FACT:- Children are now more likely to own a mobile phone (85%) than a book (73%). - the Guardian.
FACT (or is it?):- Texting makes pupils more literate.
Children who are fluent in text messaging have better literacy skills than youngsters who do not use mobile phones, according to scientists.
The ten-year study examined the effect of texting on 8 to 12-year-olds found that children as young as 5 who used mobile phones were better at understanding rhymes and syllables in speech.
"We were surprised to learn that text use was driving the development of reading skills in children. It is also a valuable form of contact with written English for many children, enabling them to practise spelling on a daily basis." said psychologist Dr Clare Wood.
"We are hoping to instill a change in attitude in teachers and parents to recognise the potential to use text-based exercises to engage children in phonological activities." - the Telegraph (05/02/2011)
For those of you not aware I've spent all my working life working with people and am a qualified teaching assistant. The main bulk of my work being to assist those children who had been assessed as having special needs. As part of my remit I used several different methods to engage children but I have to admit that texting was not one of them.
At a push I suppose I can see the usefulness, if not need, to use TEXT SPEAK/SMS LANGUAGE when texting - the use of it anywhere else has my blood boiling, steam coming out of my ears. I'm forever reminding Niece #1 and Nephew 'English!' when they for example update their FaceBook status using text speak so can only imagine what my reaction would be if it was to be employed as a valid teaching tool.
Reading the above article, I couldn't help but shout out 'what rubbish' (or words to that effect) - the two things to really annoy me?
Children as young as 5 with mobile phones? I'm aware that I could well be on dangerous ground here and am at risk of offending people BUT I'm afraid it's going to take a lot (an awful lot) of persuasion for me to see the need for a 5-year-old to have a mobile phone.
Enabling them to practise spelling on a daily basis? Hmm, perhaps if they were writing words in their entirety then, yes, this would be of great benefit but how many children can resist the urge to use 'CU L8R' and 'Gr8' etc?
So much for THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE
KEYBOARD MOBILE PHONE.
What of those teachers who fail to understand 'message slang?
A study revealed more than four-in-10 teachers failed to understand some pupils' writing because it was so littered with obscure language.
Phrases such as "innit" and Gr8 are now regularly found in school work, it was claimed.
One teacher told how an essay contained the sentence "i noe u dnt noee mii,i donno huu u r" - I know you do not know me, I do not know who you are.
Another student wrote "ma m8s wnt ova" - my mates went over.
It was revealed that, in one case, four teachers had to mark a pupil's essay together because it was so confusing. - Graeme Paton, the Telegraph (12/12/2008)
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
PS. You might find this TEXT MESSAGE TRANSLATOR (lingo2word) useful.