A new study finds that those students’ who text regularly improve their literacy skills. The researchers say text language uses word play and requires an awareness of how sounds relate to written English.

The study, an interim report, from the University of Coventry, was based on a sample of 63 children in England, between the ages of 8 to 12.

“If we are seeing a decline in literacy standards among young children, it is in spite of text messaging not because of it,” researcher Clare Wood. The use of text language “was actually driving the development of phonological awareness and reading skill in children,” she said.

Although this is just an interim report, we find these conclusions somewhat misleading.

Spelling and word recognition are just one aspect of literacy. Practicing language skills is valuable, however most text messages are short comments or responses.

Today’s students, more than ever, need to learn to organize their ideas, make coherent arguments, and present information in ways that are clear and concise.

Students who need help with their literacy skills benefit immeasurably from personalized and intensive support. This is where educational software programs like Paragraph Punch and Essay Punch fit in.

When writing with the Punch programs students are guided step-by-step through the writing process. They receive individualized help and feedback throughout. Students of a wide range of abilities are able to experience success.

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classroom technology, english language learning, increasing student achievement, self-paced instruction
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