Does texting help or hinder children’s spelling skills?

Last week I came across this article (admittedly from 2011) about the link between children texting and their spelling skills.  I found it really interesting as I automatically assumed it would demonstrate that texting has a negative impact.

I have to confess that I have been called a grammar fascist in the past.  My school (in Cape Town) made grammar a priority (in all subjects, not just English) and that influenced me very strongly.  It made it easier for me to learn other languages later on, but it also means that I have to rein in my ‘red pen’ when I’m teaching as, while grammar obviously has its place (and a significant one at that), it’s not the only thing that matters.

It got me thinking though about how grammar is so important to some people, and not to others.  Is it just a generation thing?  is it a cultural thing?  Is it just personal choice?  I found this blog entry while I was thinking about it..

What do you think?


New feature: In the media

It’s about confidence and trust in teachers

Emma Alberici on ABC TV’s Lateline talks to Pasi Sahlberg, director-general of the Ministry of Education in Helsinki, about why Finland consistently beats most of the rest of the countries in the OECD in maths, reading and literacy at all levels of primary and high school. The secret, according to him, is to be found in Finland’s highly educated teachers.

Teaching in Finland is a respected and prestigious profession, and it’s paid accordingly. Gaining entry to study teaching is extremely competitive, and nearly every teacher in the country has a master’s degree.

Video and transcript at or available as a Vodcast from the ABC website archives.


Reporting teacher performance using student scores

20 March 2012

The  article, Teacher Performance Abusers of Statistics,   was written in response to the recent publication of the names of teachers and their “performance scores” by the New York Post (February, 2012).