Texting can help improve children's writing skills
Increased exposure to text message abbreviations such as "lol", "gr8" and "b4" can improve children's writing skills, a study claims.
Researchers found a positive relationship between so-called "textisms" and pupils' ability to draft essays, the Telegraph reported.
The study, commissioned by the Department for Education, revealed that mobile phone use required a "certain degree of phonological awareness" that could drive up standards of written work.
It also emerged that pupils who regularly wrote blogs and used social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter told researchers that they were "significantly better writers" than those who shunned the technology altogether.
The disclosure comes amid continuing concerns over standards of writing in schools.
According to figures, pupils often perform worse in writing than in reading, maths and science at all ages.
Last year, a quarter of pupils failed to hit national targets in writing at the age of 11, with boys lagging far behind girls.