible spelling and grammar (Baron, 2008). According to a new study in New Media & Society, students who frequently use tech-speak—shortening words and using homophone symbols—performed worse on a test of basic grammar. In addition to this, the authors found that the more students sent text messages using text-speak, the worse their grammar. And the more often a student receive text messages using tech-speak, the more likely he or she was to send messages using that language.
Relatively, based on the personal experience of the researchers as text speak users and also upon their observations that almost if not all students in Saint Louis College (SLC) from primary, secondary, and tertiary level are using cellphones as part of their personal belongings, the researchers’ competence in language skills has been adversely affected by text speak. Among the factors were the frequent use of abbreviations, unnecessary phrasing, omitting vowels, and the improper placing of punctuations. Currently, the Philippines is tagged as text capital of the world (The Modern Teacher, 2012) and has been recognized as the Social Networking Capital of the World, with more than 93% of internet users having their own Facebook account (Manila Standard Today). The situation analyzed above motivated the researchers to conduct a study on the effects of text speak on the English Language Skills of students in SLC.
This research study is anchored on the following theories, to wit: Constructivist theory explains why students tend to be more in charge of their own educational processes and development. Constructivism was created based John Dewey’s belief that students increase their knowledge as a result of their experiences and social activities (Lambert et al., 2002, p. 28).
Lev Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development expanded the idea of constructivism into the socio-cultural realm, which stressed social interaction as a means of acquiring knowledge (Irvin, 2001, p. 9). The theorist suggested that learners must be exposed to those with more experience in order to promote advanced levels of learning (Boland, 2009, p. 15).
Behaviorism theory focuses on objectively observable behaviors and discounts mental activities. It holds that all learning, whether verbal or non-verbal, takes place through the establishment of habits (Kramsch & Thorne, 2002). It emphasizes the role of environment in learning and development. In behaviorism, the learner is viewed as passively adapting to the environment and where instruction focuses on conditioning the learner’s behavior. Addictive as cigar smoke Reference Furthermore, B.F. Skinner associates behaviorism in general psychology with language learning. Together with many of his contemporaries, Skinner interprets all learning is as the result of habit formation through imitation, positive reinforcement and practice Sociocultural theory focuses not only how adults and peers influence individual learning, but also on how cultural beliefs and attitudes impact how instruction and learning takes place.
Every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; the more the studnt is exposed. first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals (Vygotsky, 1978). These theories, integrated together, served as the framework of the study. Please state specifically how these theories served as framework of the study.
This study hinges on the following concepts:
The assessment of the extent of usage of text speak of the students of SLC is based on various factors that explicitly describe the students’ academic and social writing. These are identified as input variables in this research undertaking. The variables are reflected in Figure 1. How about concepts deduced from the theories? There is a need to describe the extent of usage of text speak on students along: (a) academic writing and (b) social writing. It utilizes (a) percentage and (b) frequency. This provides information as to the exposure of student in text speak. Another variable that is assessed is the extent of effect of text speak to students.
This includes the following: (a) spelling, (b) grammar, (c) vocabulary and (d) syntax. The spelling determines, to an extent the competence of students to spell out words correctly. This considers naming or writing in correct order the constituent letters of a word, part of a word, or group of words. Grammar determines the competence of students to form and put words together to make sentences. Vocabulary determines the competence of students of students to understand the meaning of a word or group of words; and syntax measures the competence of students to arrange words in correct order. Just like any other competence that is developed, there are success stories to tell as well as problems to address. In this study factors regarding the students’ competencies in spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and syntax identified as bases in the formation of a functional English Language Proficiency Program for Saint Louis College. What’s this?
A. A proposed English Language Skill Proficiency Program for SLC A. Analysis and Interpretation of Extent of Usage of Text Speak among students B. Analysis and Interpretation of Extent of Effect of Text Speak on Students’ English Language Skills C. Crafting a proposed English Language Skill Proficiency Program A. Extent of usage of Text Speak among students:
1. Academic writing
2. Social writing
B. Extent of Adverse Effect of Text Speak in the students’ English Proficiency on the following: 1. Spelling
Fig.1. Research Paradigm
Statement of the Problem
This study aims to assess the effect of using text speak on the English Language skill of students in Saint Louis College as a basis for the formulation of a proposed English Language Skill Proficiency Program. 1. What is the extent of usage of text speak on students’ along a. Academic Writing; and
b. Social writing?
