posted by james hlavik on 4/22/2009

Most of my original experiences with SMS in an academic setting came from teaching eighth graders in my first year teaching during the 2007-2008 school year. I found that many of them used SMS in their writing. If they did not know an answer or did not feel like writing more than three letters, they would write "idk" (Textese for "I don't know") as an answer.

While my students eventually would be able to write more in response to questions, they still used a fair bit of SMS abbreviation in their writing such as substituting the number "2" for writing out "to," "too," or "two."

At first, I thought it was just laziness, but I soon came to realize that this was a new and evolving dialect of the English language that they were using. Although these acronyms and other conventions of SMS were intended for use on cell phones or IM, they were "bleeding" into students academic discourse and even into their verbal conversations with one another. I had many students who would actually verbalize things like "omg" to signify surprise instead of using the full expression of "oh my god" or "oh my goodness."

I am really still trying to grasp as much of the SMS dialect of English as possible and am also trying to create things such as this forum which will enable other teachers and students like myself to understand the workings of SMS dialect. I also hope that it provides a comfortable place to talk about SMS in order to better serve and teach our students who frequently communicate through SMS.

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