Texting children 'are better spellers and readers'

'Generation text' can read AND spell
'Generation text' can read AND spell

A new study indicates that children who use text messages frequently can prove to be better spellers and readers, have higher scores in verbal reasoning tests, and are more aware of rhyming words.

The study, conducted by Dr Clare Wood, a reader in development psychology at Coventry University, and published by the British Academy, was conducted among a group of eight to 12-year-olds. It found that the kids who texted regularly were unlikely to be among the problem readers or spellers in their class. In fact, those using "phonologically based textisms" often proved to be the best at spelling.

Texting as communication

The use of text speak has worried many guardians of the English language, and examiners have voiced concern over it cropping up in the answers students give on papers.

However, said Dr Wood: "We began studying in this area initially to see if there was any evidence of association between text abbreviation use and literacy skills at all after such a negative portrayal of the activity in the media.

"We were surprised to learn that not only was the association strong but that textism use was actually driving the development of phonological awareness and reading skill in children."

She also advocated texting as a good use of written English, since it allows them to practice both spelling and reading skills daily.

Which is gr8, innit?

Via the Independent