Are Text Messages Making Kids Illiterate?


Let's face it: Kids text. They text in class, they text on the bus, they text in the middle of tests. In fact, one of them is so good she won $25,000 for busting out with some award-worthy text skills at the National Texting Championship last week. So what is the downfall of all this texting? Aside from the obvious finger cramps, USA Today is reporting that it's causing some devastating literacy digression in Ireland's youth.

The Education Department is blaming the country's increasingly poor spelling and writing skills in youth on their love of text messaging. In a recent report on the national test results in English for about 37,000 students aged 15 and 16, the department's Examination Commission said cutting-edge communications technology has "encouraged poor literacy and a blunt, choppy style at odds with academic rigor."

Apparently, Ireland is among the world leaders in cell-phone use (land lines are extremely pricey in the country) and surveys indicate that a majority of children have their own mobile phone by age 12, with some even sending more than 250 text messages a week. If this is a problem in Ireland, someone needs to seriously consider texting in America. I mean, we are celebrating a girl that says she sends 8,000 text messages a month!

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