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Title

Social Media Terms for ESL Students

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Keywords

English language--Slang; English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers;

Abstract

English learners today can use many communication technologies to practice their English skills with others. There are several forms of short-format communication (social media, internet postings, chatrooms, instant messaging, and cell-phone texting) that are used to quickly send short text messages. The instant nature and short length of these messages influence how people communicate. While using these technologies, English learners will likely encounter terms that are unfamiliar to them. This study researches the words used in one of these short-format communication systems (Twitter) to identify and explain common terms to help English learners understand what is being said. The study involves collecting 100,000 public tweets from Twitter and splitting them into component words to extract a list of distinct words. The study then uses the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) list of 5,000 most common English words to filter common Standard American English words from the list. Other common, vulgar or offensive words—along with numbers, proper nouns, non-English words, and meaningless text strings—are also filtered from the list to narrow it down for further analysis. During the analysis phase of the study, variations of the same words are grouped together. The study then involves an examination of the context of the original tweets and searches of several online slang dictionaries to determine the meaning of these words. Finally, the 50 most frequent of the remaining words are selected as a vocabulary list to be taught to English learners to help them understand this type of short-format communication.

Start Date

3-4-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

3-4-2018 1:30 PM

Faculty Advisor

Joyce Milambiling

Department

Department of Languages and Literatures

Embargo Date

3-30-2018

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Apr 3rd, 11:00 AM Apr 3rd, 1:30 PM

Social Media Terms for ESL Students

English learners today can use many communication technologies to practice their English skills with others. There are several forms of short-format communication (social media, internet postings, chatrooms, instant messaging, and cell-phone texting) that are used to quickly send short text messages. The instant nature and short length of these messages influence how people communicate. While using these technologies, English learners will likely encounter terms that are unfamiliar to them. This study researches the words used in one of these short-format communication systems (Twitter) to identify and explain common terms to help English learners understand what is being said. The study involves collecting 100,000 public tweets from Twitter and splitting them into component words to extract a list of distinct words. The study then uses the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) list of 5,000 most common English words to filter common Standard American English words from the list. Other common, vulgar or offensive words—along with numbers, proper nouns, non-English words, and meaningless text strings—are also filtered from the list to narrow it down for further analysis. During the analysis phase of the study, variations of the same words are grouped together. The study then involves an examination of the context of the original tweets and searches of several online slang dictionaries to determine the meaning of these words. Finally, the 50 most frequent of the remaining words are selected as a vocabulary list to be taught to English learners to help them understand this type of short-format communication.