Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education

New Zealand To Allow 'Text-Speak' On Exams 421

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the beginning-of-the-end dept.
ScentCone writes "New Zealand's Qualification Authority (which sets testing standards for the public schools) is confident that those grading papers will understand the meaning of students' responses, even if they use phone/IM-style text-speak. From the article: 'credit will be given if the answer "clearly shows the required understanding," even if it contains text-speak.' Many teachers are not amused, and critics say that the move will devalue NZ's equivalent of a high school diploma." Not to mention that graders will need to be restrained so they don't gouge their own eyes out. While in the medium of text messages, some shorthand might be in order, but I didn't realize that world paper, pencil, and ink shortages were so severe so that text-speak is necessary everywhere.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Zealand To Allow 'Text-Speak' On Exams

Comments Filter:
  • Are they kidding? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Announcer (816755) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:21AM (#16805320) Homepage
    How are kids supposed to learn proper spelling & grammar?

    Anyone remember "Ebonics"?
    • by black mariah (654971) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:24AM (#16805352)
      Proper spelling and grammar are unnatural constructs foisted upon the world by upper class tits that needed another way to make themselves feel special.
    • by Hope Thelps (322083) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:31AM (#16805424)
      How are kids supposed to learn proper spelling & grammar?

      From Slashdot of course.
    • by Hogwash McFly (678207) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:46AM (#16805542)
      Pah, spelling and grammar is a holdover from stuffy, old academic rigidity. It has no place in today's classroom. We need to be moving forward as educators and leave all that 'history' behind. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a class on "Group sex: sharing can be caring" to teach to third graders.
    • Anyone remember "Ebonics"?

      I took a text sample and ran it through both a ebonics translator and a leet traslator...

      Wh3n 1n d4 k0uR23 0' hUm4n 3v3n72, D4 7H4n9 83C0m32 n3C3554rY pH0' 0N3 n1920r2 74 D1550LV3 d4 p0l171C4l 84nd2 wh1Ch h42 k0NN3c73D D3M w1Ff 4N07h3r, 4N' 74 422uM3 4M0N9 d4 p0w3r2 0' d4 34R7h, d4 53p4r473 4n' 3kw4l 574710n 74 WH1CH d4 L4w2 0' n47uR3 4n' 0' N47UR3'2 90d 3n717l3 D3M, Uh D3C3N7 R35P3c7 74 D4 0P1N10N2 0' M4nk1ND R3kw1R32 D47 d4 n1920r2 5H0Uld D3cL4r3 d4 K4U532 wH1cH 1Mp3L D3M 7
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:23AM (#16805342) Homepage Journal
    what about l33t sp33k?

    t3h kn33 b0n3 15 c0nn3ct3d t0 teh th1g|-| b0n3!
  • :P (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:24AM (#16805358)
    I 4 1 wlcm our txtg ovrlrds ...and let the stupid texting jokes begin!
  • by shawnseat (453587) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:26AM (#16805384)
    that frst pst is worth +5, insightful in New Zealand?
  • by kisrael (134664) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:26AM (#16805398) Homepage
    Sometimes "text-speak" (surprised it's not "txt-spk") appears in odd places. Like 90% of the offshore folks from India I've interacted with, even in e-mail that was otherwise very professional and well written. Now some of these guys were bozos, but even for the ones that I knew were solid, smart workers...I just couldn't be sure if they even knew that "you" is not spelled "u"

    Is "The Artist Formerly Know As" popular over there? I blame him for all this in general.
    • by x2A (858210) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:46AM (#16805546)
      Why? I mean, I actually get quite surprised whenever I see someone on slashdot spell 'lose' correctly, and that's from english-as-first-language ppl.

