CRITICAL RESPONSE: “MOBILE PHONES AND LITERACY” by Samuel Tsung AND “TEXT MESSAGES AND THE DECLINE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE” by Louise Dite
As SMS messages has brought significant changes to our lives by revolutionizing the way people communicate, using abbreviations in texting has become more popular than ever as a quick and convenient choice to exchange information. Yet, there remains some disagreement as to whether this useful and powerful tool of communication has been positive or negative on literacy in the long-term. According to the article “Text messaging and the decline of the English language” published in The Fulchester Times on 25 August 2012, Louise Dite states that texting can lead to reducing students’ literacy ability. In the article “Mobile phones and Literacy” published in The Daily Planet on 8 August 2012, Samuel Tsung, meanwhile, argues that using SMS messages not only is a useful tool to practice English skills but also improve students’ results. This essay will critically evaluate to both arguments in these two articles. In her article, Dite claims firstly that texting bring detrimental effects on both reading and writing English skills in the long term. When using abbreviations frequently, students easily make mistakes on writing exams; as a result, this habit leads to low academic results which directly affect their career opportunity. However, Tsung states that SMS messages are helpful for young students to improve their language skill as they also practice English when using SMS. As a consequence, their ability to read and write in English will improve faster. Moreover, he notes that students are intelligent enough to understand the importance of writing appropriate academic English in exams and other situations in order not to be a failure in the workforce. Tsung’s opinion that texting has brought numerous positive impacts on upgrading students’ English to higher level seems convincing and logical. It is indisputable that if a person wants to master something, the best way to achieve this goal is to practice it more. It is also true for English. SMS messages is one the most simple and efficient method to learn English that student can use every day as a good habit to expand their own range of vocabulary and make their learning English process more exciting. Moreover, when people take advantages of SMS messages as a quick and convenient tool of communication, they have to think about English words and meanings of English phrases they use thoughtfully to make sure that receivers can understand accurately with sufficient information. This natural process of their brain forces them work deeply and effectively in English. Further and even more important, using abbreviations is a key element to be a successful student as it increases note-taking speech which results in effective learning and better results. In stark contrast, Dite makes a subjective point when he claims that young people can be influenced negatively by texting and become failures in their student’s life as well as in their latter career. Actually, almost every students understand that they are not allowed to write both informal language and abbreviations in their essays and exams. As a result, they rarely make this kind of mistake that can destroy their long-time studying effort. Therefore, it could be argue that texting can lead to better English kills. In terms of using abbreviations in SMS messages to avoid their parents’ control, Dite points out that this phenomenon probably limits parents’ ability to protect and monitor their own children because parents can not understand texting “code”. On the other hand, Tsung addresses that young students need room to develop and follow their own interest and should not be treated as a 3-year-old kid. Therefore, parents should let them learn to decide their own things such as using SMS messages and abbreviations. Both Tsung and Dite have presented arguments to support their own...
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