New: TXT MSGing Helps Develop Spelling


This just in: Text messaging is found to help develop rather than damage spelling. A new study reported by the BBC found that children who regularly use the abbreviated language of text messages are actually improving their ability to spell correctly.

A study of eight- to 12-year-olds found that rather than damaging reading and writing, "text speak" is associated with strong literacy skills. Researchers say text language uses word play and requires an awareness of how sounds relate to written English.

Improving 'hmwrk'
The study suggests that students who regularly use text language - with all its mutations of phonetic spelling and abbreviations - also appear to be developing skills in the more formal use of English. If we are seeing a decline in literacy standards among young children, it is in spite of text messaging, not because of it, according to one researcher.

The research, part-funded by the British Academy, suggests that texting requires the same "phonological awareness" needed to learn correct spellings. So when pupils replace or remove sounds, letters or syllables - such as "l8r" for "later" or "hmwrk" for "homework" - it requires an understanding of what the original word should be.

Instead of texting being a destructive influence on learners, the academics argue that it offers them a chance to "practise reading and spelling on a daily basis". Using initials and abbreviations and understanding phonetics and rhymes are part of texting - but they are also part of successful reading and spelling development.

As I've always said to educators and parents, don't get frustrated, get creative. If text shorthand is helping kids write more or communicate more , that's great, that's what teachers and educators want, to get students communicating. Read more and listen to Erin's radio interview on Voice of America about how experts are divided over Internet changes to language.
CUL8R,
Erin



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