Children who show the most creativity when composing text messages are also likely to be the best spellers – at least that’s the finding of a new study from the UK’s Coventry University, which analysed children’s use of spelling and grammar on formal tests and in text messages.
The research looked at participants’ spelling and grammar at the start of the project and then again 12 months later, according to the BBC.
Among secondary school students, the survey reportedly found that children who shortened words when texting were also better at spelling.
Similarly, primary school children who used ungrammatical word forms and unconventional spelling were also linked with better spelling performance 12 months later.
However, primary school children who used unorthodox punctuation and capitalisation in their text messages did not perform as well on the tests. The same behaviour did not appear to affect the performance of secondary school-age participants.
The study should help to ease concerns among those who fear that overuse of text speak may be harming children’s spelling and grammar.
Nonetheless, the project's researchers have encouraged schools to continue teaching the correct rules of grammar, said the article, while also making children aware of different situations in which those rules can be relaxed.