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 Middle School  Level  Literacy


                                          TEXT Messages



With a partner use your ipad and search the  internet to try to find information about the origins of texting. The information you find should contain the answers to the following questions.



  1. When was the first text message sent? _____________________



  1. What was it? __________________________________________



  1. Who sent it? __________________________________________



  1. How was it sent? _______________________________________



  1. Why do you think SMS was invented? ______________________


6. What does this text message mean?



7. What does this text message mean?



Visit  Webopedia



How would you write this in text talk


 A   By the way did you see her dress?





 B)   I would love to go later





Now try to write some of your own messages and then explain their meaning






 This means ____________________________________________________





This means  ____________________________________________________


 E) __________________________


This means _____________________________________________________




Choose one of the following Tasks



Using Poster Paper make a text message sign to Display on the classroom wall 

















 or   Watch the clip and reflect for a minute. Here are some questions for you to think about:






















What do you think about the language of text/social media and the impact it has on people’s use of the English language?










Do you think it has the potential to destroy or corrupt the way that English is used and spoken? Or not?











Extension Task

Greater reading


What is technology doing to language? 


Today, we can’t seem to live without technology. It has changed language and the way we communicate forever. 


The way we speak is still similar to what it was before technology. The conventions of saying ‘Hi’ at the start of a conversation and ‘Bye’ at the end still exist. We still say the words ‘How are you?’ when asking someone how they feel. The real change has come in the way we write. 

Email altered the structure of the letter as a communicative tool. It brought with it a whole new etiquette, as well as new conventions and new abbreviations, such as IMO (in my opinion), FWIW (for what it’s worth), IIRC (if I remember correctly) and FYI (for your information). 

Did you know? More people currently have a mobile phone capable of accessing the internet than have a PC with net access. 


But email English is nothing compared to the impact upon language  driven by mobile phone users. The rate and extent of change this  has had is truly astounding. As compared to a computer, the screen,  keypad and characters allowed in a message were much smaller. So ‘How are you?’ in person turned into ‘HRU?’ in text. Text messaging was always, by default, short. And short, inevitably,  becomes shorter. 


It introduced other ideas such as WORDS IN UPPER CASE MEAN WE ARE YELLING, while lower case writing is the accepted form. 


The way we write our text messages is now so widely accepted that it has infiltrated mainstream advertising. Here are two examples I can think of immediately: 

Virgin Media, the British company, ran a campaign several months ago for its provision of broadband (or Brdbnd, as it called it) and, a little more locally to me, a council campaign advised us: ‘Dnt B Wstfl’ 


Did you know? Only 12% of mobile users never use their phone for texting (and virtually half of these people are over 65). 


So, to sum up…email + texting + blogging + social networking sites = people writing more how they speak and less like they used to write. And, essentially, less like they had to write – either for a boss, a parent or a teacher. 


People frequently writing the same things would reduce the length of those words and phrases so that the meaning remained intact while the effort required to communicate – and the amount of screen space used – were both minimized. 


4) Now we are going to be working on our own opinions! 


Do you think that texting is ruining language? 


YES!   or      NO! 


Now, write a short letter (or speech) to be sent to a friend (or given to an audience) that is designed to persuade the friend or audience of your opinion on whether texting is ruining language or not. 



(Don’t forget to use examples and evidence to support your argument.) 



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