New Study: “Text Messaging May Harm Grammar Skills”

New Study - Text Messaging May Harm Grammar Skills

“The human race wasn’t very advanced… They mostly spoke in monosyllabic grunts… In fact, the last words from their civilization before the meteor hit were “OMG” and “WTF.”
 

This cartoon would be hilarious if it weren’t so ominous. It’s ominous because it pokes fun at a distressing problem: text messaging may be harming kids’ language skills. That’s the finding of a new study published in New Media & Society, a top-ranked, peer-reviewed journal. The authors of Texting, Techspeak, And Tweens say:
 

The question to date was whether or not adolescents were able to switch between writing text messages and using correct English grammar for class work. The results of this study indicate that most adolescents are not able to do so.
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Text Messaging Does Not Negatively Impact Literacy Skills

Chris Drew is the creator of Pocket Literacy Coach, from WriteSteps, a Common Core writing resource for elementary teachers.

Guest blogger Chris Drew is the founder of Pocket Literacy Coach, an innovative resource that provides parents with literacy activities to do with their children.

Thanks to my friend Chris Drew, for permission to re-blog the following post, originally published in the Pocket Literacy Coach blog on August 14, 2012.  ~Suzanne

A friend of mine, Suzanne, at WriteSteps recently shared a story about how “Texting May Undermine Language, Spelling Skills.” It’s an interesting summary of a new study about correlations between “techspeak” and grammar test performance. We had a friendly back and forth about our disparate perspectives on this issue. In a nutshell, she generally supports the claims of the article, and I do not. The issue of texting impacting language and grammar skills is much more complex than this one story would lead us to believe. As pop news reporting on academic research usually goes, though, the author, Rick Nauert, doesn’t quite flesh out the whole story from a much larger context.
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