Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Insight into UK Children by the stories they write

500words-bannerThere’s a new study about UK children’s language from the OUP and it’s very interesting too. It’s clear that technology is playing a key part when you see how children are referring to technology in their writing. Here’s an example:

‘The analysis, of 74,000 story entries in a BBC Radio 2 competition, also reveals the impact of technology. The research finds that of nearly 300 instances of the word "blackberry", almost half referred to phones. Technology was also an integral part of plots in the stories, with characters "Googling" for answers rather than looking in books and using apps rather than rabbit holes or magical wardrobes to enter fantasy worlds.’

The study makes for a fascinating read and confirms that children are still imaginative and still inspired to write, read and tell stories. I wonder how many of them are now reading on a digital screen – be that a phone, a tablet, an eBook reader or a laptop?

There’s some background to the competition on the OUP website http://www.oup.com/oxed/children/500words-competition/ . The full competition website is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/500words/2012/ where you can read or listen to the winning stories (there are plenty to choose from and you could do worse than load these up on your kindle) and you can also download a PDF with the findings from the research. http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/evans/bbc500words_oupfindings.pdf

Via http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/may/28/blackberry-cupcakes-study-uk-childrens-language?CMP=twt_gu