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Researchers at the University of Coventry have published the results of a recent study which seems to show that allowing children to keep in contact via SMS can help to increase their capacity to spell correctly.

Perhaps most interesting of all is the revelation that even the abbreviated sentences that most children use within texts can be beneficial, with evidence suggesting that those employing text speak were more likely to exhibit strong performance in classroom-based literacy tasks.

Dr Clare Wood, who headed the study involving a group of children between the ages of eights and 12, said of texting that it "appears to be a valuable form of contact with written English for many children, which enables them to practise reading and spelling on a daily basis".

Children who text regularly are able to more rapidly develop their senses of speech and sound and also are able to better manipulate these skills to their advantage.

On a slightly less positive note for those who believe in the sanctity of the English language, the study also found that by the age of 12 nearly 50 per cent of children were using words and phrases picked up from texting in day to day conversation.

Despite the unconventional means of communication offered by texting and the dialect that it develops, there are many who believe that it is demonstrably beneficial to a child's development.

Since this test has only looked at a small age range, it will be interesting to follow these children over the next few years and to see whether they are able to apply their text language within the real world, or whether this will prove to be a hindrance in the future.

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