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How To Avoid Email Slang In School Work

Sep 23, 2017
Millions of children (and adults!) use language like this to chat with friends, make weekend plans and stay in touch with out-of-town relatives via email, Twitter and Instant Messaging (IM). It is important that this informal writing style of shortened words, improper grammar, lack of punctuation and use of “emoticons,” such as smiley faces and other keyboard-created graphics, does not become a habit of writing.

Email and IM style of writing isn’t completely bad, since it does encourage students to write more often. Many educators agree that children can benefit from email and IM as learning opportunities. The popularity of Internet writing is also helping children see writing as a fun activity that encourages creative writing, and not just something they “have to do.”

To help children boost their effective writing skills, here are a few tips that parents can use to avoid IM, Twitter and email-style language making its way into schoolwork:

Talk to children about using different writing styles to communicate with different audiences. Describe the importance of personalizing messages and why it’s important that students know their audience. While it’s okay to close a letter with “C ya” to a friend in an IM, it is not okay to include this slang in homework assignments. Remind them that formality is required in school.

Have fun with writing. Provide children with enjoyable ways to practice their writing. Involve your child with writing grocery lists, thank you notes, dates on calendars and messages.

Review schoolwork for IM and email-style language. Encourage your children to write properly and take the time to carefully review assignments several times before submitting them to the teacher. Review your child’s homework to ensure he or she is not using shortcuts or slang.

Talk with children to establish ground rules for using IM, Twitter and email. Work with your child to develop a plan for using IM and email to make sure other responsibilities, such as completing homework and chores, are met before going online to chat with friends. Discuss time limits with your children and ensure they are kept. Consider putting your family rules in writing and posting them near the computer.