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+ - NZ students can use txt speak in exams this year

Submitted by Kiralan
Kiralan (765796) writes "WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand's high school students will be able to use "text-speak" — the mobile phone text message language beloved of teenagers — in national exams this year, officials said. Text-speak, a second language for thousands of teens, uses abbreviated words and phrases such as "txt" for "text", "lol" for "laughing out loud" or "lots of love," and "CU" for "see you." The move has already divided students and educators who fear it could damage the English language. New Zealand's Qualifications Authority said Friday that it still strongly discourages students from using anything other than full English, but that credit will be given if the answer "clearly shows the required understanding," even if it contains text-speak. The authority's deputy chief executive for qualifications, Bali Haque, said students should aim to make their answers as clear as possible. Confident that those grading papers would understand answers written in text-speak, Haque stressed that in some exams, including English, text abbreviations would be penalized. Post Primary Teachers' Association President Debbie Te Whaiti said the authority's move reflects the classroom situation. Teachers would have concerns if text slang became acceptable in everyday written language in classrooms, she said. Critics said the National Certificate of Educational Achievement or NCEA, the main qualification for high school students, would be degraded by the authority allowing text speak use in exams. Internet blogger Phil Stevens was not amused by the announcement. "nzqa(New Zealand Qualifications Authority): u mst b joking," Stevens wrote. "or r u smoking sumthg?" http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061111/ap_on_fe_st/nz _text_speak"

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