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Project Topic:

THE ADVENT OF MOBILE HANDSETS AND THE LOSS OF WRITING AND SPELLING SKILLS AMONG YOUTHS IN NIGERIA

Project Information:

 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1 - 5 ::   Pages: 99 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis, Abstract  ::   117 people found this useful

Project Department:

EDUCATION UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT TOPICS, RESEARCH WORKS AND MATERIALS

Project Body:

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Mobile phones have become an almost essential part of daily life since their rapid growth in popularity in the late 1990s, Ling (2010). According to a nationwide survey conducted in 2010 it shows that mobile phones are the most necessary medium of communication for adolescents. It uses a communication facility known as the short message service (SMS) which is relatively cheaper both in terms of time and money spent during the process of communication. The introduction of mobile phones which brought about SMS texting has greatly impacted the way in people especially youths communicate (Kemp and Bushnell, 2010). People no longer have to make phone calls to keep in touch with friends and family, they can now type a short message stating whatever they need to say. The English language is very much part of the social and intellectual life of every Nigerian. It is one of the media of instructions in schools and is one of the basic tools for every student especially in their aim for higher education. Since knowledge about facts, ideas, values and human experience are usually written and spoken in English, it is essential that people should be aware of their means of written and spoken communication in order to be understood especially in the global market. Today‘s generation do not give any more emphasis on the formal written form of communication. They found communicating an easy process without considering the spelling, the grammar structure, correct abbreviations and punctuations. One factor that has affected the written communications ability of the youths is the use of text words in writing. Texting is thought to have possibly negative and positive effects on youths or student’s literacy. Educators believe that texting has a negative effect on student’s writing and spelling skills (Verheijen, 2013). The adolescents mainly used their phones for texting. When talking to friends, they seem to ignore punctuation and capitalization concepts while texting (Cingel and Sundar, 2012). Text SMS came a result of advent of mobile phones and are used as shortcuts to make messages shorter since there is usually a cap on the amount of characters that a phone is programmed to allow in a text message (Verheijen, 2013). Many students have confessed to using mobile phones for social networking as well, which may also be an instance where textisms are being used. As the years have gone by, the amount of seven to ten year olds that own a cell phone has doubled (Plester, Wood, Bell, 2011). The impacts of texting among adolescents can lead to problematic outcomes such as poor school performance, interruption in sleep habits, bullying through text messaging, texting while driving, sexting, and other negative effects on communication skills (Dawson, 2011; Hafner, 2009; Subrahmanyam & Greenfield, 2008). While new methods of technology make communication more immediately available, the extent to which this paradigm shift can add or detract from the overall quality of adolescents writing and spelling skills is unclear. Thurlow quoted that texting ―signals the slow death of language and is ―a threat to social progress (qtd. in Verheijen, 2013). The use of textisms is starting to become more accepted among the younger generation. There have been suggestions from both media sources and educators that texting may have a negative effect on the literacy skills of students. Perhaps that biggest problem is that students who are the youths do not distinguish between times when they need to write formally without using textisms, and when they are writing informally and the use of textisms is acceptable. It may be possible to determine if the use of textisms does indeed have the impact on the written and spelling skills of the students. Until the time that concrete results are acquired to suggest that texting has deleterious effects, it may be wise for teachers of English to encourage students to lessen their use of textisms, and to instead use proper grammar and spelling while they are using texting as a form of communication. Since it has been noticed that our youths have poor writing skills as evident in their writings, spelling and communication skills because of the use of text lingo, enhancement should be done. The use of text words influences their skill in using formal language in writing. They use abbreviations and spelling which are not acceptable. Teachers, parents and mentors should monitor texter users during class hours, check the content, and advice them to limit usage and be aware of the words used that will hamper their writing and spelling skill. With the ever increasing use of text messaging among youths, students, especially teenagers, there has been a growing concern among educators, parents, researchers and general public that this practice is damaging the use of language in speaking and writing and will affect the standard forms in the long run. This study is to find out if there is an impact of mobile phone advent on the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths as most of the exams, assignments, reports and assessments are based on written work of students, and if it exists, how strong this impact is on the spelling and punctuation the students use in such writing.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Writing and spelling skills hold not only extremely important place vis-a-vis other language skills but according to Dixon and Nessel (1983) they are too difficult to understand. And this difficulty increases manifold when they are imparted especially to non-native speakers of English language. The large number of failures of youths and students indicate that writing and spelling is really not less than a challenge for the youths as well as the instructors in Nigeria. There is a paradigm shift from the conventional English language writing to what researchers have now call GSM/SMS, Internet/ e-mail systems of communication. The problem is identifying the influence of GSM/SMS, internet/e-mail systems on the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths. The fact that writing and spelling skills in Nigeria is studied in a second language situation creates enough problems, but the emergence of mobile phones/SMS and e-mail system of communication makes the learning of these skills more complex with the interference features from this new development. Many researches (as recorded above) have examined the problems of writing and spelling skills in a second language situation at various levels of linguistic usage. There is so much literature on the phonological and syntactic problems on the emerging trends in mobile handsets/SMS and e-mail system of communication adds new dimensions to these problems. The emerging trends have provoked great interests but not much has been done in exploring the influence of the emerging trend on the structure and general development of the skills among Nigerian youths. Sporadic comments may exist, but this project is designed to do a detailed study with a view to providing a systematic view that will characterize the situation and the possible dangers of the communication revolution on the development of the core features of mobile phones, on the loss of writing and spelling skills of youths.

