Thursday, December 3, 2009

Many UK children write on the Internet, and those who do consider themselves better writers than those who do not

The UK-based National Literacy Trust has done a survey on Young people's writing: Attitudes, behaviour and the role of technology.

The report, which is available online, outlines findings from 3001 pupils aged 9-16 from England and Scotland, who completed an online survey in May 2009. It explores the link between writing and gender and age differences, socio-economic background, mobile phone ownership, having a blog, and having a social network profile. It concludes with practical and policy implications.

A few of the findings:

  • 75% of young people said they write regularly -- online and off.
  • 56% of young people said they had a profile on a social networking site, such as Bebo or Facebook. 24% said that they have their own blog.
  • Young people who write on a blog were much more likely than young people who do not write on a blog to enjoy writing in general (57% vs. 40%) and to enjoy writing for family/friends in particular (79% vs. 55%).
  • Young people with a blog (61%) as well as young people with a profile on a social networking site (56%) also displayed greater confidence, believing themselves to be good writers.
  • Owning a mobile phone does not appear to alter young people’s enjoyment of writing, their writing behaviour or their attitudes towards writing.
  • Most young people said they used computers regularly and believed that computers are beneficial to their writing
  • Nearly 60% of young people believe computers allow them to be more creative, concentrate more and encourage them to write more often.
  • Just under 9 in 10 young people see writing as an important skill to succeed in life
  • In line with governmental figures, which show that girls outperform boys in writing.
  • There was a dip in enjoyment of writing, writing behaviour and attitudes towards writing at ages 11-14, but they recover again in pupils aged 14-16.
  • There was not a relationship between economic status (receiving free school meals) and enjoyment of writing, writing behaviour, or attitudes towards writing; however pupils who do not receive; howver, students who recieved free meals lacked confidence, rating themselves as worse writers.

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