London: Parents might be puzzled by the modern day text lingo, however, using abbreviations like 'lol', 'gr8' and 'b4' can improve your child's writing skills, a new study has found.
According to a UK government research, there is a positive relationship between so-called "textisms" and pupils' ability to draft essays.
The study, commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE), found that mobile phone use required a "certain degree of phonological awareness" that could drive up standards of written work, 'The Telegraph' reported.
They also found that pupils who regularly wrote blogs and used social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter were "significantly better writers" than those who shunned the technology altogether.
Pupils often perform worse in writing than in reading, maths and science at all ages. Last year, a quarter of pupils in UK failed to hit national targets in writing at the age of 11, with boys lagging far behind girls, according to figures.
Critics have suggested that the influence of technology particularly mobile phones and social networking websites is fuelling a decline in pupils' written skills by blurring the boundaries between colloquialisms and standard English.
The DfE study, which was based on an analysis of existing international evidence on children's writing, admitted that technology was starting to have an impact on student's school work.
It quoted one that found "technology-influenced features" regularly appeared in essays and other written projects. "For example, 50 per cent of teenagers said that they sometimes use informal writing styles instead of proper capitalisation and punctuation in their school assignments, and 38 per cent have used text shortcuts such as 'lol' (laugh out loud)," the study said.
The report said that text messaging was the most common form of writing used by school age children, employed at least once a month by 69 per cent of pupils.
As many as 52 per cent used social networking sites, 47 per cent used emails and 45 per cent used instant messaging. However, the report found no evidence that "children's written language development is being disrupted by the use of text abbreviations".
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