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LINGUIST List 20.4222

Wed Dec 09 2009

Qs: Adolescent Electronic Communication and Literacy

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        1.    Joseph Caracciolo, Adolescent Electronic Communication and Literacy

Message 1: Adolescent Electronic Communication and Literacy
Date: 07-Dec-2009
From: Joseph Caracciolo <Joseph.Caraccioloplainedgeschools.org>
Subject: Adolescent Electronic Communication and Literacy
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My name is Joseph Caracciolo. I am currently enrolled in the Intel Advanced
Research Program at Plainedge High School. This program has been very
successful; over the last few years, our program has had several finalists
in the science talent searches such as the Intel Science Talent Search and
the Long Island Psychology Fair.

I am exploring the effect acronyms commonly used in electronic
communication have on the literacy of teenagers. The specific modes of
communication I am looking into are SMS (short message service, otherwise
known as text messaging), E-mail, SNS (social networking sites such as
Facebook or Myspace), and blogs. I will measure the literacy of teens by
analyzing recent and past ELA (English language arts) test scores. I will
also design a survey to be distributed to adolescents which will gather
information on their electronic communication habits. I will then compare
survey data and test score data in order to find trends among the student
population as a whole.

I have conducted extensive background research involving Pew polls and
available NYS ELA scores. Preliminary examination indicates that overall
ELA scores have risen over the years. The amount of teens who use cell
phones has also increased.

I hypothesize that any mode of electronic communication that requires
typing increases literary interest and ability, in spite of the extensive
use of acronyms. I believe girls will text more than boys. Girls and boys
will use social networking sites equally. They will use email equally as
well. Girls will utilize emoticons and acronyms more than boys. As a result
of all this electronic communication English grades will rise and so will
SAT scores.

In order to find more information concerning my hypothesis I will release a
survey to everyone in my school. Could you recommend any existing
literature of survey instruments that I could cite? Any guidance you could
provide would be greatly appreciated. Furthermore, my research aims are
flexible and open to change. I look forward to hearing from you.


Joseph Caracciolo
Student Researcher
Plainedge Advanced Research Program

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

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