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Flipping the Switch: Code-Switching from Text Speak to Standard English

English Journal Volume 98, Number 5, ISSN 0013-8274


Because digital language represents such a large part of the primary discourse of today's adolescents, it is not surprising that the style of electronic communication is "seeping into their schoolwork." According to a recent study published by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, in partnership with the College Board's National Commission on Writing, "the vast majority of teens have eagerly embraced written communication with their peers as they share messages on their social network pages, in emails and instant messages online, and through fast-paced thumb choreography on their cell phones." The transfer of the informal, and seemingly abbreviated, style used in these contexts to their schoolwork, however, worries educators and parents alike. Drawing on Rebecca S. Wheeler and Rachael Swords's work on code-switching, the author suggests methods for making secondary students more aware of their use of texting language in school writing and less formal contexts. (Contains 1 figure.)


Turner, K.H. (2009). Flipping the Switch: Code-Switching from Text Speak to Standard English. English Journal, 98(5), 60-65. Retrieved August 20, 2019 from .

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