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Another Texting Study Says Kids’ Language Skills Are Fine

Go ahead and stop panicking

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[ Technology]

I think perhaps in all times of technological, societal flux elders immediately worry about the skills and capabilities of the generations that follow. But I think the opposite happens: technology makes us better by stretching our capacities.

Our parents, perhaps yours told you, there was concern when the calculator was invented. Dang kids would never learn to do proper math. And yet here we are in a world that produced the complicated math behind Google’s algorithms, and, perhaps more importantly, a world that can crunch the calculations of universal truths expected to come from smashing subatomic particles together.
Kid Text Messaging
One imagines that when the wheel was invented, village elders worried young people would become too lazy to survive. Look at them hauling so much stuff! And so quickly! Who could possibly use all of it? My father could carry all that in his arms anyway, from here up into the mountains, up hill both ways in the snow, and he took the time to appreciate and understand the things he carried, never wasted or dropped a thing. Next they’ll be attaching those things to horses, you watch.

A second study indicating that texting may have positive effects on kids’ reading and writing skills is about to be published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology. Though many of us have protested against the popularity of modern abbreviated cyber quasi-speak—omg, ur nt srius ok cu 2nite—via text messaging and IM, viewing it as some affront to the English language, we may have been a bit curmudgeonly about the whole thing.

Though the authors of the study, hailing from Coventry University, stopped short of conclusively stating texting actually improved kids’ language skills, they did find a positive association between the frequency of texting and language test scores. Why? Maybe some good old phonics, maybe a little of something else.

“…we found associations between textism use and phonological awareness," wrote the researchers in their report. "What is most important, the extent of the children’s textism use was able to predict significant variance in their word reading ability[...] This suggests that children’s use of textisms is not only positively associated with word reading ability, but that it may be contributing to reading development in a way that goes beyond simple phonologically based explanations."   

The study’s timing is interesting because it is released amid the loud squalling of a well-known British neuroscientist, promoting her book, concluding—without, according to some who’ve read it, any real evidence to back it up—that the new generation of “screen people” will be markedly inferior to the previous generation of “book people.”

Something tells me, though, these kids will grow up to do some remarkable, now unfathomable things, and there’ll be a new batch of geezers snarling at how kids these days are rotting their minds with [fill in new technological advancement here]. 

 

 

Another Texting Study Says Kids’ Language Skills Are Fine
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  • http://www.trackermo.com Marige

    One thing that no one ever seems to take into consideration is the that all living languages are continuously evolving. What sounds or looks like gibberish to an “old fogie” is simply the new lingo… if you’ve read Jane Austen (or Charles Dickens) lately, you’d see how much it’s evolved since their times– and they’d look at us and think we were just above savage… it’s all about what you’re used to. Or, should I say, all abt wht u’r used 2?

  • http://www.successuniversitymomentum.com/ Chris Suckling

    I have to say, I don’t have time for it. Maybe I’m just a “fogie”.

    So long as you don’t submit your essays in txt gibber I guess it doesn’t hurt :)

    (I’m saying, putting smiley faces after everything) :)

  • http://www.nrev.com/ Eric M

    The English language will continue to evolve. This is just a medium for this process.

  • http://www.911jobinterview.com Working

    Statistics … the % is still high .. and worse than ever.

  • http://www.babypushchairsonline.co.uk baby pushchairs

    With more and more younger kids using cell phone and computer texting as their main form of communication, it is just a matter of time that they will lose their basic grammar skills. This breakdown of language is only going to get worse.

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