Textin: Itz gr8 4 spellin

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Research  has found that children who regularly abbreviate text in messages ~ so-called “text speak” ~ actually enhance their ability to spell correctly. The reason for this link between texting and literacy is said to be due to the need to understand how the words sound in order to shorten them sufficiently for text messages. For example, shortening the word “great” to “gr8” reveals an awareness of the sound and form of the original word.

The study, which involved children aged eight to twelve, was conducted earlier this year and forms part of an ongoing study at the University of Coventry.

To ensure children can write effectively in a text and convey their message in the most succinct manner, abbreviations and initials are used together with techniques like rhyming ~ which are central to the development of reading and spelling also.

Clare Wood, reader in developmental psychology, told BBC News: “If we are seeing a decline in literacy standards among young children, it is in spite of text messaging, not because of it.”

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