Texting Is Good For Children's Spelling, Researchers Argue

Children could benefit from the use of abbreviated text that could help them boost their spelling abilities according to a research carried out by linguists from the University of Coventry.

The research, which involved studying children aged between eight and 12 years old over a year, found a strong correlation between so-called "text speak" and superior literacy skills.

Dr Clare Wood, Reader in Developmental Psychology at Coventry University, said there were compelling evidence to back the fact that texting "appears to be a valuable form of contact with written English for many children, which enables them to practise reading and spelling on a daily basis".

Apparently frequent texting allows a child to nurture its phonological awareness, described as its ability to "detect, isolate and manipulate patterns of sound in speech".

The study, which is part funded by the British Academy, also found out that the older the children were, the more they used texting lingo in their everyday conversation. And worryingly for purists, nearly half of them did so by year six.

But there are those who support texting as a way to encourage the younger generation to write and communicate albeit with many unconventional terms.

They point out that texting might only be a way for them to break away from conventional writing rather than being a sign of incompetence and sheer idiocy.

Our Comments

One research is not enough to look into the long term impact of sustained texting on someone's writing and spelling capabilities. Maybe they should carry out another similar research in a few years and see whether those in the study have had their careers and lives affected by their "inability" to write properly.

Related Links

Phone texting 'helps pupils to spell'

(BBC)

Using text-speak does not destroy children's word skills, research finds

(TMC)

Report finds texting a 'valid educational tool'

(Reghardware)

Texting children 'are better spellers and readers'

(Engadget)

Message to worried parents: texting won’t make children illiterate

(Engadget)