November 08, 2004

Pupils resort to text language in GCSE exams

classroom.jpg Examiners have given warning that pupils are increasingly using text message language in GCSEs, the first official acknowledgment that mobile phone shorthand is undermining standard English, reports the UK UK Telegraph.

“A report published by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, the largest exam board in the UK, has disclosed that this year’s GCSE English scripts were peppered with the abbreviated words which have become second nature to many youngsters.

The report, compiled from examiners’ comments on more than 700,000 English scripts marked this year, said: “Text message spellings, such as U for “you” are increasingly prevalent.”

Although anecdotal evidence of the use of text messaging by students has emerged in the past few years, the examiners’ report suggests that such abbreviations are becoming the norm.

Examiners found that the trend was accompanied by an increase in grammatical errors.

Dr Bernard Lamb, the chairman of the Queen’s English Society, said It is quite appalling that schoolchildren cannot distinguish between ordinary language and text language. It is something that teachers need to tackle urgently if we have reached the stage where students are making such errors in exams.”

[SMS and Students]