Texting can b gd 4 ur kids, reports New Scientist.
GR8 news for worried parents: frequent use of text abbreviations does not harm children’s literacy – and may even improve it.
Concerns have been raised that an explosion in the use of “textisms” like “CUL8R” and “wot u doin 2nite?” could be damaging children’s reading and spelling ability. To investigate, Beverly Plester and her colleagues at Coventry University in the UK asked 88 children aged 10 to 12 to write text messages describing 10 different scenarios. When they compared the number of textisms used to a separate study of the children’s reading ability, they found that those who used more textisms were better readers . . .
Based on a follow-up study, she believes the phonetic basis of textisms improves reading.
“Phonological awareness has long been associated with good reading skills.” Exposure to the written word in any form is also linked to improved literacy. “These kids are engaging with more written language and they’re doing it for fun.”
Questions abound for the Washington Post, which observes that teens now do more texting than speaking on their cell phones.
Texters are “sharing a sense of co-presence,” said Mimi Ito of the University of California at Irvine. “It can be a very socially affirming thing.”
. . . But some experts say there are downsides, starting with declines in spelling, word choice and writing complexity. Some suggest too much texting is related to an inability to focus.
Kids these days!