Children’s spelling and grammar improved by texting

Text messaging could actually be improving children’s spelling and grammar despite using their use of abbreviations and shortened words, according to new research.

Results of a study carried out by Coventry University and the University of Tasmania go against common belief that texting things like ‘gr8’ and ‘R U OK?’ are damaging children’s ability to grasp the English language.

It could actually improve spelling as it requires children to phonetically spell out words in order to figure out how they can shorten them, scientists claim. Purposely leaving out punctuation and capitals in text messages also links to positive development, reports

Researchers made this discovery by analysing children’s spelling and grammar mistakes in texts compared with their written tests. Bizarre spelling and errors was found to produce better spelling ability one year later.

Clare Wood, professor of psychology in education at Coventry University, told “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.”