Is Texting Good For Students?

The Student Texting

First, we have to admit that texting is here for the long haul. Today, the average 13 to 17 year old sends more than 2,500 text messages per month, according to recent research. While this may be a problem for most schools, some educators feel that texting has educational value in that it can teach beneficial language skills, according to the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina. The consensus is that when teenagers’ text often, they are more likely to confuse text language such as LOL and OMG, with traditional syntax, and this unconventional grammar will sneak into their schoolwork. In spite of this, teachers say this issue is nothing to worry about, and is not based on actual proof.

Progressive thinking teachers feel that the relaxed writing style of text messaging can be integrated into class lessons. A new study carried out by the California State University has discovered that texting can increase a teen’s writing in informal dissertations and numerous other writing coursework. A teacher in Orange County, NC asked students to decode passages from classic literature to text-speak in order to express language conception in various contexts. Another study found from the CSU study backs-up the idea that, “text-speak is not some type of English language gibberish, but is a type of second language with its own style, and it expands teens’ language skills.” However, research does admit that too much texting can damage student’s performance on most conventional types of essay inscriptions.

In addition, there are health concerns as well with texting. New reports have acknowledged psychiatrists’ and physicians’ concerns that texting could eventually damage children’s sleep patterns and their competence to think for themselves. There is also a bit of uneasiness about texting and driving. It has been noted that texting and driving can be a more serious problem than drunk driving. On the other hand, civics teacher Ms. McCanless states “texting has evolved into an established part of teenager’s lives. It can be utilized as a genuine tool as opposed to a means of conflict.” Students questioned by a North Carolina newspaper stated “they regularly text their friends at nighttime whenever they have questions concerning homework or about when assignments are due.”

Many ask “what is the real issue with texting in school? Are there ways to balance the technology to increase students’ learning?” While face-to-face discussion is better than texting, especially when it comes to important matters such as drugs, intimacy issues and grades; if a teen spends a lot of time texting, it is time to take advantage of this growing phenomena. A one-year study by researchers at a prestigious university in England discovered that, rather than tarnishing teen’s ability to read, write and speak proper English, texting appears to assist them in recognizing rhymes and speech patterns, granting them increased literacy skills more than children who rarely use mobile phones.

Abbreviations such as “CU 18r,” “OMG,” or “TTFN,” and similar text speak are really helping to develop kids’ reading and writing ability which also leads them to subconsciously practice spelling. This study was conducted in this area to initially notice if there was any link between text abbreviation and literacy skills since there was so much negativity about this subject in the media. In the final analysis, it was discovered that not only was the link powerful, but that text usage was in fact escalating the development of phonological responsiveness and reading skills. Furthermore, texting seems to be an important form of contact with written English for countless children, which in turn enables them to rehearse reading and spelling day after day.

It seems that teens are smarter than some adults will give them credit for. They are able to acknowledge the difference between school and texting that require certain linguistic skills along with utilizing the correct conventions in the appropriate circumstances. Then again, there is no denying that there are dangers linked with texting too frequently. Sleep deprivation, cyber-bullying and information overkill are all serious issues that face kids who have access to mobile phones 24-hours a day. Illiteracy is another question altogether though, and everyone is still waiting for the answer. Until then, researchers will “C U 18r” with the results.

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