Emmanuel Arthur-Nyarko


The use of Instant Messaging (IM) applications on the mobile phones of the youth has become inextricably attached to their everyday lives. Students on university campuses cannot leave their mobile phones behind for a minute because of the importance they attach to the use of IM applications. This paper investigated how the use of abbreviations in IM affects the writing of Standard English language of learners of English as a second language. A sample of 150 students in their 3rd and 4th years at Kenyatta University was used. The study also interviewed a lecturer on the problem. While students indicated that the IM usage does not do any harm to their formal English writing, a faculty member disagreed. It was recommended that awareness should be created through seminars and lectures to bring the issue to the fore for students. This would help students to be cautious of the use of IM.


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Instant messaging, textisms, textees, computer-mediated communication, students, Kenyatta University


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