Turn on Your Camera, Foo : Slang and Visual Cues in the Classroom

Jiajun Weng, Chris Lam, Christine Chang, Terri See Lok Ho, Wei Lin

Have you ever wondered whether understanding what your classmates are saying and the seeing their cameras is essential to succeed in the course?

You’re not alone.

During this special period, education has primarily moved on to online. Many international students from UCLA taking online courses claim that they feel alienated in the class because they cannot see their classmates when their classmates are talking, and they sometimes cannot understand the online slang used by their classmates. Does the usage of online slang and lack of visual cues truly impact their learning experience?

For finding out the answer to this question, we conducted a study to investigate how the use of slang and the lack of visual cues contribute to international students’ comprehension difficulties and their feelings of alienation. The survey sample comprised entirely of UCLA students. By analyzing the data, we found that interestingly, their feeling of alienation was not affected by usage of online slang nor lack of visual cues. Furthermore, we found that their comprehension was not associated with inclusiveness. That is, it shows that one can still succeed in the class even if one feels alienated.

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Do you LOL out loud? Screen time influence on internet slang irl

Julia Baylon, Rachel Rim, Carolina Guerrero, Hebbah Elokour, and Caelynn Hwang

If you’re a college student reading this, you are a key individual in the composition of the Gen Z identity. Gen Z, today’s 18-23-year-olds, is defined by its fervent slang usage as well as its notorious association with and attachment to technology. Commonly used components of technology in Gen Z include social media platforms, such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, and Discord. This study investigates the relationship between the two variables of time exposed to social media and slang-impacted conversational speech style. As slang rapidly evolves to shape communication and accommodate the construction and expression of individual identity, we begin to ponder, where does this language style come from, and to what extent does it influence our diction? Through conversational analysis and survey/questionnaire conduction, we hope to understand the explicit impact of social media on conversational slang and whether or not the results support our hypothesis, which argues that greater usage of slang on the internet and/or overall internet presence will result in a higher frequency of slang used in real life.

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