OMG! How textspeak ‘seriously harms teenagers’ ability to develop language and grammar skills’ 

Textspeak is seriously harming teenagers’ ability to develop language and grammar skills, experts warned last night.

The growing influence of text message and social media slang means many young people often use language without grammatical structure, and this could limit their opportunities in the future.

Professor Jane Mellanby, director of the Oxford Group For Children’s Potential at Oxford University, said the ability to understand and use complex language was essential for academic attainment, leaving youngsters without these skills at a serious disadvantage.

Textspeak is seriously harming teenagers’ ability to develop language and grammar skills, experts warned last night [file photo]

Textspeak is seriously harming teenagers’ ability to develop language and grammar skills, experts warned last night [file photo]

Textspeak is seriously harming teenagers’ ability to develop language and grammar skills, experts warned last night [file photo]

Her research cited examples of textspeak, including a 13-year-old’s phone message which read: ‘OMG ikr’, meaning ‘Oh my God, I know right’, and a 21-year-old’s message to a friend: ‘Yo dude r u still coming to party Friday.’

Prof Mellanby said: ‘These sentences do not contain grammar, and certainly not complex grammar. For youngsters who already struggle with language structure, a reliance on textspeak could compound the problem.’

Primary school pupils are tested on language and grammar in SATs when they are 11.

National curriculum expert Tim Oates, said: ‘This is really important stuff. We have a small window of time for young children to acquire complex grammar automatically from exposure. For those who have not acquired it, then it needs to be taught explicitly in school.’

The growing influence of text message and social media slang means many young people often use language without grammatical structure, and this could limit their opportunities in the future [file photo]

The growing influence of text message and social media slang means many young people often use language without grammatical structure, and this could limit their opportunities in the future [file photo]

The growing influence of text message and social media slang means many young people often use language without grammatical structure, and this could limit their opportunities in the future [file photo]

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