Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

RU Kidding? Research Finds That Chatspeak Has No Impact On Children's Spelling Ability

Date:
September 23, 2009
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
This will prolly comes as a bit of a shock to UR system, but findings from a group of researchers show that language commonly used in instant messaging has no effect on your child's spelling abilities. If anything, says a study author, using language variations commonly used in instant messaging and texting is actually a good sign.

Parents, get ready to say OMG and watch your teens roflol.

This will prolly comes as a bit of a shock to UR system, but findings from a group of University of Alberta researchers show that language commonly used in instant messaging has no effect on your child's spelling abilities. If anything, says study author Connie Varnhagen, using language variations commonly used in instant messaging and texting is actually a good sign.

Varnhagen's findings come from a class-based study that was recently published in Reading and Writing. A group of third-year psychology students proposed and designed a study to test whether new Simple Messaging Service, or SMS, language—also known as chatspeak—which refers to the abbreviations and slang commonly used when texting, emailing or chatting online, had an influence on students' spelling habits. The group surveyed roughly 40 students from ages 12 to 17. The participants were asked to save their instant messages for a week. At the end of the study, the participants completed a standardized spelling test.

Students' use of chatspeak is only one shared concern between parents and educators about children's spelling abilities. But, with a growing usage of connected resources such as Skype, Facebook and Twitter, understanding the relationship between this virtual dialect and use of the Queen's English is of significant importance.

While the researchers expected there to be some correlation between poor spelling and chatspeak, Varnhagen said they were pleasantly surprised by the results.

"Kids who are good spellers [academically] are good spellers in instant messaging," she said. "And kids who are poor spellers in English class are poor spellers in instant messaging."

What was surprising, though, was how chatspeak use and spelling played in the battle of the sexes. Girls used more chatspeak than boys, who preferred to express themselves through repeated use of punctuation. However, the study found that boys who used chatspeak and abbreviations more frequently were poorer spellers. Conversely, girls who used more abbreviations were better spellers than girls who did not use many abbreviations in their messages.

Nicole Pugh, a student researcher and one of the study's co-authors, was amazed at the complexity and volume of chatspeak that the students were using.

"Going through the participant conversations, it was interesting to note how many new words that children are using online," said Pugh. "We would have to decipher the meaning of the language with online dictionaries or by asking younger siblings."

Varnhagen and Pugh both agree that the results of their study should ease some concerns and even open up discussion on how this language can be perhaps be embraced within an educational or academic context.

"If you want students to think very precisely and concisely and be able to express themselves, it might be interesting to have them create instant messages with ideas, maybe allow them opportunities to use more of this new dialect in brief reports or fun activities," said Varnhagen. "Using a new type of language does require concentration and translating it to standard English does require concentration and attention. It's a little brain workout."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "RU Kidding? Research Finds That Chatspeak Has No Impact On Children's Spelling Ability." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090922095814.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2009, September 23). RU Kidding? Research Finds That Chatspeak Has No Impact On Children's Spelling Ability. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090922095814.htm
University of Alberta. "RU Kidding? Research Finds That Chatspeak Has No Impact On Children's Spelling Ability." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090922095814.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins