Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Study: Texting Helps Children Learn to Spell.

I know there are lots of questions and concerns around whether text messaging is hurting literacy learning (especially spelling and grammar). In a brand new study in the U.K., it was found that text messaging actually helped children develop "phonological awareness" which is needed to learn how to correct spellings. Thus helping children learn how to spell. By texting often, it allows children to practice spelling on a daily basis. The kids who text more often (especially those who use textism or abbreviations such as "plz" or "4ever"), showed higher scores on spelling exams.

The study was authored by Coventry University psychology Profs. Beverly Plester and Clare Wood. The following sums up the two major findings:
1) "The proportions of textisms that kids used in their sentence translations was positively linked to verbal reasoning; the more textspeak kids used, the higher their test scores"
2) "The younger the age at which the kids had received mobile phones, the better their ability to read words and identify patterns of sound in speech."


KassiDW said...

Several years ago when I bought my daughter (who at the time was 10) her first cell phone that text message would improve her spelling skills. Now just 2 years later I still monitor her text messages. Her messages are anything but proper spelling, nor does she actually use whole words… Her texts focus on BRB, LOL, LMAO….. and a plentitude of other acronyms. The second bullet states that the younger the age when a child begins texting the better their ability to read is…. She is an avid reader; at times I struggle keeping her in books. I hope that maybe the texting helped in her desire to read.

j said...

@KassiDW I don't think you can look to the actual texts that she's sending to gauge whether her spelling is improving or not. Using acronyms is similar to learning another language and builds new pathways in the brain. If your daughter is an avid reader, then that is going to help with her spelling than just about more than anything because of her exposure to written language. What texting can do for her, believe it or not, is make her smarter since she is essentially learning a new language system. The more we know how to do, the smarter we are.

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