In a  former blog post I described the in-service training I offer to seconday teachers as part of the awareness raising of the centrality of literacy for all teachers as enshrined in the Curriculm for Excellence guidance. All schools in the region have now participated in this session so I thought I’d post some of the activites I devised.

I divided the activities into 4 skills sub-sets: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency and meaning. Here is one activity about phonics  – dear to every primary and SfL teacher’s heart! This examines letter sequencing as part of phonics. The player is to read the following sentences fluently and with expression:

2 b, r nt 2 b dat iz d Q wthr ts noblr n d mnd 2 sufr d slngs & arowz of outrAjs fortn r 2 tAk armz agnst a C f trblz, & by oposn nd em?

And here are the outcomes and experiences that inform this experience:

Literacy and English Outcomes, CfE: Tools for Reading (LIT 212N/ 312N.412N ENG 313P/ 413P)

Through developing my knowledge of context cues, punctuation, grammar and layout I can read unfamiliar texts with increasing fluency, understanding and expression.

 Before and as I read, I can apply strategies and resources independently to help me read a wide variety of texts to monitor and check my understanding, and/or find the information I need.

When I suggest that young learners might benefit from encouragement to take notes in text speak there is generally a sharp intake of astonished breath. However, when we are considering content rather than secretarial or formal skills, there seems to be no reason not to enable youngsters to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the form that is most familiar to them – and one that is quick. After all, shorthand is recognised as a valued and valuable skill for rapid note taking – txt spk is just the next generation.

A study found no evidence of a detrimental effect of text speak on conventional spelling.”What we think of as misspellings, don’t really break the rules of language and children have a sophisticated understanding of the appropriate use of words,” Dr Beverley Plester, the lead author of the report and senior lecturer at Coventry University, said.

By the way, as if you didn’t know, here is the text in English:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them?

(Hamlet, Act Three, Scene One)