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Mobile phone use linked with literacy
(04/02/2011 17:24:02)

New research has indicated there is a strong link between a child's ability to use mobile phones to write text messages and their general literacy levels.

The study was led by Dr Clare Wood, who said it came as a surprise to her team to see that there was such an evident association between the two skills.

She explained that text messages give youngsters vital practice in reading and writing.

Dr Wood was quoted as saying: "We began studying in this area initially to see if there was any evidence of association between text abbreviation use and literacy skills at all, after such a negative portrayal of the activity in the media."

In her opinion, text messaging is not holding back the UK's children from developing their reading and writing abilities.

She revealed that she intends to carry out further research to follow this latest study, which demonstrated that youngsters who are fluent in 'text-speak' tend to have higher literacy levels than their counterparts who do not use mobiles in this way.

While many people planning to recycle mobile phones in future may have thought the activity harms children's academic progress, this report suggests otherwise.

Dr Wood, a psychologist at Coventry University, carried out the tests on eight to 12-year-olds over a ten-year period.

The news may prompt parents to undertake mobile phone recycling to buy their offspring a suitable handset with which to develop their texting skills.

Among the patterns that can be seen in text-speak are the removal of vowels, with abbreviations and acronyms also used.

Some of the most common words that have entered into the popular lexicon in recent years include lol - meaning 'laugh out loud' - and omg, which stands for 'oh my god'.

A record was recently set at LG's global speed-texting competition, with Cheong Kit Au typing a 264-character text in one minute and 17 seconds on a QWERTY keypad, according to TechRadar.

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