Effectsof Texting on Literacy
Effectsof Texting on Literacy
Therelationship between texting and literacy among school going childrenhas elicited a strong debate as to whether the former affects thelatter. Texting is a practice that has become widespread all over theworld. It is highly attributed to the massive technologicaladvancements especially in the telecommunication industry in thelatter years. The subject eliciting a significant argument is that ofhow this practice affects the literacy levels of the childrenpracticing it. For this reason, this paper will dig deep into thetopic and come up with facts derived from relevant and highlytrustworthy studies to derive a conclusion on the exact effects oftexting on students.
Recentstudies have illustrated that regular use of texting slang whensending and receiving text messages, does not have an adverse impacton young people, as well as children literacy. In fact, it is deducedthat texting can benefit children`s spelling achievement (2014, p.281). Nevertheless, less keenness has been placed on the effect oftexting on the children’s comprehension of grammatical forms. Inthe study conducted by Wood, Kemp and Waldron investigated theconnection between 243 children and junior university student`sgrammatical violations completed during texting sessions and theirresults on evaluation of written and spoken grammaticalcomprehension, orthographic procedure and straight spelling aptitude(2014, p. 281). The results showed that the children made vitallymore punctuation and capitalization errors and excessive use ofunconventional punctuation than adults as seen in the length of theirtext messages.
Resultsderived from secondary and primary school children indicated thatthere was no link between the propensity of making grammatical errorsduring text messaging and their comprehension of ordinary grammar ororthography (2014, p. 282). The same results were observed aftercontrolling for precise differences in undergraduates’ spellingability and IQ.
Generally,there is minimal proof that ungrammatical texting habits areconnected to grammatical comprehension or acquaintance oforthographic depictions of language use in children (2014, p. 282). However, there existed some little evidence that indicated youngadults to grammatical errors may be associated with insufficientknowledge of grammatical-related orthographic representations (2014,p. 282).
Anotherstudy that has deeply investigated the behaviour of texting toliteracy levels in children is that of Plester, Wood, and Bell(2008). The report involved two research studies that evaluated thelink between children`s texting habits, their understanding of textand abbreviations as well as their school performance in writtenlanguage abilities (p. 137). In the first study, 11-year-old childrengave out facts about their texting habits. Furthermore, they wererequested to translate a general English sentence into a manuscriptand the other way round (p. 1). The children’s average oral andnon-oral reasoning scores were also derived. It was found that, thosechildren who had the greatest tendency of using their cell phones tosend multiple text messages a day had inferior scores than childrenwho carried nothing. However, those who, when requested to write atext message, used a great number of text abbreviations intended toexhibit a superior performance on a measure if oral logic ability,which is necessarily connected to Key Stage 2 and 3 scores in English(pp. 137-144).
Inthe second research, children`s aptitude on writing measures wassurveyed more precisely. The age of the children ranged from10-11-year-old children were requested finish an English text messagetranslation practice once again. In this study, proficiency wasderived and showed that good texting habits may, in fact, improveschool performance attainment. This observation shows that children`spatterns of textism are not associated with poorly written languageoutcomes for children in this range (p. 1).
Ontheir part, Kemp and Bushnell, conducted research to evaluate theimpact of cell phone texting method and experience on student`stextism and use of comprehension. They also investigated therelationship between abbreviations used in texts (textese), spellingand poor academic performance. An initial sample of 86 kids rangingfrom between 10 to 12 years of age was taken, and they were asked toread and write text messages in modern English, as well as textese.They finished the test of non-word reading, spelling, and averagereading. It was noted that, children took critically longer and madeseveral errors when asked to read those messages inscribed in textesethan in modern English. Their writing also indicated the same trendas reading. Therefore, better literacy skills were linked withsuperior textese reading speed and precision. These results enhancethe mounting proof for the positive connection between textingaptitude and old-fashioned literacy skills (p. 1).
Thesefindings, substantially contradict VeronicaStafford’s assertionsof the relationship existing between texting and literacy. In herbook, “Texting and Literacy,” she highlights the effects oftexting on the academic performance of school-going children. Shecomes up with several ideas and notions that are derived from varioussources scholarly and non-scholarly. Within her sample of children,she observed that there was a high link between texting in slanglanguage to low literacy levels. In addition, she maintains thatlearners are pushing the frontiers, making texting "damaging" to their academic routine and job attainment.Stafford thencarries on giving out all of the undesirable effects that the drearyuse of mobile phones has on schoolchildren.Her chief assertion,"text also messaging deteriorates literacy," is alsooffered in this list. Her whole paper is actual but unconvincingsince she relates key stylistic strategies from unreliable sources.
Furthermore,her list of references was completely unreliable. She used a lot ofwebsite sources with little-known facts that cannot be proven. Asmuch as some of them are good and trustworthy, others are not unknownand, therefore, cannot be relied upon. For instance, she uses the LeGuin Ursula’s article, “Staying Awake: Notes on the AllegedDecline of Reading,” that was featured in Harper`s Magazine a whileback. The report contains significant assertions in her paper but,unfortunately, for a real research work that seeks recognition fromthe audience, it is not a good practice to use articles frommagazines especially from unrecognized persons.
Ona personal level, I disagree with most assertions presented byStafford. Her facts are disputed and unreliable in addition to someof her sources. All the three research conducted above have showndefinite results about the impact of this vice and academicperformance of young people. It is highly difficult for more than twostudies to indicate false results since they are all prepared inseparate locations. Furthermore, the methodology used to investigatethese facts were varying, hence increasing the possibility of a moreaccurate results. An example of this is the situation of an immigrantspeaker. Immigrants usually have accents sticking to their sounds ofwords, but if they are told write the same sentence or phrase, littlemistake are noticed.
Inconclusion, it is evident that Stafford missed the point in herevaluation. She presented an inaccurate, poorly-articulated researchthat inadequately looks at the dangers of texting to school goingchildren. All the research conducted by the various professionalsshowed that texting has a little bearing on the academic performanceof a child. Ironically, it is claimed to improve the vocabulary of achild as indicated in the first study. All the three studies haveshown consistent information. It is clear that there exists norelationship between failure in school and texting communication.Safford`s assertions have been proven to not to reflect entirely onthe nature of the game. This disparity in results between Safford`sresearch and the other three used in this paper may also beattributed to the sample size. It is widely known that a broad samplereduces the accuracy of a study. On the contrary, a smaller samplemay collect inadequate data necessary that affects leading to untrueresults. On her part, she used a small sample size that was notconclusive and thorough. Furthermore, the
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