Facebook, Twitter ‘harm students literacy’: Principals claim children are so distracted by the sites they don’t bother to read books


Children’s literacy is being damaged by social media, Principals claim.

They say pupils are too distracted by sites such as Facebook and Twitter to bother to read a book.

As a result, thousands are poor spellers and have little understanding of grammar.

A survey of 214 secondary school heads found that 70 per cent believe Facebook and Twitter are ‘bad for literacy’.

Excessive use of such sites means youngsters’ spelling and grammar have deteriorated. For example, some write ‘l8’ rather than ‘late’, while others rely on computer spellcheckers to correct their mistakes.

To make matters worse, many parents do nothing to try to improve these crucial skills.

The research, conducted by Booked, a magazine for schools, found that half of school principals are concerned about their pupils’ approach to reading.

Tsol Keoshgerian, chairman of Booked, said: ‘This is a worrying snapshot of literacy standards. 

It appears to confirm that the massive rise in social media use among the young is having a major impact on writing skills with little or no attempt by parents to stop it.’

Tsol Keoshgerian, chairman of Booked, which encourages children to read and write, said: ‘This is a worrying snapshot of literacy standards in Nigeria today.

She said: ‘Social media has a massive impact on students every day.

‘Ask students [aged 14 and 15] how many of them have read a book for pleasure recently and you might get two or three hands.

‘Ask them how many have checked Twitter or Facebook that day and every hand will shoot up.’

‘Parents need to be aware of their roles, which include monitoring the activities of their children’


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