Texting can b gd 4 ur kids

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 (British Journal of Developmental Psychology, DOI: 10.1348/026151008X320507).

But do textisms improve literacy, or do better readers use more textisms? The preliminary results of a follow-up study seem to suggest the former, Plester says. She believes that this is because textisms are phonetically based: "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."

Via British Journal of Developmental Psychology