Tag Archives: Emojis

Are Emojis A New Language? …Maybe

“An obscure organization that standardizes the way punctuation marks and other text are represented by computer systems has in recent years found itself at the forefront of mobile pop culture, with its power to create new emojis. A new batch is under review, a process that takes months. But don’t call the pictorial system a language, unless you want an argument from Mark Davis, 63, a co-founder and the president of the Unicode Consortium, the group that serves as the midwife to new emojis.” J. Bromwich, New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Emoji sentences used for Valentine's Day. photo- curious

Emoji sentences used for Valentine’s Day. photo- curious

Excerpt: How Emojis Find Their Way to Phones By Jonah Bromwich, The New York Times

“Mr. Davis said there was no broadly shared way to interpret the symbols, despite their widespread use on phones and other devices. I can tell you, using language, I need to go get a haircut, but only if I can get there by 3 p.m., and otherwise I have to pick up the kids.  You try to express that in emoji and you get a series of symbols that people could interpret in a thousand different ways. In an interview last week, Mr. Davis discussed the latest group of 67 images, set for a vote at the consortium’s meeting next spring.

Emoji provided by Emojipedia and Unicode Credit via Unicode

Emoji provided by Emojipedia and Unicode Credit via Unicode

The Unicode Consortium is sometimes labeled “mysterious” (as in a recent post from New York magazine) but Mr. Davis said there was nothing shadowy about it. Its work is largely transparent, and information about its history, members and processes are included on its website...The group meets quarterly; at a meeting in May, they will vote on whether to formally induct the 67 new emojis.

Unicode was started in the late 1980s to develop a standardized code for text characters. It used to be that different computers could not easily talk to one another because they used different codes for the same letters.

Photo- itunes.apple

Photo- itunes.apple

To solve that problem, Unicode takes every letter, number, symbol and punctuation mark that it deems worthy and assigns each — including emojis — a specific number that a computer will recognize.

And, whatever Mr. Davis thinks, some experts are not quite as sure that emojis do not represent the beginnings of a new language.

Take Colin Rothfels, who works for a keyboard company. His job title? Emoji grammarian. Mr. Davis concedes that emojis could one day evolve into something more.

A hypothetical emoji keyboard photo- peopleuni-code

A hypothetical emoji keyboard photo- peopleuni-code

It’s not a language, but conceivably, it could develop into one, like Chinese did, he said. Pictures can acquire a particular meaning in a particular culture…Before the 67 new emojis can be the building blocks of language or personal style though, they will have to be made official.

Mr. Davis said that all but one of the last group of emojis to be subjected to a vote were inducted into the official hieroglyphic system…Some people are bothered by the inclusion of the rifle as a candidate,” Mr. Davis said. But the reason that’s included is because shooting is an Olympic sport…I’ll tell you what I think I’m going to use the most often once it’s available, he said. The rolling eyes emoji.”

Here’s a sample emoji from the Consortium. If Apple or Google ever included this emoji in iOS or Android, it would look different.

Face With Rolling Eyes

You Tube: Liz Lemon’s masterpiece eye roll. Courtesy Logan Warren

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills:
Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time:
Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: 
Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective:
Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  the topic.  Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use the UIE brainstorming chart (sample) for brainstorming the meanings. 

Brainstorming chart by UIE.

Brainstorming chart by UIE.

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Mr. Davis said there was no way to interpret the symbols.
  2. The symbols are used on phones and other devices.
  3. You try to express that in emoji.
  4. They’re set for a vote at the consortium’s meeting next spring.
  5. The pictures include a groom in a tuxedo.
  6. There’s a drooling face, a clown, and a shark.
  7. Unicode was started in the late 1980s to develop a standardized code for text characters.
  8. Some of these modern hieroglyphics have prompted debate.
  9. Some think that emojis do not represent a new language.
  10. It’s not a language, but conceivably, it could develop into one.

    Word Map from Education Oasis.

    Word Map from Education Oasis.

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

Directions: The following sentences are from the article. Choose the correct word for each blank space.

1. I can ___you, using language, I need to go get a haircut, but only if I can get there by 3 p.m., and otherwise I have to pick up the kids,” he said.

  1. write
  2. tell
  3. sense

2. You try to express that in emoji and you get a series of ___that people could interpret in a thousand different ways.

  1. letters
  2. notes
  3. symbols

3. In an interview last week, Mr. Davis___ the latest group of 67 images, set for a vote at the consortium’s meeting next spring.

