ERIC Number: EJ927730
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
Does SMS Text Messaging Help or Harm Adults' Knowledge of Standard Spelling?
Powell, D.; Dixon, M.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v27 n1 p58-66 Feb 2011
The recent increase in short messaging system (SMS) text messaging, often using abbreviated, non-conventional "textisms" (e.g. "2nite"), in school-aged children has raised fears of negative consequences of such technology for literacy. The current research used a paradigm developed by Dixon and Kaminska, who showed that exposure to phonetically plausible misspellings (e.g. "recieve") negatively affected subsequent spelling performance, though this was true only with adults, not children. The current research extends this work to directly investigate the effects of exposure to textisms, misspellings and correctly spelled words on adults' spelling. Spelling of a set of key words was assessed both before and after an exposure phase where participants read the same key words, presented either as textisms (e.g. "2nite"), correctly spelled (e.g. "tonight") or misspelled (e.g. "tonite") words. Analysis showed that scores decreased from pre- to post-test following exposure to misspellings, whereas performance improved following exposure to correctly spelled words and, interestingly, to textisms. Data suggest that exposure to textisms, unlike misspellings, had a positive effect on adults' spelling. These findings are interpreted in light of other recent research suggesting a positive relationship between texting and some literacy measures in school-aged children. (Contains 3 tables.)
Descriptors: Spelling, Adults, Error Patterns, Error Analysis (Language), Computer Mediated Communication, Electronic Mail, Network Analysis, Influence of Technology, Mass Media Use, Use Studies, Communication Research, Standards, Knowledge Level, Mass Media Effects
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A