Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Linda Gaughan

Committee Member

Gloria Kieley


literacy educators, middle school students, spelling, students' writing, text messaging, textspeak


This applied dissertation investigated middle school literacy educators’ views about the impact of text messaging on students’ spelling and writing abilities. Specifically, the researcher determined educators’ views about the impact of text messages from Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) and Short Message Service (SMS) on middle school student writing and spelling. The researcher interviewed middle school teachers about their experiences with student writing and whether text speak is present in students’ writing and spelling.

Four research questions are posed: (a) To what extent do middle school teachers notice textspeak within student writing? (b) What do middle school literacy teachers report as the impact of textspeak on students’ written work? (c) What are middle school teachers’ attitudes about using features of texting, or textspeak, in written classwork? (d) How do middle school teachers describe student attitudes about using features of texting, or textspeak, in written classwork?

Following individual interviews with 12 educators, the researcher analyzed the data in search of patterns and themes in the responses. The results were both positive and negative. The participants reported that textspeak was beneficial because it increased students’ personal efficiency in notes and group or team assignments. However, they reported the negative aspect of textspeak is it reduces students’ writing expertise and students’ grades.

Future research could expand on investigating the effects of textspeak on students’ writing from kindergarten to 12th grade in all subjects. Additional research could determine if the use of textspeak in the media has influenced the quality of students’ writing. Furthermore, future studies could analyze the effects of texting and typing on students’ mechanics of penmanship and letter formation.