1.3 OBJECTIVES/PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The major aim of the study is to examine the advent of mobile handset and the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include;

  1. To examine the advent of mobile handsets in Nigeria.
  2. To examine how youths interact with mobile handsets in relation to writing and spelling skills.
  3. To examine the influence of mobile handset on the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths in Nigeria.
  4. To identify the features of mobile handsets that may influence the loss of writing and spelling skills of youths in Nigeria.
  5. To examine the relationship between the advent of mobile handsets and the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths in Nigeria.
  6. To examine ways to reduce the loss of writing and spelling skills in the use of mobile handsets among youths in Nigeria.

1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. When was the advent of mobile handsets in Nigeria?
  2. How do youths interact with mobile handsets in relation to writing and spelling skills?
  3. What is the influence of mobile handset on the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths in Nigeria?
  4. What are the features of mobile handsets that may influence the loss of writing and spelling skills of youths in Nigeria?
  5. What is the relationship between the advent of mobile handsets and the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths in Nigeria?
  6. What are the ways to reduce the loss of writing and spelling skills in the use of mobile handsets among youths in Nigeria?

1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

HYPOTHESIS 1

  1. There is no significant influence of mobile handset on the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths in Nigeria.
  2. There is a significant influence of mobile handset on the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths in Nigeria.

HYPOTHESIS 2

  1. There is no significant relationship between the advent of mobile handsets and the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths in Nigeria.
  2. There is a significant relationship between the advent of mobile handsets and the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths in Nigeria.

1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The significance of the study deals with the need for the study and its possible application and utilization. This study is significant to the subject in the following ways: It addresses the question that so many teachers, parents, and students have about the potential relationship(s) between mobile handsets and the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths. The study may lead educators and students to a greater understanding of how texts Messaging may relate to a youths loss of writing development and ability to effectively present him or herself through writing. To curriculum planners, the study is expected to give an understanding of how SMS language affects students’ writing and spelling skills; hence, they will see if there is need to adjust the curriculum to factor in the technological changes that may improve their deficient writing skills. This work gives writers an insight into SMS language and its impact on written English. The study also serves as a resource material for others who want to carry out research in related field.

1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study is restricted to the advent of mobile handsets and the loss of writing and spelling skills among youths in Nigeria.

1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Mobile Phones: A mobile phone is a wireless handheld device that allows users to make and receive calls and to send text messages, among other features. The earliest generation of mobile phones could only make and receive calls. Today’s mobile phones, however, are packed with many additional features, such as web browsers, games, cameras, video players and even navigational systems. A mobile phone may also be known as a cellular phone or simply a cell phone.

Writing skills: Specific abilities which help writers put their thoughts into words in a meaningful form and to mentally interact with the message.

SMS Language: This is the use of shortened words, graphones, numerals and simple pronounceable letters in communication.

Text messaging: It is a private communication that allows users to rebel against the standard rules of English language.

Spelling Ability: The act, competence, quality, practice, subject of forming words with letters or of reading the letters of words (Orthography). In this study it stands for the ability of students to spell words correctly as required formally and professionally.

SMS Language: This is the use of shortened words, graphones, numerals and simple pronounceable letters in communication.

Features: These are software found in a mobile phone and can be used for various purposes.

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