Short message service (SMS) is preferred by people of all age segments today to communicate, and this form of communication is especially prevalent in teenagers who text most of the time. Teenager find texting easier, faster and more fun than calling.
Texting is great for kids
Children who often use text messaging have better literacy skills than youngsters who do not use mobile phones, scientists have claimed. According to the study funded by the British Academy, rather than destroying their use of English, text messaging obsession actually can improve children’s ability to recognize rhymes and speech patterns, reports the Daily Mail. The findings just go against the popularly held beliefs of parents and teachers that text messaging craze is destroying children’s grammar, syntax and even spelling.
Study details and findings
In their ten-year study, researchers examined the effect of the use of text messages on eight to 12-year-old children. Shattering the long-held belief that text messages destroy language, the researchers found that texting actually gave a significant boost to the children’s reading skills. The researchers found that kids as young as five who used mobiles are better at understanding rhymes and syllables in speech.
Abbreviations give boost to reading and writing skills
The use of abbreviations, commonly used in texting, helped in the development of children’s reading and writing skills, according to Psychologist Dr Clare Wood, who led the study at Coventry University. “We began studying in this area initially to see if there was any evidence of association between text abbreviation use and literacy skills at all, after such a negative portrayal of the activity in the media,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Wood as saying. “We were surprised to learn that not only was the association strong, but that text use was actually driving the development of phonological awareness and reading skills in children,” she added.
Texting may help kids learn spellings
What’s more? Children were subconsciously practicing their spelling by regularly text messaging in mobile phones, the study showed. “Texting also appears to be a valuable form of contact with written English for many children, which enables them to practice reading and spelling on a daily basis,” Dr Wood said. “With further research we hope to instill a change in attitude in teachers and parents – recognising the potential to use text-based exercises to engage children in phonological awareness activities. “If we are seeing a decline in literacy standards among young children, it is in spite of text messaging, not because of it,” she added.
Texting craze on rise in US
The text messaging craze is gathering pace as more and more teens and youngsters in the United States are sending and receiving more than 100 messages a day, according to a report on cellphone use released recently by Nielsen Company. On an average, the U.S. teens send or receive 3,229 text messages a month, followed by young adults who send out just 1,630 monthly messages, the report showed.
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