Current Research in Psychology

EXPOSURE TO “TEXTISMS” DOES NOT LOWER SPELLING SCORES FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN

Holly Anderson and Robert J.F. Elsner

DOI : 10.3844/crpsp.2014.89.95

Current Research in Psychology

Volume 5, Issue 2

Pages 89-95

Abstract

“Textisms” are semi-standardized abbreviations and conventions uses in SMS text messaging. Students in the fourth and fifth grades (N = 136) were exposed to words on a spelling list as correctly-spelled words, incorrectly-spelled words, or “textisms” to determine whether short term exposure to “textisms” decreased spelling performance for elementary aged children. Multivariate ANOVA found exposure type significantly impacted post-exposure spelling, F(3,132) = 5.483, p<0.001. Individual t-tests for each group found exposure to correctly spelled words significantly improved spelling ability on spelling posttest, t(35) = 5.399, p<0.0001, unlike exposure to incorrectly spelled words, t(29) = -1.96, p<0.060. Textisms similar to traditional English spellings showed almost no change in spelling ability, t(28) = -0.064, p<0.950, exposure to non-traditional orthographic forms showed a slight decrease from pretest to posttest, t(40) = 1.39, p<0.172. Difference in posttest scores between participants in the two textism groups suggests that children may derive orthographic information from some textism forms, but do not decrease spelling abilities because of limited exposure to textisms.

Copyright

© 2014 Holly Anderson and Robert J.F. Elsner. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.