      I'm quite picky with what I'll abreviate. You and for are such short words anyway, I think cutting down to 'u' and '4' is plain tacky, and makes you come across as being... well... somewhat cheap. But, as you can see, a six lettered word I don't mind so much, even on the internet, which is in fact where I picked that up, long before text messaging took off. Also, through and though have become thru and tho, but I do know the difference between thru and threw which I do see mixed up from time to time. Too and to are never 2, which should only mean two.

      So I guess I don't have a fundamental problem with it, as long as ambiguity isn't formed, it remains easy to read, and you draw yourself a line so u dont spk lyk vis al du tym.

      • by udippel (562132)
        Why? I mean, I actually get quite surprised whenever I see someone on slashdot spell 'lose' correctly, and that's from english-as-first-language ppl.

        This is f***ing arrogant. /. isn't reserved for native English speakers; though your 'whenever I see someone' implies everyone was just that.
        You're right, and at times I wonder if the non-english-as-first-language ppl were not better in grammar than the natives ?
        With the help of the Kiwis, the latter will become a reality for future generations.

        • by x2A (858210)
          "This is f***ing arrogant"

          That is so f***ing presumptuous. In my experience, it is native english speakers that make that mistake the most, including people I know *personally*. This is why I said I was talking about native speakers, because I *wouldn't* be so arrogant as to include second language speakers in such a comment.

          "You're right"

          Thank you ;-)

          • by udippel (562132)
            In my experience, it is native english speakers that make that mistake the most, including people I know *personally*.

            Meaning, that we agree. A rare occasion on Slashdot.

      • So I guess I don't have a fundamental problem with it, as long as ambiguity isn't formed, it remains easy to read, and you draw yourself a line so u dont spk lyk vis al du tym.

        That, I think, is the key thing: we're talking about communication here. Abbreviations that require the reader to think twice about the meaning of the writing are an impairment to efficient communication. Depending on the context, they may also be an indication that you consider your time spent writing to be more valuable than the

        • by x2A (858210)
          So if I read what you're saying correctly, you're saying it's the chinesesises fault? :-p

          "Abbreviations that require the reader to think twice about the meaning of the writing are an impairment to efficient communication"

          Yes I think that's precisely it, that is I guess what I do. Get the message across as accurately and efficiently as possible, and not create an image in the reader that I'm sloppy. I don't know why so many people are adverse to the idea that more is conveyed in your writings than the actual
    • by fbjon (692006)
      You mean Prince?
      • by Jeremi (14640)
        You mean Prince?


        No, not Prince... you know, thingy. I'd tell you his new name, but the Unicode character set hasn't been updated to support him yet.

    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @11:09AM (#16805712) Journal
      I just couldn't be sure if they even knew that "you" is not spelled "u"
      I've seen the same from Indian, Malaysian and Chinese IT professionals, and given the level of their English, they must have known that "you" is spelled "y-o-u-".

      Some of the Indians I work with get training in dealing with western cultures, i.e. western management style, conflict resolution with Westerners, and English colloquialisms. My guess is that the quality of such trainings vary... some people, always from the same one or two companies, put the oddest colloqualisms in their emails. They are technically correct, but they just look out of place in business communication. Writing "u" instead of "you" is just one of those things.
  • by TomHandy (578620) <tomhandyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:33AM (#16805450)
    That a generation or two from now, the entire English language is going to primarily be reduced to textspeak and leetspeak or something.

    One thing that would give me hope though is that textspeak is really only required right now because with so many modern phones, text input is still cumbersome, so it is a necessity. Seemingly when new technologies come into place which would make text entry more efficient (maybe better predictive text input, speech-to-text built into phones, etc.) textspeak won't even be needed.

    At least that's what I hope for.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TomHandy (578620)
        Right, that's actually sort of what I was thinking of really. I fully understand and accept that the English language has changed dramatically over the centuries, especially compared to Old English, and that it's a common thing for the language to continue to change and evolve based on how people actually use it.

        I'm mainly just thinking that it would be kind of a shame if the language (at least the spelling, and some of the grammar), does turn into textspeak as a standard characteristic of the language.

