Clayton's articleArmstrong, C. (2011, Dec. 7). Social network use may influence students’ communication skills. Daily Egyptian. http://dailyegyptian.com/2011/12/07/social-network-use-may-influence-students-communication-skills/. Accessed 1-12.
I was interviewed for this article in November, and it appeared in December. I thought Mr. Armstrong did an excellent job. I am surprised at how ungrammatically I speak, but I have no doubt that he caught it exactly as I said it.
I am still mulling over the premise that the article is based upon. To me, admitting that using chat or informal language can damage your formal language skills is akin to admitting that using any other language can damage formal language skills, and I have no doubt that our brains have room to learn as many languages as we choose to learn and use actively. The main limit in our lives is time, and I have no doubt either that some teens, and even younger people (I have a ten-year-old) are chatting or using other languages to the exclusion of their homework or whatever formal learning we are expecting of them. I have a six-year-old who cheerfully reads every night so that he can continue renting video games and movies; he would much prefer virtually any other media besides formal reading. There is no doubt, however, that he can learn to read. The doubt lies in whether he will.
If we want a world in which people seek to read classic works of good writing, we will have to work on making that something that they see as intrinsically desirable; the last time it was, was when it was the key to learning about other people and cultures. Hmmm.