1.1. Is there a significant difference on the extent of usage of text speak on students’ Academic writing and social writing when grouped according to sex, year level and length of usage? 2. To what extent does text speak adversely affect the students’ a. Spelling;
c. Grammar; and
2.1. Is there a significant difference in the perception of the faculties and the students? 3. What enhancement program can be proposed to enhance the English Language skills of students in SLC? Hypotheses and Assumptions
This study was guided by the following hypotheses and assumptions: 1. The extent of usage of text speak on students academic and social writing is always. 2.1. There is no significant difference on the extent of usage of text speak on students’ Academic writing and social writing when grouped according to sex, year level and length of usage. 2. Text speak adversely affect the students’ competence in (a) spelling; (b) vocabulary; (c) grammar; and (d) syntax highly extensive. 3.2. There is no significant difference in the perception of the faculties and the students. 3. Based on the results of the study, a Functional English Language Skill Proficiency Program can be proposed to enhance the English Language skills of students
Review of Literature
The researchers put together relevant literatures that are used as references of this study. They provided insights, concepts, and findings which the researchers used to further strengthen, understand and support the analysis of the findings of their study.
Extent of Use
Text speak is the language commonly used in mobile phones. It is a way of shortening words by removing some vowels and replacing them with numbers or irrelevant punctuations. Active users of text lingo find it more convenient because it helps them save time and money.
Text speak’s increasing role in communication habits of people continues to play. Currently, Philippines retain its title as “Text Capital of the World”. Filipinos are among the heaviest users of text messaging in the world with an average of 27 texts sent per day by subscriber (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Text_messaging).
Effects of Text Speak
A rage of debates among educators about the effect of text speak had been a major controversy. Others believed it jeopardized literacy while some argued contrary. Others insisted neither effect.
Positive Effect. On the other hand, other linguists positively accepted the use of text speak for they believed language and languages change (Adger 2003) and that innovating with language is not dangerous
(http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2003-02-14-messaging-linguists_x.htm). Educational researchers discovered that students are writing more and revising more thus fashioning messages into a few precise words (http://www.ehow.com/list_5828172_effects-text-messaging-english-grammar.html).
Negative Effect. Some teachers believed that abbreviations used in text
messaging have affected student’s writing abilities ending to the assault of written English. Middle and High School teachers reported students’ poor communication, bad grammar and inappropriate abbreviations in their academic writing (http://www.ehow.com/list_5828172_effects-text-messaging-english-grammar.html).
No Effect. A third view is that there is no effect has text messaging on English Grammar. As may be considered as another language, learning a new language such as text messaging does not affect a student’s ability in grammar. It is just a matter of learning the basics – to know the difference between slang, texting lingo and correct English (http://www.ehow.com/list_5828172_effects-text-messaging-english-grammar.html).
Importance of the Study
The results of this study will provide insights on the academe particularly on the disadvantages of text messaging on the academic performances of students.
For the school administration, the results of this study will provide information on how to conduct conferences with teachers and parents to orient them on the negative effects of text speak.
Likewise, for the English faculty, the results of this study shall serve as basis to provide activities which include activities on grammar, syntax, vocabulary development, spelling and punctuation to develop the language skills of students.
The students, particularly those in college, will obtain facts and evidences on the effects of text speak on their linguistic competence along spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and syntax.
The society as a whole would be benefited in such a way that parents and students would be enriched and enlightened on the adverse effects of use of text speak.
Similarly, for the English Language, this study shall contribute in the formulation of more theories.
For the researchers, this study will not only provide better understanding on text speak as a new form of language but also may serve as a guide in making a more scholarly work in the near future.
This study will encourage future researchers to conduct parallel researches by providing a good model that will strengthen their findings and results.
Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined operationally as how they are used in the study.
English Language Skills. It is described as the ability of students in English along the following:
Grammar Competence. It is described as the ability of students in linguistic rules such as syntax and semantics.
Spelling Competence. It is described as the ability of students to spell out words correctly.
Syntactic Competence. It is described as the ability of students to arrange or construct sentences in the proper order.
Vocabulary Competence. It is described as the ability of students to comprehend a word or group of words.
Extent of adverse effect. It is described as the degree as to how extensive text speak adversely affect the students English Language Skills.
Extent of use. It is described as frequency and percentage of usage of text speak on students’ academic writing and social writing.
Text Messaging. Also known as texting. It is described as the exchange of shortcut messages between mobile phones.
TxtSpk. Also known as text speak, text lingo, or chatspeak. It is described as the language of abbreviating words by removing or replacing some vowels with numbers or punctuation marks that is commonly used in text messaging on mobile phones and computers.
English Language Skill Proficiency Program. It is described as…