Reading & Literacy

‘Texting’ Improves Literacy, British Study Finds

By Erik W. Robelen — January 22, 2010 1 min read

Text messaging may actually be good for kids. A U.K. study finds that children who text regularly improve their literacy skills. (Kudos to the Core Knowledge Blog, where I first learned of this. And I’m afraid they got first dibs on a clever headline, “OMG! Texting Doesn’t Harm Spelling,” and lede.)

The news comes from a BBC story about the study. The researchers say text language uses word play and requires an awareness of how sounds relate to written English.

The study, an interim report from the University of Coventry, was based on a (rather small) sample of 63 children ages 8 to 12 in England.

“If we are seeing a decline in literacy standards among young children, it is in spite of text messaging not because of it,” researcher Clare Wood told the BBC. The use of text language “was actually driving the development of phonological awareness and reading skill in children,” she said.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.