So, I’ve had a little obsession with using text messages / whats-app style messages in class over the past few weeks, hence this is the second lesson I’m putting up about texting. Soz!
The main reason for this is that we tend to focus on language in classes and very often miss out on appropriacy. Trust me, as someone who spends a lot of their time in correspondence with students, appropriacy is something we need to be looking at. What I’m talking about here is both style (levels of formality) as well as register (the right words for the right context).
Just the other day a student started a spoken conversation with my by saying: “Dear David,”
This cannot continue. Something must be done. It starts here. Actually that’s probably a little bit too extreme but it’s definitely something to think about.
I think the procedure for this one is pretty self-explanatory as you just follow the worksheet but the really interesting thing is focusing on the features of a text message. Think about examining the following:
- Informal vocabulary
- Lack of punctuation (but not in all instances e.g. we’re could look like were)
- Omitted words (e.g. You free on Tuesday?)
- Shortened words (e.g. Tue / Fri)
A lovely follow up for this exercise for this is, once they have got the appropriate text message language down and have practised with one of their one, give each student a pile of post-it notes and tell them they are going to have a whatsapp group chat, making plans for the weekend. One person starts off the conversation by writing a message and placing it on the wall in front of the group. From then on the conversation happens in real time. Each student can reply to the message(s) that came before but they have to keep an eye on the thread as their partners may send the message they had planned to send. It’s quite fun but also ties the lesson together and makes error correction quite easy at the end as you have all of the physical messages.
Let us know how it goes, if you’d like a more detailed procedure, leave a comment and I’ll put something together.
A) Making plans Text messages worksheet
2 thoughts on “A bit of appropriacy please!”
I completely agree with you…I get students calling me mam or the other day, one of my students said ‘I rarely get petulant’ (the questions was “What makes you angry”) …the more they know, the more complicated it becomes for them…
Hey Barbara, thanks for the comment, what techniques do you usually use to help them?