A new study has found that children’s grasp of grammar is not affected by their use of text speak. The research, carried out by Coventry University, challenged the widespread belief that the use of mobile phone texting is leading to a reduction in standards of spoken and written English.
The research looked at both primary and secondary school pupils, and used samples of their text messages alongside tests measuring their ability to spell and to use correct grammar. The tests were repeated a year later, to see if there had been any change over time.
Results showed that the children’s understanding of grammar was not affected significantly by their use of text abbreviations. There was only one significant finding in the study – primary age children whose texts were spelled correctly also tended to perform well in the general spelling tests.
The results of this study are interesting because they show that young children are able to tell the difference between the type of writing that’s acceptable in a text and the standards that are required for other types of writing. Text speak is often found annoying by people when it crops up in the wrong places, such as on professional and commercial websites.
Many business owners are well aware of our ability to know when shortcuts like text speak are suitable and when they are not. Because a professional image can hinge on high standards of written communication, copywriters are often used to create important web content.