In with the New… and the Old?

In looking for a topic to blog about this week, I came across this post about teaching students to write in the digital age. This is especially interesting to me as an English teacher. I found that this article stresses to teach students the new ways of communicating, such as blogs, emails, social networking etc. I found myself wondering, “Does this mean old-school grammar and 5 paragraph essays are out?” The short answer is no. The more I read the more convinced I am that we need to be teaching both. I came across these sites, among many others, that stress the need to teach “old” grammar skills(even in the digital age):

What it all comes down to is teaching our students code-switching. Code-switching means being able to switch between language usage based on the situation at had. Students should not feel stifled by old grammar rules, but rather know when it is necessary to apply them and when they can use text lingo freely. Check out this video on code-switching:


3 thoughts on “In with the New… and the Old?

  1. This is great Renee! I think about this all the time. It is amazing how we can talk different ways in different situations. I know that I personally “code switch” all the time. If I ever do a doctorate, this is one of the things that I was considering doing it on.

    • Rick, I am so glad you could relate. It is definitely something I stress to my students all of the time. I am not a fan of teaching them there is only one “right” way to speak or write, and I think technology just makes that more critical.

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