  1. described
  2. discussed
  3. dismissed

4. The Unicode Consortium is sometimes labeled___.

  1. mysterious
  2. mystery
  3. mighty

5. In deciding which emojis to add, the Unicode Consortium considers factors ___compatibility.

  1. inclusive
  2. including
  3. excluding

6. The group of ___new emojis includes a large number of sports icons. That was to accommodate people texting during the next Olympics.

  1. portent
  2. potent
  3. potential

 

Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

Directions: Have students choose a picture from the article  and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.

Finding the Main Idea

Directions:  Have students use this advanced organizer from Write Design to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main idea and points from the article.

Cerebral Chart by Write Design Main idea chart By Write Design

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

1.The following two  statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“Some of these modern hieroglyphics have prompted debate. Sets of default emojis that included only white skin tones prompted Unicode to release more diverse characters last year. And one image in the latest group has prompted protest: The British gun control group Infer Trust has spoken out against a proposal for a rifle emoji.”

“In deciding which emojis to add, the Unicode Consortium considers factors including compatibility… and frequency of use (whether people will be interested in using a certain picture often enough to justify its existence). Another factor is completeness. For instance, at one point, the group added a mosque, a synagogue and a generic place of worship to complement the Christian church symbol that was already included.”

2. Do you use emojis? If so how often do you use them?

3. In your opinion are emojis useful? Explain why or why not.

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading. Ask them to write down one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Language | Tags:

Abused Children Express Themselves Through Emojis

“What if emojis could relay serious, even scary situations and allow children to get the help they need?… A Swedish non-profit hopes a new set of emojis they released will help children and teenagers signal instances of abuse or communicate their stressful situations to adults when words aren’t enough.”J. Barajas, PBS

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Emoji from BRIS

Emoji from BRIS

Excerpt: New emojis help children report abuse where words fail By Joshua Barajas, PBS

“BRIS, an organization that runs a national children’s helpline, created the Abused Emojis an application that comes with a range of images that depict bad feelings and illustrate mistreatment. BRIS spokeswoman Silvia Ernhagen said the emojis are a door opener for children to talk about these difficult topics.

[The abuse emojis] could be a way of starting to signal that you do need help, but you’re too afraid maybe to put your own words on it because once you put words on it, it starts to get scary, Ernhagen said. Sometimes it’s easier to express feelings with pictures or drawings.

BRIS hopes the emojis expand a child’s vocabulary to communicate without words. In one emoji, a familiar poop symbol sits atop a child’s head. It’s similar to saying that you feel like crap, Ernhagen said.”

If you need help or have questions about child abuse, call the Child help National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) then push 1 to talk to a counselor. The Hotline counselors are available 365 days a year to help kids, and adults who are worried about kids they suspect are being abused.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.

Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  the topic of abused children.  Next, have students look at the pictures in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. List these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart by UIE for assistance.

Brainstorming chart by UIE.

Brainstorming chart by UIE.

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Bris is a non-profit organization.
  2. The application has images that depict bad feelings.
  3. The images also illustrate mistreatment.
  4. This is a way for children to signal they need help.
  5. For some it’s easier to express feelings with pictures.
  6. These are not a typical set of joyful emojis.
  7. Nothing comparable exists in the US.
  8. The skull represents a child contemplating dark thoughts.
  9. BRIS hopes the emojis will expand a child’s vocabulary.
  10. There’s also one for verbal abuse.
ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

Word -Recognition

Directions: Students choose the correct word to complete the sentences taken from the article. They are to choose from the options presented.

BRIS, an organize/organization that runs/ruins  a national children’s helpline, create/created theAbused Emojis, an application/apply that comes with a range/ranges of imagine/images that depict bad feelings and illusion/illustrate mistreatment. BRIS spokeswoman Silvia Ernhagen said the emojis are a “door opener” for children to take/talk about these difficult topics.

[The abuse emojis] could be a way of starting to signal/sign that you do need help, but you’re too afraid maybe to put your known/own words on it because once you put words on it, it starts to get scary/scared.

 Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures  

Directions: Have students choose  several pictures  from the article and write a sentence describing the emotion.

III. Post Reading Tasks

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

1. The following  two statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“BRIS hopes the emojis expand a child’s vocabulary to communicate without words. In one emoji, a familiar poop symbol sits atop a child’s head. It’s similar to saying that you feel like crap.”

“The emojis would allow nonverbal or pre-verbal children, as well as children from different cultures, to overcome any language barriers.”

2. Do you think the new emojis will be helpful to young children? Explain why or why not.

3. With your group members think of other emojis that may be helpful.

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about emojis from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Technology | Tags: