This lesson plan is based on a very interesting speech titled “Txtng is killing language. JK!!!” by John McWhorter. The talk touches upon the development of language, especially in terms of SMS. Moreover, students have a lot of opportunities to practise writing text messages in English.
VIDEO AND DISCUSSION
The worksheet includes many various exercises. The lesson starts with a warm-up activity, i.e. a short discussion about language in general. Next, in the second task, students have to match phrases from the video with their endings. Then, students watch the video and check their answers. You can discuss these phrases with your students and make sure that they understand them. Additionally, there is a discussion on the issues mentioned in the talk.
WRITING TEXT MESSAGES
Next three exercises are very practical. First of all, students have to guess the meaning of abbreviations used in text messages. I think it is most reasonable to do this task in pairs as some students may find it quite demanding. The next task is to rewrite messages and it is followed by the last exercise which can be done at home. Students have to choose two messages and answer them using abbreviations and text terms.
The speech lasts for about 13 minutes, so you can easily watch it during the lesson, which then should take you around 60 minutes.
RELATED WORKSHEET – Internet slang words and acronyms
You can enrich this lesson by adding words and phrases that are used online in social media or instant messaging. They similarly affect our language just as texting (or even more nowadays). So take advantage of an extra handout we created around Top 10 Internet slang words.
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