Monday, February 1, 2010

Is Twitter and Facebook failing kids?

It used to be TVs jobs to turn our brains into slush.  Then the commercials came out claiming it was Hulu's fault.  But no, a study just came out blaming Facebook and Twitter for a growing number of high school students who have the English grammer skills of a New York cab driver.

CTV News reported that social media is failing the kids.  At Ontario's Waterloo University, accepted students are required to take an English language skills exam.  Professors have watched the scores over the years drop further and further.  This year almost a third of the incoming class failed.  At Simon Fraser University in Brittish Columbia, one in 10 freshman can't take the manditory writing courses require for graduation.  Why?  Facebook of course.

"There has been this general sense in the last two or three years that we are finding more students are struggling in terms of language proficiency," says Rummana Khan Hemani, the university's director of academic advising. "Emoticons, happy faces, sad faces, cuz, are just some of the writing horrors being handed in. Little abbreviations," show up even in letters of academic appeal, says Khan Hemani. "Instead of 'because', it's 'cuz'. That's one I see fairly frequently," she says, and these are new in the past five years.
That's right, kids can text at 120 words per minute, they can create hilarious short films, and even create full web sites for themselves, friends and brands. Yet, they can't write a simple letter.  But wait, a letter, what's that?

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