A SCOTS teen novelist whose work has become a global sensation has called on parents to go easy on kids using slang or mobile phone text-speak.
In the midst of growing concerns over literacy standards in Scotland the government has agreed to reintroduce national primary tests for children in 2017.
The move comes after prominent educators and business leaders have claimed that some children are leaving school without being prepped for higher education or the workplace.
But Estelle Maskame, the 17 year-old writer of the DIMILY (Did I Mention I Love You?) trilogy has said that the older generation would be wrong to assume that children can no longer master grammar and spelling.
She said: “It terms of reading and writing I don’t think youngsters should be criticised for using slang.
“It doesn’t mean they can’t use proper grammar, it’s just that’s how some youngsters might speak.
“I’m sure that if they went into an environment where they had to use better grammar or language they could, but when they are talking to their friends it’s just a natural thing to slip into.
“These days, young people communicate over social media – they don’t telephone each other or write emails.
“And with the advent of text and Twitter, you have to shorten how you communicate your message, which is why young people have become so used to writing in text shorthand or in slang, and that then translates into how they speak.
“It’s not that they can’t use proper grammar if they have to, it’s just that the everyday way of communicating with each other has changed over the years.”
Maskame’s trilogy follows sixteen-year-old Eden Munro as she travels to the US to visit her father – and an ensuing romance.
Maskame was born and raised in Peterhead, and began writing her series at the age of 11.
The work gained a worldwide following on social media with 4m readers – and is now being published as a trilogy of novels for young adults.