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Last Updated:  Monday, 3 March, 2003, 14:14 GMT
Texting troubles teachers
Child with mobile phone
Some teachers want text message language banned in the classroom
Concerns over the use of text messaging language in exam answers have been voiced by markers in Scotland.

Teachers have also spoken out against the spread of the practice in schools.

One union has called for a complete ban on the use of text message language in English classes because its use is spreading "like wildfire".

The issue was highlighted in a principal assessor's report on the 2002 standard grade exams.

Examination papers

Under the areas where candidates are said to have found difficulty, it comments on occasions "where text messaging language was inappropriately used".

A spokesman for the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) said: "There is a trend of text languaging that is in use by young people and this is migrating across to examination papers."

The organisation said the growing problem had been identified as a barrier to attainment for pupils.

These standards have gone by the wayside
Tino Ferri
NASUWT
"This is the first time it has been specifically mentioned in a principal assessor's report over the last couple of years," added the spokesman.

The National Association of School Masters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) wants the use of such language banned in the classroom.

Tino Ferri, the national executive member for Scotland, said the practice of using "text speak" in the classroom should be "jumped on".

"It seems to me that if the kids are interested and producing something, even if it's in poor English, then some teachers are happy to take it," he said.

"Frankly I am appalled by it. That seems to be a trend - kids are no longer expected to speak the Queen's English.

Aware of differences

"These standards have gone by the wayside."

Judith Gillespie, development manager at the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, said there could be some circumstances where text messaging was appropriate in the classroom.

"You could imagine setting a very interesting exercise where pupils are asked to write an essay in text then write it out so that they are aware of the differences.

"If you do it consciously and deliberately that is one thing," she said.

"But if you are using text messaging to write explanations that is an entirely different exercise and it is not appropriate."


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16 Mar 01 |  Scotland


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