You’re worried that your children are AFU* koz txtspk meanz they can’t speak English properly?
Well, don’t be: despite fears to the contrary, a new study reveals that just because kids use “text speak” doesn’t mean they have a bad grasp of grammar.
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Researchers at CoventryUniversity studied whether there are, in fact, links between making grammatical errors when texting and standard grammatical understanding in primary and secondary school children.
And they found “no evidence of any significant relationships between the tendency to violate grammatical rules when texting and understanding of standard written or spoken grammar”.
Professor Clare Wood, who led the study, said: "In recent years there has been widespread concern about the impact that children's texting behaviour may have on their developing understanding of written and spoken language conventions.
“However, surprisingly little research has been undertaken to examine such claims. We found no evidence of a link between poor grammar when texting and the actual grammatical understanding of UK children.”
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And she added: “Therefore there is no reason to assume that just because children play with the representation of written language when they are texting that this will somehow damage or undermine their appreciation of standard grammar over time.”
The research, presented today at a British Pyschological Society conference, took 83 primary age children and 78 from secondary school. They provided samples of their text messages and completed IQ and spelling tests and assessments of their understanding of both written and spoken grammar.
They were assessed again one year later. But the only significant associations found between text speak and grammar was some evidence that the primary school children who made fewer punctuation errors when texting tended to have better standard spelling performance and ability to process writing rapidly.
- “all fouled up” (polite version)