Gr8 News? Texting Can Boost Children's Spelling And Grammar

Texting is the scourge of many a parent's battle to get kids to learn correct spelling and punctuation – or so we thought.

But now, psychologists have claimed that texting can actually improve children's grammar.

They claim using abbreviations like 'gr8' and '1daful' require children to sound out spellings and that this can actually help them when they come to learning and writing words.

Leaving out punctuation and capitals were also linked to the positive development of children's spelling and grammar skills, according to the study by Coventry University and the University of Tasmania.

Clare Wood, professor of psychology in education at Coventry University said: "Our previous work has shown that the reason why we see positive associations between use of texting slang and spelling outcomes is because many of the most commonly used forms of text abbreviation are phonetically based.

"So when children are playing with these creative representations of language they have to use and rehearse their understanding of letter-sound correspondences: a skill which is taught formally as phonics in primary classrooms.

"So texting can offer children the chance to practice their understanding of how sounds and print relate to each other."

The study, published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, analysed the text messages sent by primary, secondary and university students and their performance in grammar and spelling tests.

This was repeated a year later with the 234 participants.

Researchers found no connection between grammatical errors or omissions made in text messages such as 'wanna' and 'gr8', and children's understanding of grammar and spelling.

Use of errors among primary school age pupils – such as 'they is' rather than 'they are' – also led to positive improvements in grammatical ability 12 months letter.

Prof Wood added: "Our work shows that the concerns that adults understandably have about this new environment for literacy are not supported by current evidence."

We're not convinced by this - doesn't auto correct do most of the work? What do you think?