Authors: Hye-Jung Lee
Communication between teachers and students is essential to education. Text is said to have literacy by nature in written language, which is different from orality in spoken language. Although literacy originally applied to verbal language, it has evolved along with the development of text technology. Text technology relates not only to texting media technology, including the evolution from papyrus to book to hypertext e-book, but also to the nature of text itself and its usage. Text technology has progressed significantly through the recent development of computer and network technology. While synchronous communication at a distance was once only achievable in face-to-face situations, it has now become common in the online environment without requiring a personal meeting. One critical difference between face-to-face communication and online text communication is non-verbal language. In e-text communication, verbalized oral language is easily translated to text with orality, which is different from text with literacy. Non-verbal language, however, is not easily translated to text because it cannot be verbalized. Therefore, non-verbal texts such as emoticons or transformed alphabets, along with their phraseology, naturally have appeared to visualize non-verbal language in the text. Non-verbal text, however, has not been encouraged for use in teaching and learning environments because it does not, by nature, follow the typical traditional rules of verbal text. Recently, however, synchronous text communication via mobile media dominates everyday life; we cannot simply say that a relatively natural way of communication, including non-verbal text, should be discouraged merely because it does not follow traditional text rules. Therefore, this research explores a conceptual framework for understanding the essentials of e-text communication and also makes some implications for its appropriate application in educational practice.
Keywords: e-text, text technology, text communication, mobile teaching and learning, orality, literacy, non-verbal text