Scott Graden is Superintendent of Saline Area Schools and a blogger. He recently posted about a study that indicated that texting helps students develop vocabulary skills. Though he was skeptical of the finding, I am not sure I was as surprised. He cited a news story on ReadWriteWeb titled Research Finds Text-Messaging Improves Children’s Spelling Skills. The story says,
… a new study from Coventry University finds no evidence that having access to mobile phones harms children’s literacy skills. In fact, the research suggests that texting abbreviations or “textisms” may actually aid reading, writing and spelling skills.
The story goes on the say that
Based on a series of reading and spelling tests, researchers found a “significant contribution of textism use to the children’s spelling development during the study.” The study made it clear that it wasn’t the access to the phone per se, or even the text-messaging as much as specifically the use of textisms that aided the development. The reason, writes Dr. Clare Wood, one of the authors of the study, “is partly explained by the highly phonetic nature of the textisms that are popular within this age group, as the phonological and alphabetic awareness that is required for the construction and decoding of these textisms also underpin successful reading development.”
Scott, who is far from being a techno-phobe, was not sure if he actually bought into the findings of this study. He was surprised by it and also questioned its validity. He is not alone in espousing this point of view. As I had written earlier, in a post titled, Technology & Literacy, bemoaning the youth of today :-), technology is not destroying our ability to write, it just changing the way we do so. I don’t want to repeat what I had written earlier, so go there and take a look and let me know what you think?
Is Scott right? Is txt-ing destroying writing as we know it? Let me know.