Student Writing in Spanish, English and Spanglish

In the age of technology, where students are growing up with text speak and autocorrect features on their phones, tablets, and computers, a students ability to write has seen some noticeable backlash from these technological advancements. This can be especially true with students who come from Spanish speaking backgrounds.

For students who have Spanish speaking parents at home, they’ve been learning their native oral language since birth and don’t often have an opportunity to write or read in Spanish. This means that many students will be completely fluent in appearance for Bilingual between English and Spanish, and yet be unable to write, spell, add the accent marks, or write in complete sentence structure. This same sort of phenomenon can also come from technology. Where cellphones have allowed students to never actually need to write out full words or sentences in order to express themselves or communicate, they follow these same patterns when they write.

Teachers will often hear kids be surprised to find out that words such as “gonna” or “totes” aren’t actually full words, and are instead slang words. Spelling is often a mix between the English or the Spanish pronunciation of a word. So the question is often, how do we fix this? What are the methods we should be using to overcome the problem? The most effective way to fix this issue, is for students to be reading consistently. Reading is the best way to engage with seeing words spelled instead of heard, and understanding the correct syntax of language. Therefore, reading can not just stop in the classroom, and the love for reading needs to be instilled in the home life as well.