CHILDREN who use ‘text speak’ when sending messages on their mobile phones do not have a poor grasp of grammar, a study has shown.
Researcher assessed the spelling, grammar, understanding of English and IQ of primary and secondary schoolchildren and compared those skills with a sample of their text messages.
There was no evidence of any significant relationships between poor grammar in text messages and their understanding of written or spoken grammar.
The results will reassure parents who may have feared that text speak was eroding their child's grasp of English.
The findings were presented at the British Psychological Society’s Developmental Section Conference, at Strathclyde University in Glasgow.
Researchers from Coventry University assessed 83 primary schoolchildren and 78 secondary schoolchildren twice, a year apart to see if texting affected grammar over time.
The only significant associations showed that for the primary schoolchildren, there was evidence those who made fewer punctuation errors when texting tended to have better standard spelling performance and better ability to process writing rapidly.
Lead author Professor Clare Wood said: “In recent years there has been widespread concern about the impact that children’s texting behaviour may have on their developing understanding of written and spoken language conventions.
"However, surprisingly little research has been undertaken to examine such claims.
"We found no evidence of a link between poor grammar when texting and the actual grammatical understanding of UK children.
"Therefore there is no reason to assume that just because children play with the representation of written language when they are texting that this will somehow damage or undermine their appreciation of standard grammar over time.”
Rebecca Smith Telegraph.co.uk