A new study conducted by Kaplan International Colleges has found that 63% of English learners do not believe that using “text speak” is having a negative effect on their grammar or spelling despite the fact that some students use it while writing essays and exams. Text speak , or SMS language, are the reductions or shortenings of English words and phrases used in electronic communication. In case you are not familiar with it, here are some examples:
- BRB (Be right back) means I’ll be right back. Please wait a moment.
- LOL (Laughing out loud) means, what you said is so funny I am laughing very hard.
- CUL8R (see you later) means, goodbye, I’ll see you later
The survey showed that 63% of students surveyed thought their written English was not negatively effected, while 5% of those surveyed said that they use text speak when writing essays and 3% asserting that they use it during exams. The survey also discovered that 71% use text speak when texting on phones, 64% use it online and 14% actually use it while speaking out loud. I am often amazed when I hear people speaking text speak. You can see the entire survey by checking their Kaplan’s English for Teenagers infographic.
A spokeswoman for Kaplan’s junior program said that while they would never recommend using text speak in formal written work, the students who take their junior English courses are skilled in the latest mobile devices so it is natural that they use it in everyday life. Ms. Anna Robinson said that technology is a really useful aid to language learning which is why Kaplan has launched K+ for Teens, a range of materials including integrated books, apps, games and online platforms which are all unique to their language centers. “The introduction of these technologies has transformed the way that our teenage students learn English,” she said.
The experts also agree. A recent study of primary and secondary school children by researchers at Coventry University found no evidence of any detrimental relationships between use of texting slang and children’s conventional literacy abilities. Lead author Dr Clare Wood, Professor of Psychology in Education at Coventry University, said that her empirical research supported the results of Kaplan’s survey into the psychology of English learners.
BTW, do you use text speak in your writing? If so, why not put an example in the comment box below. B4N!