25 per cent of pupils only write in school: According to the findings of a survey by the National Literacy Trust – whereby the researchers surveyed 32,500 pupils – 25 per cent of those aged eight to 18 either rarely or never write anything that is not for school.
In the 2015 survey, approximately one fifth (20 per cent) of children told the researchers that they wrote every day outside of school, in comparison with 27.2 per cent in 2014.
Of writing the that was composed outside of school, the vast majority was for social media posts and text messages.
The National Literacy Trust has warned that the findings and what they suggest could have a negative effect on pupils’ school results. The Trust added that children who write outside of school every day were found to be five times more likely to have writing skills beyond their age category. Further to this, children who found enjoyment in writing were seven times more likely to have advanced writing abilities.
The researchers did not just explore writing using pen and paper; they also considered writing using technology.
The most common ways of writing which the children took part in were social media messaging, instant messages and text messages. However, the survey also revealed that children most commonly used pen and paper to write when they were taking notes, with one in three writing notes at least once per month.
When looking at the least common form of writing, it was found that letters were the least frequent form of writing, with just 25 per cent of children composing a letter once per month.
The National Literacy Trust has calling for emphasis to be placed on writing for pleasure.
The National Literacy Trust’s Director, Jonathan Douglas, said that if they do not possess strong writing skills, youngsters will have fewer opportunities available to them in later life, which will eventually negatively affect their social mobility and economy in the UK.
He added that if action is not taken soon, the futures of children who have weak writing abilities will be bleak.
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