David Crystal’s “Language and the Internet” is a very timely and provocative read:
“In recent years, the Internet has come to dominate our lives. E-mail, instant messaging and chat are rapidly replacing conventional forms of correspondence, and the Web has become the first port of call for both information inquiry and leisure activity.
How is this affecting language? There is a widespread view that as ‘technospeak” comes to rule, standards will be lost. In this book, David Crystal argues the reverse: that the Internet has encouraged a dramatic expansion in the variety and creativity of language.”
I’m undecided about all of this, I do see his point and I am helping my students to be as literate in this new era as possible. However, I am also fearful of some of the other trends I see: the Year 8 students who don’t play or talk with each other in the mornings now they have laptops to stare at, the over-reliance on the Internet for research when books, people and observations would be better options, the Facebook-update-style way that kids are starting to say sentences… expecting a “comment”, “like” or “share” at the end of each one!
Where do we go with this as educators?