Social network writing trajectory logistics: impact on language proficiency

Social network writing trajectory logistics


  • Thandiswa Mpiti
  • Motsi Qoyi


Language enhancement is a prerequisite for successful schooling and an essential aspect across curricular. All subjects underpinning the curriculum have texts to be comprehended. Consequently, the emergence of social network writing trajectories has brought about trending logistics of using shorthand and informal language for communication by users. What raises some alarm bells is that as learners fall within the cohort of users mentioned above, their language proficiency, specifically vocabulary and spelling, decreases. This concern probed us to investigate whether social network writing trajectory logistics have any significant impact on language proficiency. For this investigation, a qualitative research approach embedded in a case study design was administered. Using this approach led to better understanding of the underlying motives as perceived by English language teachers in relation to effects on language development. Three university teachers offering tuition to first year entering students were conveniently nominated and interviewed as they timeously reported about lack of academic writing. On analysing gathered data, findings revealed (i) declining vocabulary and (ii) compromised language aspects as major challenges for enhanced learner-language aptitudes. The study therefore concludes that some strategies need to be devised to revamp rubrics used for both summative and formative assessment. Therefore, this study recommends that open learning days where spelling and text-analysis competitions are considered as core and should  be infused within academic calendar proceedings.

Keywords: Social networks; Writing trajectories; Spelling; Text-analysis; Language enhancement.