April 5, 2011 13:36 by Nina
Although parents and teachers have long feared that texting abbreviations would doom literacy among children, an increasing amount of research has shown that texting actually improves spelling among students.
In one particular study, 114 students aged 9-10 who had never previously used a cell phone were recruited and split into two groups. Half were given cell phones to use in their leisure time and were periodically evaluated over ten weeks in both reading and spelling.
At the end of the evaluation, researchers noted there was no sign that texting was problematic. Although the benefits of texting were not apparent within ten weeks, researchers cited previous reports in which texting has shown noticeable improvement in reading, spelling and phonological skills.
In addition to finding that the use of textual abbreviations drives spelling development, research found that the more students text, the more they engage in language play, which leads to fluency. And even though some teachers see text abbreviations sometimes slip into formal student work, researchers say that it is not a detriment.
Do you agree with the findings or do you think text messaging can in some way be harmful to student development? Let us know on our blog!