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Teens Wield Rhymes to Beat Their Rivals

A popular trend is emerging among teens to use rhyme as an expression of their daily experiences. Inspired by hip-hop and rap music, many teens are turning to words to vocalize their emotions from love and joy to frustration and anger. In many instances this medium is replacing violence as teens compete with one another to determine who is the most adept at manipulating language. This new interest in words has caused many low performing students to demonstrate a new interest in the possibilities of language. In many cases, the English classroom has become a renewed source of inspiration as teens seek out new and varied words to add to their rhyming repertoire.

"It's a natural resource the kids bring with them," said Jo Ann Kleifgen, professor of Linguistics and Education. "Vocabulary is not innate, and the desire to learn more about words, whatever form it takes, is something that good educators will use as a building block."

The article, entitled "Teens Wield Rhymes to Beat Their Rivals" appeared in the April 18, 2001 edition of the www.herald.com.

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