    • The predictive text input on LG phones is fast and complete enough that I can send proper English texts faster than abbreviating with conventional ABC input. It's different for different manufacturers, I know Motorola's is next to unusable and I hear Samsung's is iffy, but mine is great.
      • by MrFlannel (762587)
        Motorolas predictive text input is far from unusable. You tend to push about half the letters for a third of the words. Or... I do anyway. It does usually predict my input halfway through the word, but... when things are 8 letters, and I need only push four more... I usually just type the whole thing out (it's not like buttons take a while to press anyway). But even if you don't use the prediction thing, it's the same as using one keystroke per letter. With the occassional correction (for words you have
      • by gregmac (629064)
        The predictive text input on LG phones is fast and complete enough that I can send proper English texts faster than abbreviating with conventional ABC input. It's different for different manufacturers, I know Motorola's is next to unusable and I hear Samsung's is iffy, but mine is great.

        I have a motorola razr (first phone telus offered with bluetooth), and the predictive text input on it is great. After you type a few words, it usually gives a suggestion (which it shows you by completing the remaining lette
      • by BeerCat (685972)
        A colleague of mine was sending using predictive text in a darkened room. Unfortunately, he had accidentally changed the default language from English to Hungarian, so the result was pretty much goulash (though not so tasty)
    • That a generation or two from now, the entire English language is going to primarily be reduced to textspeak and leetspeak or something.

      Nah, every generation has their own version of slang. Textspeak and l33tspeak are just a written version of slang so that teenagers can feel unique from their parents (along with wacky fashions, wacky hair color, etc). When people grow up, they typically abandon it, feel embarrassed, and grow annoyed at the new generation. :)

      The good thing about these abbreviations is

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Randseed (132501)
      I'll admit that I don't fully understand this. I'm far from one of those ridiculously fast texters on the cell phone. I do send a fair number of text messages. Only very rarely will I let bad text prediction through without taking a second to correct it, and I have never sent a text message in "text speak." It would probably take me just as long to use "text speak" as it would to do it correctly.
  • Plain inaccurate (Score:5, Informative)

    by mscnln (785138) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:36AM (#16805472)
    Bali Haque, deputy chief executive of the authority, said there had been no change to guidelines and there was no specific policy about text language. However, he warned: "If people are expecting they can come up with an exam script full of text and pass, then they're dreaming. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1 &ObjectID=10410066 [nzherald.co.nz]
    • by 26199 (577806)

      That's what I suspected... it's always been the case that you're marked on what you're able to demonstrate that you know. If text speak demonstrates the required knowledge/understanding, that's fine.

      It seems unlikely that it would work in an English exam, obviously. You'd lose marks for spelling/grammar, even if it's technically possible to get the marks for understanding.

      It's quite similar to the fact that I can get away with having atrocious handwriting as long as it's good enough to be understood. So

  • .. to let teachers set assigments and mark in text speak too. Let's see parents try doing their homework for their kids when they can't understand a damn word of it. In other words 'U FL GO STR8 2 MACCYDS'
  • WTF? (Score:3, Funny)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:48AM (#16805552) Homepage Journal
    ORLY WTF?
  • by malkavian (9512) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:48AM (#16805558) Homepage
    That could hide many things. After all, understanding the subject isn't the whole of the mark. Communicating it also carries a non-trivial mark.
    If the examiner can't correctly work out what the writer is trying to say, then marks will be lost. Presentation also carries a portion of the mark in most subjects, and using txt spk will almost certainly lose that.
    So, it's basically allowing people to use txt spk, and actually have a non-zero mark (credit given for the understanding of the subject where it's communicated successfully), but in all probability, they won't be garnering the kind of mark they would otherwise be achieving if they used correct English.
    It's possibly the kind of discrepancy that would make the difference between a fail and an average pass mark (depending on how obfuscated the text was by using txt spk).
  • Which subject? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vadim_t (324782) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:49AM (#16805564) Homepage
    Text speak in an English exam of course should result in failing it. On the other hand, I think bad grammar and spelling should be ignored on a math or a chemistry exam, so long the answer is understandable.
    • I disagree that the problem should be ignored. If the grammar and spelling is actually bad, rather than just an occasional error the problem should be brought to the writer's attention, and perhaps the student should be referred for some additional help.

    • Re:Which subject? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Coryoth (254751) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @11:50AM (#16805990) Homepage Journal
      Text speak in an English exam of course should result in failing it. On the other hand, I think bad grammar and spelling should be ignored on a math or a chemistry exam, so long the answer is understandable.

      Really? Why? Are mathematicians and chemists not required to communicate? I can understand, perhaps, allowing a little more leeway, given that it is not specifically the subject being tested, but ultimately spelling and grammar matters. A large part of mathematics is being able to clearly communicate your reasoning to other people. Now mathematics does provide its own language and symbols to do a lot of that communication, however as someone who grades math papers, I am as sensitive to misuse of mathematical symbols as I am to misspelling and poor grammar, and I will mark people down for either if it is consistently poor (I will tolerate occasional mistakes). Any ambiguity introduced undermines the entire mathematical argument. Whether it "can be understood" is not enough - markers should not be required to try and figure out what a student meant: what they mean should be immediately clear, and that is an important part of the subject.
      • by Nasarius (593729)
        Amen, sir. Last time I checked, the ACS doesn't accept papers written in text-speak, and anyone handing in a lab report or exam written in such language would be treated like the morons they clearly are.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015)
      On the other hand, I think bad grammar and spelling should be ignored on a math or a chemistry exam, so long the answer is understandable.

      A common misconception: as Locutus of Borg put it, "A narrow vision." The belief that only those fields which predominantly deal with written language should be required to exercise it properly is in error. Seriously in error, and the widespread adoption of this mistake is costing us dearly.

      The reality for people of all walks of life, whether they be physicist, math
      • by gardyloo (512791)
        As an example of how far we have fallen in the past century or two, I found it illuminating to read the letters that American infantrymen sent home to their families during the old Indian campaigns. These were boys, often only in their teens, mere footsoldiers, and yet the quality of their writing was substantially greater than what most college graduates are capable of in our time. Some of those letters were pure prose, and the emotional impact was significant. That's because they were taught well, and hel
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @10:55AM (#16805606)
    Doubleplusgood..

  • Thanks to my Handspring Visor (a major outlet for me for hand writing) I have to stop and think about how to form a K when writing on paper. I automatically make the Graffiti version.
    • People still write? When I want a k on a piece of paper, I hit the key between j and l.
    • by Thansal (999464)
      He, for a long time I had the same problem.

      In college I rarely actualy wrote something down, it either went into my visor (it was a sad day when the screen broke and I found out that they no longer exist) or was typed directly into my computer. The few times I actualy had to write something (generaly for a test) I would sit there and have ot remind my self not to write a 7 instead of a T, how K and E are formed, and a slew of other horrible things...
  • I still read exams as emacs.
  • by ari_j (90255) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @11:09AM (#16805706)
    Fry: I tell you, bein' here really brings me back to my college days. (Flashback to Coney Island Community College.) Good old Coney Island College. Go Whitefish!
    Leela: Don't take this the wrong way, Fry, but you don't seem like the educated type.
    Fry: Oh yeah? (Produces Notice of Failure to Graduated from CICC.) Read it and weep. I'm a certified college drop-out.
    Leela: Please. Everyone knows twentieth century colleges were basically expensive day care centers.
    Professor: That's true. By current academic standards, you're merely a high school dropout.
    Fry: What? That's not fair. I deserve the same respect any other college dropout gets. By God, I'm going to enroll here at Mars University and drop out all over again!
  • If only there were some sort of common, standardized symbolism New Zealanders could use to convey their thoughts! They could call it a "language" or something like that.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @11:17AM (#16805746) Homepage Journal
    text speak? Such as "u r an 1d10t" or "u fail it"
  • by failure-man (870605) <failureman@gmail . c om> on Saturday November 11, 2006 @11:36AM (#16805898)
    u fl dk
    g, su me
    i dr
  • IAAEM (Score:3, Funny)

    by Deliveranc3 (629997) <deliverance@le[ ]4.org ['vel' in gap]> on Saturday November 11, 2006 @11:41AM (#16805928) Journal
    I am an english major.

    In some poor parts of the world an English degree means studying how to spell and speak properly.

    This is exceedingly unfortunate because the true value of an appreciation of English comes from the ability to understand the nuances of a persons expressions, and in turn to control ones own nuances.

    As a Comp Sci major I think the best way to explain this would be to say that it adds bandwidth to people's ability to communicate, before I became an English major I thought it would add bandwidth in the way facial expressions do. Now I understand that a true understanding of English adds more bandwidth than anything short of the original use of language.

    This is difficult to explain to people who are so used to people using casual expressions and syntax and choosing topics without enough thought.

    When an author puts a word on a page that is the word he has chosen and he has chosen it for a reason, he chose it instead of every other word there is.

    Anyway, I'm disgusted with New Zealanders, fortunately in my country approx 50-60% of people end up going to university, and they call it university because your forced to take English.

    Cheers!
    • by Builder (103701)
      Out of curiosity, what country are you from? Because I believe that they are also talking about implementing this foolishness in the UK, home of English :)
      • by Dionysus (12737)
        Out of curiosity, what country are you from? Because I believe that they are also talking about implementing this foolishness in the UK, home of English :)

        When did New Zealand become part of the UK? They're not even in the same hemisphere.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by udippel (562132)
      I am an english major.

      ... of a persons expressions, and in turn to control ones own nuances.
      ... they call it university because your forced to take English

      Wouldn't you have better left out that first sentence of yours ?

    • Re:IAAEM (Score:4, Funny)

      by n3k5 (606163) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @01:11PM (#16806536) Journal
      I am an english major.
      In the light of the horrible mistakes you made in your post, I hope you intended to say that you're an officer in Britain's armed forces?
  • In theory, I don't really have a problem with it. Obviously, it wouldn't be appropriate in English class (since non-fucked-up composition is the very thing that the student is supposed to demonstrate) but if someone can communicate a math problem solution, it doesn't matter how they do it.

    The catch is that "text speak" (wtf? is that really what it's called now?!) does not clearly communicate. Some people can read it, and others have trouble. I know for a fact that I read it and decipher it much more slo

  • GCC 5.0 To Allow 'Text-Speak' in Variable Declarations and Standard Library Functions for Most Supported Languages.

    --
    Does that seem like a good idea?

  • While in the medium of text messages, some shorthand might be in order, but I didn't realize that world paper, pencil, and ink shortages were so severe...

    Yeah, and if it weren't for that crippling electron shortage we'd never abbreviate at all! Face it, "text-speak" is lazy no matter what medium you're using.
  • by pidge-nz (603614) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @03:21PM (#16807450)

    Short Answer: Move along, nothing to see here, it's an unsubstantiated rumour.

    Long Answer:

    From a New Zealand Herald article [nzherald.co.nz], somewhat more authorative on what's going on in New Zealand than CNN.

    Text language risky move in NCEA examinations

    Friday November 10, 2006
    By Claire Trevett

    Students are being warned not to use cellphone texting abbreviations in NCEA exams after reports suggested the shorthand was to be allowed.

    The New Zealand Qualifications Authority is dashing media reports that students could use text abbreviations in exams without penalty if their answers otherwise showed the required understanding.

    ...

    Read the article for more. And get it while it's hot, as NZ Herald only allows access to non-subscribers for a week.

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

Working...